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FDIC Comes to Charlotte Looking for a Few Good Bankers

With its population of laid-off bank workers, Charlotte is prime recruiting ground for the FDIC, and yesterday it came calling. The FDIC has two main responsibilities - keeping an eye on the financial health of U.S. banks and cleaning up after the ones that fail. But consider this: During the three years leading up to the financial crisis a total of just three banks failed. Then came 2008. Since the start of that year 194 banks have gone under. The FDIC can barely keep up, and laid-off bankers like Lonnie Dawes are just what it needs. "I think it'd be a great opportunity, I mean I studied about it in grad school," says Dawes, chuckling. "It'd be something different to make sure things are taken care of and disposed of properly." Dawes figures helping to regulate and unravel banks would be pretty different from what he did working at E*Trade Bank in Charlotte. But FDIC deputy regional director Mike Dean says the basic skills are similar, "because in a lot of cases they're very familiar with the regulations anyway and I think the transition is a little more transparent." Which is why Dean came the nation's second largest banking center yesterday. More than 250 bankers, accountants, analysts and IT professionals filled the FDIC's information sessions to capacity. The FDIC won't say how many positions it has open, but they're all over the country and they pay as much as $95,000 a year. Dean says he gets no shortage of applications, but he's looking for the best talent. You can't even apply to the FDIC without access to a secure website. Attendees left yesterday's event with that information and the hope of a job, albeit a temporary one. Dean says new FDIC positions will last only two years. "You know, we are in a banking crisis, we don't expect it to last forever," says Dean. "And that's why we're trying to taper how we bring people on. We don't want to be in a situation where we're in an overstaffed capacity. So we give the two year terms and hopefully things will start to settle down. " No sign of that just yet, though. Last week another four banks failed.