552 banks are currently at risk for shutting down
Earlier this week, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. came out with its third-quarter report, stating that the number of troubled banks has climbed to 552.
The report reveals the health of the banking system as of late September. The current total of troubled banks is up from 416 at the end of June, and 305 at the end of March.
It looks bad, and it is, but at the same time, the United States has approximately 8,300 banks total, so the number of "problem banks," as the FDIC calls them, is still relatively small -- under 10% of the nation's banks.
That's not to say you have a 10% chance of your bank going under, though, because if your bank has been listed as a problem bank, that doesn't mean it will close. According to CNNMoney.com, just 13% of banks that have shown up on the FDIC's problem list have shut down.
Unfortunately, if you're thinking, "Boy, I need to see the FDIC's problem banks list," you can't. They don't publish it, which makes sense because seeing it could just make a bad problem worse. If the list were public, people might take their money out of the troubled banks, causing a run on the banks, thus pretty much finishing them off.
For what it's worth, 552 problem banks isn't a record. In 1993, in the aftermath of the infamous savings and loan scandal, the FDIC listed 575 banks as troubled.
All in all, 124 banks this year have so far failed.