The Year in Emerging Risks

The Insurance Research Letter

PUBLISHED ON: June 2, 2011

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The time is ripe to take a look back at key developments in insurance recovery in 2010 and trends that are likely to be salient in 2011.

Bank failures continue to loom: In 2010, 157 U.S. banks failed, costing the FDIC $22.4 billion the highest tally since 1992, the peak of the savings and loan crisis. At that time, the FDIC sought aggressively to recoup a portion of its losses through law suits against directors and officers. Moreover, from 1990 to 1995, federal officials prosecuted almost 2,000 bank insiders. Bank officers would do well to assume that the past is prelude, though the legal action is just getting started. Early this year, the FDIC said that as of mid-December it had authorized lawsuits against 109 directors and officers of failed financial institutions, seeking to recover nearly $2.5 billion. The FDIC is also reportedly conducting approximately 50 criminal investigations targeting executives, directors and employees of recently failed banks. The FDIC's problem list is over 884 banks.