Even though it’s not mentioned much in the news any more, bank failures are still happening. As we mentioned in the podcast, the FDIC maintains a bank watch list, to help identify banks that are in danger of failing. Unfortunately, that’s not for public distribution – reason being of course, if you find out that your bank is on a failure watch list, you’ll immediately pull your funds out, and we can’t have that now, can we? (Do you ever get the feeling that the FDIC isn’t really into helping out the customers of the banks, but the banks themselves?)
So, the FDIC list isn’t going to be found here. I mis-spoke. Mea Culpa.
Greg is a Beeg Dummy.
However, there is hope in figuring out what bank, thrift and loan, and credit union is doing what.
The answer, of course, springs from the private sector. There are plenty of companies out there that will be more than happy to give you an assessment of a financial institution. For a fee, of course (hey, it’s private sector! Capitalism, baby!) But with enough digging, we’ve found a few sources that are free assessments, and the sites they’re on are worth bookmarking in whatever browser you’re using.
Bank ratings – gives the 20 best and 20 worst performers, in an easy to understand table. We’ll have to keep watch to see how often the ratings are updated, but the current data is from 1-6-09.
Full list of bank ratings – gives bank ratings by state (sometimes helps to know where the banks are headquartered, but if you don’t know, leave the “State” field blank, and put the name of your bank into the lower field and then search. Select your bank, and there you go. Much faster to know where they’re headquartered though, doing a full search will give you a pretty big list)
Now, there is one other thing to look at while you’re spending the time to look at these sources, hopefully finding info that’s of use to you. It’s the failed bank list from the FDIC. One thing to note, and something to pay attention to: note the number of bank failures since the beginning of 2009. Seems to me that I never heard about many of them on the news, but there they are, in black and white. I count 44 banks that have failed since January 1st, 2009, and we’re not even through February as I write this.
Knowledge is power folks, knowledge is power. Use it.