Before Suburban Bank's failure earlier this year, the last Maryland bank to fail was in 1992, when Second National Federal Savings Bank - then the largest thrift on the Eastern Shore - was closed.
"We clearly understand that there are challenges facing banks - and these challenges become more difficult when the economy moves downward and unemployment rises," said Sarah Bloom Raskin, Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation, which regulates state-chartered institutions. "Bank performance is a lagging indicator of the economy, and we anticipate that as the economy improves, the challenges facing our banks will diminish also."
Kathleen Murphy, president and chief executive of the Maryland Bankers Association, noted Friday that 92 percent of Maryland-based banks are considered well-capitalized, the highest regulatory distinction.
Nationwide, 84 banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. have failed since the beginning of the year, including Bradford.
The FDIC reported this week that the number of "problem banks" increased to 416, up from 305 in the first quarter. The agency also said its deposit insurance fund had declined 20 percent to $10.4 billion, its lowest level in nearly 16 years.
Baltimore Sun reporters Lorraine Mirabella and Eileen Ambrose contributed to this article.
Branches:: Towson, Lutherville, Jacksonville, Pikesville, Parkville, White Marsh, Patterson Park in Baltimore city, Ellicott City and Glen Burnie
Assets:: $452 million
Q&A Information for customers
The nine branches of Baltimore-based Bradford Bank, closed by regulators Friday, will reopen today as branches of
M&T Bank. Banking will remain much the same for Bradford customers, who automatically become depositors of M&T. Customers can access their money over the weekend using their checks or ATM and debit cards. And they should continue to use their usual Bradford branch while M&T absorbs the bank.
Beware of scams where individuals try to solicit personal information by pretending to be from Bradford, M&T or the FDIC. After a bank failure in Maryland earlier this year, customers received automated phone calls seeking account numbers and other identifying information.
Customers may call the FDIC directly with questions at 800-640-2693 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Thereafter, call from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Or, visit the FDIC's Web site at www.fdic.gov/bank/individual /failed/bradford-md.html.
Question: What happens to my Bradford account?
Answer: All Bradford deposit accounts -- including checking, savings, certificates of deposits and retirement accounts -- have been transferred to M&T. No one lost any money on deposit in Bradford Bank.
Question: Can I still use my ATM or debit card and bill-paying?
Answer: Your cards and bill-paying will continue to work as usual.
Question: What happens to my loan or mortgage with Bradford?
Answer: M&T has assumed all of Bradford's mortgages and loans. Your payment amount and due date don't change. Any payments usually deducted from your account will continue. Make checks payable to Bradford and mail payments to the same address.
Question: My loan was still being processed. Now what?
Answer: Contact your loan officer. The contacts remain the same.
Question: Will direct deposits change?
Answer: Direct deposits, including Social Security checks, will continue.
Question: Can I get the contents of my safe-deposit box?
Answer: Yes. It's business as usual.
Question: Will I continue to earn interest at the same rate?
Answer: Any interest on deposits accrued through Aug. 28 will be paid at the same rate. M&T will review rates and notify you of any changes.
Question: I'm already an M&T customer, and now my deposits there will exceed $250,000. Am I no longer fully insured?
Answer: Your Bradford accounts will be separately insured for at least six months after the merger, so you have time to restructure your accounts if necessary. Bradford CDs are separately insured until the earliest maturity date after the end of the six-month grace period.