Thursday, March 26, 2009

How the FDIC Takes Over A Bank

This is a really interesting and sad story about how FDIC agents take over a bank in a night.
NPR: On a mid-January night, some 80 agents of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. pull into Vancouver, Wash. Their rental cars are generic, their arrival times staggered. One by one, agents check into a hotel, each quietly offering a pseudonym to the guy at the desk.

They're here to take over the Bank of Clark County, which the FDIC has decided is insolvent. It's the agency's job to insure American bank deposits and to step in when a bank fails. The FDIC tries to keep the planning for its operations top secret, to avoid sparking a panicked run on the bank.

At 9 o'clock on this particular Thursday night, FDIC agents call another bank nearby, Umpqua Bank. They tell executives there that Umpqua has been selected to take over the Bank of Clark County. They order them not to tell anyone. Come to a meeting tomorrow at noon, they say, and we'll fill you in on everything you need to know.

The next day, Ric Carey, an Umpqua vice president, heads into that meeting. "The FDIC had taken a location approximately two miles from the main office of the bank in a hotel under a different name," he says later. "And they've been through quite a few of these. I think one of the gentlemen leading the discussion said, 'You know, I've done over 200 of these over my 25 years, and let me tell you how it's going to work.' " Read the rest or listen here.