Daily Q&A: What should I do if one of the financial institutions I use collapses?

With a number of financial institutions collapsing, what should I do if my bank fails?

The number of troubled institutions has been increasing.

William F. Ford and Ronnie J. Phillips, of the American Institute for Economic Research, say that when a financial institution fails, the FDIC typically will send a team into the institution late on a Friday to inform the managers that the business is being merged. By Monday morning, they say, the institution and its branches will reopen under new management.

If this happens, Ford and Phillips advise consumers to do the following:

• Carefully review both your online accounts and any mailings you receive for the first few months because the computer and record-keeping systems will change.

• Find out immediately if there will be any changes to the way your accounts will be handled, so you know if there will be new fees, account minimums, etc. that didn't exist with your previous institution.

• Look into whether there are any special promotions for new customers that may benefit you. You will be, after all, a new customer and may be eligible.

• While the current tellers and lower ranking managers will likely remain in place for the short term, introduce yourself to the new branch manager or head teller whenever the people you know are replaced.

• Review the new institution's hours of operation and list of locations to determine whether the changes are more or less convenient for you.

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Daily Q&A: What should I do if one of the financial institutions I use collapses? 07/23/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 23, 2010 3:49pm]

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