BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), U.S. Bancorp ( USB) and eight other holding companies have boosted their deposits by more than a third in the past two years by acquiring failed banks. With the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. offering generous deals for acquirers of failed banks, holding companies of all sizes are emerging as big winners from the credit crisis. In addition to the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, which propped up hundreds of banks with capital infusions from the government, FDIC agreements buffer acquirers from losses on bad loans and prevent the widespread withdrawals that hobbled failed banks. The FDIC has increased insurance limits on individual deposits to $250,000 through 2013 and waived all caps for business checking accounts until June 30. For acquiring companies, the regulator agreed to cover 80% of losses from commercial loans for five years and 80% of residential-loan losses for 10 years. The FDIC will reimburse 95% of losses that exceed agreed-upon thresholds.
When you factor in the loss-sharing agreements with the minimal premiums paid by acquirers, banks are staring at a rare opportunity to increase deposits with limited risk and the possibility of a big payoff years later. As a result, the FDIC has found buyers for most failed banks. The three largest acquirers on the list -- JPMorgan, U.S. Bancorp and BB&T ( BBT) -- have increased deposits by more 30% during the past two years. All three have improved their net interest margins and repaid TARP funds. Despite the run-up in bank stocks since the S&P 500 Financials bottomed on March 6, these companies could rise further when the economy recovers.