IndyMac: Your money is safe - FDIC

It's a massive bank failure, but the vast majority of customers see little disruption or risk.

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NEW YORK ( -- The FDIC stressed Sunday that the takeover of failed bank IndyMac is largely a "non-event" for most customers.

"Come Monday morning, it will be business as usual for all insured customers," said John Bovenzi, chief operating officer of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which insures U.S. banks.

When a bank shuts down, traditional accounts are insured to at least $100,000. Some accounts, such as annuities and mutual funds, are not insured at all. Individual Retirement Account (IRAs) funds are insured to $250,000.

If you had $100,000 at one bank and $100,000 at another, both would be insured, according to Allan Roth, a Colorado Springs, Colo. financial planner.

Individuals with multiple accounts in the same name at the same bank are limited to the $100,000 cap. If an individual has a $100,000 savings account in her name and a $100,000 joint account with her husband, both accounts would be covered.

"The difference is not in the number of accounts [that each individual has at an FDIC-insured bank]," said Roth. "The difference is in the titling [or name] on the account."

IndyMac Bancorp, once one of the nation's largest home lenders, was taken over by federal regulators on Friday and transferred to the FDIC.

While IndyMac customers did not have access to online and phone banking services over the weekend, they could access funds by ATM, debit cards and checks.

"That fact is that for insured depositors, IndyMac's conversion has been largely a non-event," said Sheila Bair, chairman of the FDIC in a statement.

IndyMac customers with uninsured deposits will get at least half that money back, and they could get more back, depending on what the FDIC gets when it sells the bank, said Bair.

Loan customers were advised to continue making loan payments as usual.

The FDIC disclosed last month that it was closely watching 90 financial institutions on its "problem list," up from 76 in the first quarter of 2008. The total assets of "problem" institutions rose from $22.2 billion to $26.3 billion, the FDIC said. The FDIC does not publish a list of trouble banks out of concern it could spur a bank run

But for non-IndyMac customers, Bair stressed that their money is safe.

"IndyMac is only one of 8,494 depository institutions operating throughout the country," she said. "The overwhelming majority of banks in this country are safe and sound. The chance that your own bank will be taken over by the FDIC is extremely remote. And if that does happen, you will continue to have virtually uninterrupted access to your insured deposits."

Bovenzi added that all IndyMac branches will reopen Monday with full operations. "Customers should view this as a change in ownership," he said.  To top of page

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