April 9, 2010
John E. Bowman, Acting Director
Office of Thrift Supervision
Sheila C. Bair, Chairman
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
This report presents the results of our review of the failure of Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu), Seattle, Washington; the Office of Thrift Supervision’s (OTS) supervision of the institution; and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) monitoring of WaMu for insurance assessment purposes. OTS was the primary federal regulator for WaMu and was statutorily responsible for conducting full-scope examinations to assess WaMu’s safety and soundness and compliance with consumer protection laws and regulations. FDIC was the deposit insurer for WaMu and was responsible for monitoring and assessing WaMu’s risk to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF). On September 25, 2008, FDIC facilitated the sale of WaMu to JPMorgan Chase & Co in a closed bank transaction that resulted in no loss to the DIF.
Section 38(k) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act requires the cognizant Inspector General to conduct a material loss review (MLR) of the causes of the failure and primary federal regulatory supervision when the failure causes a loss of $25 million to the DIF or 2 percent of an institution’s total assets at the time the FDIC was appointed receiver. Because the FDIC facilitated a sale of WaMu to JPMorgan Chase & Co without incurring a material loss to the DIF, an MLR is not statutorily required. However, given WaMu’s size, the circumstances leading up to WaMu’s sale, and non-DIF losses, such as the loss of shareholder value, the Inspectors General of the Department of the Treasury and FDIC believed that an evaluation of OTS and FDIC actions could provide important information and observations as the Administration and the Congress consider regulatory reform.
Click image to contiue…