NOVEMBER 17, 2010, 7:54 A.M. ET
U.S. Sets 50 Bank Probes
FDIC Steps Up Investigations at Failed Lenders; ‘These NumbersWill Increase’
By JEAN EAGLESHAM
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is conducting about 50 criminal investigations of former executives, directors and employees at U.S. banks that have failed since the start of the financial crisis.The agency responsible for dealing with bank failures is stepping up its effort to punish alleged recklessness, fraud and other criminal behavior, as U.S. officials did in the wake of the savings-and-loan crisis a generation ago. More than 300 banks and savings institutions have failed since the start of 2008, but just a fewhave led to criminal charges being filed against bank officials. In an interview, Fred W. Gibson, deputy inspector general at the FDIC, which works with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate crime at financial institutions, said the probes involve failed banks of all sizes in cities across the U.S. The FDIC is also ramping up civil claims to recover money from former bankers at busted lenders. He declined to identify any of the people or banks under investigation.