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Find out if your bank is safe

By Marcie Geffner ·
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Posted: 10 am ET

Is your bank safe and sound? Or should you be worried that your bank might fail and be taken over or sold off by the government?

Few people actually lose money in bank failures, thanks to the protection of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. But a bank failure can be stressful as the bank will be shut down or merged into a competitor. If that process doesn't happen smoothly, your automatic deposits or payments could be disrupted, your customary ATM could be inaccessible, your safe deposit box might be relocated, your account number might be changed and so on. Your money most likely will be safe, but you might be concerned or even just inconvenienced.

Fortunately, there's a good way to find out how safe and sound your bank is: Check out Bankrate's newly updated Safe & Sound bank ratings.

The ratings, which are updated quarterly, include commercial banks, thrifts and credit unions and are for companies, not individual branches.

The ratings can be searched by name, rating or asset size, and each search returns a chart that shows the banking institution's name, state, ZIP code, asset size and star rating on a scale from one to four stars. Also included are links to a wealth of additional information that can help you really understand just how safe and sound -- or not -- your bank is.

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