Jul 15 2008
09:14 am

As a follow up to Brian's post, banks and credit unions are required by law to file quarterly "call reports" with the FDIC (in the case of banks and savings and loans) and the NCUA (in the case of credit union) to report their financial condition.

You can look up your bank or credit union at the following links to a) make sure they are insured, and b) check their financial statements and ratio reports, which are a quick snapshot of their performance.

FDIC bank/thrift lookup

NCUA credit union lookup

If you can't locate your financial institution, call them and ask for their FDIC certificate number (bank or savings and loan) or their NCUA charter number (credit union). If they don't have one, you should probably be concerned. (Just ask former customers of the SIBC.)

The easiest way to check your bank's health is to use BankRate.com's Safe & Sound® ratings. They comb through the call report data to rate banks, savings and loans, and credit unions on peer performance, industry standards, and key benchmarks.

Here are some example ratings for area banks and credit unions of interest:

CBBC: *****
Home Federal: ****
Tennessee State Bank: ****
Bank of America NA: ***
SunTrust: ***
Regions Bank: ***
First Tennessee: **
TVA Credit Union: ****
UT Credit Union: ***
ORNL Credit Union: ***

BankRate.com also provides a narrative report on their findings and how they arrived at the ratings (find your bank, select the "memorandum" option).

For all of these report and ratings, keep in mind that call reports are filed quarterly and it takes a while for the data to make its way into the databases (they are currently available through March 2008). As we have seen, a lot can happen in one quarter!

Bank and savings and loan deposits are insured up to $100,000 per depositor ($250,000 for certain retirement accounts) by the FDIC. Credit union deposits are insured for like amounts by the National Credit Union Association.

(Joint accounts are divided to calculate liability, so for example a husband and wife can have combinations of joint and/or individual accounts up to $200,000 insured. Here's more info from the FDIC on how that works.)

R. Neal's picture

Related just now: First

Related just now:

First Horizon swings to loss on loan-loss provision

First Horizon CEO to step down

(First Horizon Corp. is the holding company for First Tennessee)

Brian A.'s picture

Informative post. "As we

Informative post.

"As we have seen, a lot can happen in one quarter!"

Or even a few days.

Brian A.
I'd rather be cycling.

mbradley's picture

Credit union finaniclal statements

If you want to see the most recent financial statement from your credit union simply walk inside any branch. Credit Unions post the prior month financial statements for everyone to see.

George's picture


How do I check the health of the outfit holding my 401K money?

Andy Axel's picture

Dunno, but if it's Merrill

Dunno, but if it's Merrill Lynch? They just posted a $4.9B loss for the quarter. That's "b" as in "billion."


"It's gettin' so a businessman can't expect no return from a fixed fight. Now, if you can't trust a fix, what can you trust?"

Andy Axel's picture

And JP Morgan says: "Prime

And JP Morgan says: "Prime looks terrible."


In a surprisingly short conference call with analysts, Dimon suggested that losses in JP Morgan’s prime mortgage book could triple in the foreseeable future as the credit mess moves out of subprime and into Alt-A and jumbo loans.

“Prime looks terrible,” he told analysts on the call. “And we’re sorry, and there’s nothing else we can say.”

The company currently holds $34.4 billion of jumbo mortgages, along with $2.5 billion of Alt-A mortgages. Net charge-offs among prime loans in the second quarter rose to $104 million, more than double the $50 million recorded just one quarter earlier. JP Morgan jumped in headlong into jumbos and Alt-A mortgages during 2007 — obviously an ill-timed bet, given where the market has headed.

“We were wrong, we obviously wish we hadn’t done it,” Dimon told analysts. “We’re very early in the loss curve.”


"It's gettin' so a businessman can't expect no return from a fixed fight. Now, if you can't trust a fix, what can you trust?"

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