How to Compare the Safety of Banks

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Choosing a safe bank is paramount to safely managing your finances.

Choosing a bank to safely and securely handle your money is one of the biggest decisions you can make when dealing with finances. From Jan. 1 to June 11, 2010, 82 banks failed, according to the FDIC failed bank list. Choosing a bank based on its safety is far more important than any other factor and will put you at ease knowing that your finances are held in the hands of a safe, reliable and secure institution.


    • 1

      Use the FDIC Bank Find website (see reference) to ensure that your bank is insured. Search by bank name to find a specific bank listing, or city or ZIP code to find a variety of banks in your area. FDIC insured banks guarantee that your deposited money will remain safe up to $250,000, even if the bank fails.

    • 2

      Visit Bank Rate's bank ratings website (see reference). Select either "Banks/Thrifts" or "Credit Unions."

    • 3

      Type in the name or part of the name of the financial institution in the provided space. Select "All Ratings" for "Star Rating" and "All" for "Asset Size." Click "See Results."

    • 4

      Review the information given on the next page. Your selected financial institution safety report will contain a star rating and asset size. The star rating ranges from 1 to 5, with 5 regarded as "Superior" and 1 as "Lowest Rated."

Tips & Warnings

  • Bank Rate's system of scoring is based on its "Safe and Sound" research methods. It applies more than 20 tests to each financial institution to measure its capital adequacy, asset quality, profitability and liquidity.

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