Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank recently failed, causing concern about the safety of depositors’ money, especially for those in the tech industry. Silicon Valley Bank faced a bank run when too many depositors tried to withdraw their money, causing the bank to sell its securities at a steep loss, resulting in failure. Regulators took control of Signature Bank to protect depositors after too many people withdrew money. However, regulators have guaranteed all deposits of the two banks and instituted a program to protect other banks from deposit runs.
The good news is that your money is safe if it’s in a bank insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), and you have less than $250,000 there. Nearly all banks are FDIC insured, and you can look for the FDIC logo at bank teller windows or on the bank entrance. Credit unions are insured by the National Credit Union Administration. However, if you have over $250,000 in one bank, experts recommend moving the remainder of your money to a different financial institution.
To ensure that your bank is behaving well, Caleb Silver, editor in chief at Investopedia, advises watching the stock price of your bank and its quarterly and annual reports. Starting a Google alert for your bank may also help keep you informed. If you have more than $250,000 in your bank, you can protect up to $500,000 by opening a joint account with someone else or move to another financial institution and have up to $250,000 in each account to ensure FDIC coverage.
Despite the recent uncertainty, experts do not recommend withdrawing cash from your account as keeping your money in financial institutions, especially when the amount is insured, is safer than keeping it at home. Typically, depositors, both insured and uninsured, get their money back after a bank failure, although uninsured depositors may have to wait some time and may lose up to 10-15% of their savings.