IndyMac depositors line up for cash after seizure

Mon Jul 14, 2008 3:17pm EDT
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By Gina Keating

PASADENA, California (Reuters) - Hundreds of worried IndyMac Bancorp Inc customers descended on the company's branches on Monday to withdraw their money, after regulators seized what was once one of the largest mortgage lenders in the United States.

Regulators took over the Pasadena-based lender on Friday after a bank run in which customers -- panicked over IndyMac's survival prospects -- withdrew $1.3 billion over 11 business days, regulators said.

At a branch at IndyMac's headquarters, customers began arriving at 4 a.m., five hours before the doors opened. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp now operates the thrift's 33 Southern California branches.

"I didn't think anything like this would happen," said retired teacher Charles Tengeri from Pasadena, who was first to emerge from the branch after withdrawing $171,000 -- about two-thirds of his life savings. "I withdrew as much as I could. I know it's going to take a little time."

The FDIC said the renamed IndyMac Federal Bank will cover insured deposits, mostly up to $100,000, and initially cover 50 percent of uninsured deposits.

"I have $360,000 in this bank, and I was misled by this bank," said Robert Clark, a Glendale resident. "I gave the names of my mother, my sister and my brother on the account so I thought I would be insured. I don't know what to do. I really don't know what to do."

John Bovenzi, an FDIC official working as IndyMac Federal's chief executive, talked with customers as they waited for the doors to open, assuring one that "this bank is as safe and as sound as any bank in the country right now."

The FDIC is hoping to sell IndyMac within 90 days. Among IndyMac's assets are a rapidly deteriorating mortgage loan book, the 33 branches, and the Financial Freedom unit that makes "reverse" mortgages for older Americans.   Continued...

<p>People enter an IndyMac Bank branch at the company's corporate headquarters, after waiting in line for it to open under federal management, in Pasadena, California July 14, 2008. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>