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FDIC seeking office space in Southern California

Posted by ecoshift on October 22, 2008

FDIC seeking office space in Southern California – Los Angeles Times
The agency needs office space while it liquidates the assets of failed banks and thrifts. The search is focused on Orange County, a source says.
By E. Scott Reckard and Roger Vincent
October 22, 2008

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. plans soon to sign a major lease of office space in Orange County, probably in Irvine, where as many as 600 people would liquidate the assets of troubled banks and thrifts based in California and other Western states.

The agency needs 200,000 square feet of space and has looked at locations across Southern California, FDIC spokesman David Barr said.

“It’s a temporary office — three to five years is what we’re looking at,” Barr said Tuesday. “We hope to find the space within the next few weeks.”

Thanks largely to the housing bubble, not a single U.S. bank or thrift failed from June 2004 through February 2007, the longest collapse-free stretch in the FDIC’s 75-year history. But three banks went under last year, 15 have folded this year, and the FDIC has warned of more failures in coming years.

A contingent of FDIC officials has been occupying the Pasadena headquarters of IndyMac Bank, a giant mortgage lender that failed in July. Barr said the FDIC wanted its new office to be reasonably close to IndyMac. The first 100 or so employees could be in the new office by December.

If no buyer emerges for all of IndyMac, the FDIC could wind up with billions of dollars in high-risk IndyMac mortgages — loans that the agency, as the current operator of IndyMac, has been trying to modify en masse to stem foreclosures.

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