Failure of Silverton raises concerns about other bankers' banks


Small community banks have a banker, called a correspondent bank (more popularly known as a bankers' bank), that offers services such as check clearing, credit card operations, and other things that small banks find too costly to do efficiently and effectively on their own. Essentially, bankers' banks serve as the middle man between community banks and the Federal Reserve.

For the first time ever, one of these bankers' banks failed in April -- Silverton Bank of Atlanta -- and left 1,400 community banks in 44 states scurrying for new service providers. The FDIC contracted with another bankers' bank -- The Independent Bankers Bank of Irving, Tex. -- to smooth out the transition to a new bankers' bank.