Netbank folds

FDIC shuts down NetBank due to defaults

FDIC / NetBank Info

Comment: My first Internet banking experience was with NetBank. The confusing web interface was a turn off and I switched to IngDirect (which I highly recommend)


NetBank Inc., an online bank with $2.5 billion in assets, was shut down by the government on Friday because of an excessive level of mortgage defaults.

It was the largest savings and loan failure since the tail end of the industry's crisis more than 14 years ago. Federal regulators appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as a receiver for Alpharetta, Ga.-based NetBank.


The FDIC said Friday that $1.5 billion of NetBank's insured deposits will be assumed by ING Bank, also a major online bank that is part of Dutch financial giant ING Groep NV. ING will pay $14 million for the deposits and receive 104,000 new customers.

NetBank, which had no physical branches, sustained significant losses last year "primarily due to early payment defaults on loans sold, weak underwriting, poor documentation, a lack of proper controls, and failed business strategies," the Office of Thrift Supervision said in a statement.

Government shuts down NetBank:
Mortgage defaults cited as FDIC named receiver, ING takes over deposits


While dozens of mortgage companies have closed due to soaring defaults of home loans made to borrowers with weak, or subprime, credit, those problems previously had occurred among non-bank lenders such as New Century Financial Corp. NetBank, in contrast, is federally regulated.

Loose mortgage standards in recent years — especially among lenders catering to subprime borrowers — have resulted in a spike in home loan defaults.

Bert Ely, a banking consultant based in Alexandria, Va., said NetBank was in "deep trouble" before the subprime mortgage market's woes accelerated this year. Regulators, he said, "should have closed it a long time ago."

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