The 10 Biggest U.S. Bank Failures

The latest, IndyMac, will move to No. 3 on the list.

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With an estimated $32 billion in assets, IndyMac Bank of Pasadena, Calif., which federal regulators seized Friday, is poised to become the third-largest bank failure in American history. Here is a list of the top 10 failures, based on total assets, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data covering 1934 through 2007.

1. Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust, Chicago (1984)
Total assets: $40.0 billion

2. First Republic Bank, Dallas (1988)
Total assets: $32.5 billion

3. American S&LA, Stockton, Calif. (1988)
Total assets: $30.2 billion

4. Bank of New England, Boston (1991)
Total assets: $21.7 billion

5. MCorp, Dallas (1989)
Total assets: $18.5 billion

6. Gibraltar Savings, Simi Valley, Calif. (1989)
Total assets: $15.1 billion

7. First City Bancorporation, Houston (1988)
Total assets: $13.0 billion

8. Homefed Bank, San Diego (1992)
Total assets: $12.2 billion

9. Southeast Bank, Miami (1991)
Total assets: $11.0 billion

10. Goldome, Buffalo (1991)
Total assets: $9.9 billion

Source: Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Bank Failure Facts

  • According to the FDIC, from 1934 through 2007, there were only two years with no bank failures, 2005 and 2006.
  • The year during that period with the most bank failures was 1989, when 534 banks closed their doors.
  • During the savings-and-loan crisis (1986-95), 2,377 banks failed, representing 67 percent of the 3,559 bank failures from 1934 through May 2008. At the peak of the crisis (1988-1989), 1,004 banks failed, a rate of one failure every 1.38 days.

Bank Failures by Decade

  • 2000-2007: 32
  • 1990-1999: 925
  • 1980-1989: 2,036
  • 1970-1979: 79
  • 1960-1969: 44
  • 1950-1959: 28
  • 1940-1949: 99
  • 1934-1939: 312

Source: FDIC Historical Statistics on Banking, 1934-2008


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