It's actually quite surprising the FDIC made any advance dividend to uninsured depositors, considering the agency's insurance fund is on the hook for so much. For insured deposits made through brokers, which totaled $6.88 billion as of March 31, it will take longer for depositors to gain access to their money. As we discussed when ANB Financial failed, it can take several weeks for the FDIC to sort through a large institution's brokered deposits. The reason it takes so long is that when an institution like IndyMac gathers deposits through a broker, the accounts are maintained in the name of the broker. Only the broker has the records of individual deposit customers. The FDIC will be mailing packages to all the brokers, so they can obtain customer information which the regulator will then cross-reference with IndyMac's retail deposit records, to make sure each customer's total insured deposits are calculated correctly. It's very important that customers who took out CDs with IndyMac through their brokers contact the brokers to help move the process along.
Schumer Has a Point
While IndyMac faced a litany of problems -- rapidly declining loan quality, the inability to sell its Alt-A (low-documentation) mortgages and its failure to raise capital -- the institution's run on deposits was ignited by Sen. Charles Schumer's (D., N.Y.) letters to the OTS, FDIC and the Federal Housing Finance Board (the regulator of the Federal Home Loan Bank System), which the senator leaked to the Wall Street Journal on June 26. Schumer was concerned about IndyMac's declining health, and the threat to the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.