(Adds Bair comments, context)
NEW YORK Jan 15 Federal Deposit Insurance Corp
chair Sheila Bair said on Thursday it would be a big surprise
to the U.S. bank regulator if a large U.S. bank were to be
She spoke as shares of Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) and
Citigroup Inc (C.N) plummeted on worries the banks may need
more government help to handle soaring credit losses.
Asked by reporters whether the FDIC anticipated
nationalizing any large U.S. banks, Bair said: "I can't
comment. I'd be very surprised if that happened."
Bair, speaking to reporters before a luncheon of the
RainbowPUSH coalition in New York, also addressed concerns that
the rising number of U.S. bank failures could overwhelm the
regulator's insurance fund.
"The FDIC will never go broke. We are still running at a
surplus, our reserves seem to be quite fit for the projected
closure activity that we have," Bair said.
Bair said the FDIC won't rule out that in the future they
may need to borrow from the Treasury, but added: "At this time
it doesn't look like we will have to do that."
(Reporting by Al Yoon, Editing by James Dalgleish)