Zombie Bank

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Zombie Bank'

A bank or financial institution with negative net worth. Although zombie banks typically have a net worth below zero, they continue to operate as a result of government backings or bailouts that allow these banks to meet debt obligations and avoid bankruptcy. Zombie banks often have a large amount of nonperforming assets on their balance sheets, which make future earnings very unpredictable.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Zombie Bank'

The term "zombie bank" was first coined in 1987 to explain the savings and loan crisis that led to a large number of financial institutions declaring bankruptcy. Quite often, when a bank is deemed a zombie bank, customers will flood the institution in a bank run, only worsening the situation. This was seen during the financial crisis of 2008-2009, in which a large number of national and regional banks became insolvent and forced the U.S. government to issue a bailout package to keep the financial sector afloat.

VIDEO

Loading the player...
RELATED TERMS
  1. Bank Reserve

    Bank reserves are the currency deposits which are not lent out ...
  2. Tax Accounting

    Accounting methods that focus on taxes rather than the appearance ...
  3. Resolution Funding Corporation ...

    A mixed-ownership government corporation established by Congress ...
  4. Toxic Assets

    An asset that becomes illiquid when its secondary market disappears. ...
  5. Credit Crisis

    A crisis that occurs when several financial institutions issue ...
  6. Dangerous Asset

    An asset which, by its nature, creates a substantial risk of ...
Related Articles
  1. Insurance

    Should You Buy Banks' "Toxic" Assets?

    The Public-Private Investment Progam is part of the government's effort to fix the failing financial sector. But is it a good investment?
  2. Home & Auto

    From Booms To Bailouts: The Banking Crisis Of The 1980s

    The economic environment of the late 1970s and early 1980s created the perfect storm for a banking crisis.
  3. Bonds & Fixed Income

    Bailout Acronyms 101

    The subprime meltdown gave rise to a mouthful of financial acronyms. Learn how to sort through this alphabet soup.
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Who Is To Blame For The Subprime Crisis?

    From lenders to buyers to hedge funds, it appears everyone has blood on their hands.
  5. Insurance

    A Nightmare On Wall Street

    These tales of banking terror sent shivers down the spines of even the most steadfast bankers.
  6. Stock Analysis

    What’s The Best Airline Stock In the Industry?

    With many airlines forced to seek bankruptcy protection, Southwest Airlines stands out as having consistently remained profitable throughout its history.
  7. Investing

    Deferred Tax Liability

    Deferred tax liability is a tax that has been assessed or is due for the current period, but has not yet been paid. The deferral arises because of timing differences between the accrual of the ...
  8. Investing

    3 Major Risks For Annaly’s Investors

    Thanks to its double-digit dividend yield, Annaly Capital Management has long been a favorite among income-seeking investors.
  9. Investing

    Looking To Invest In the Third-Largest Pharmacy?

    Rite Aid Corporation's $4 billion purchase of the Eckerd retail pharmacy chain during the Great Recession might not have been its savviest decision.
  10. Credit & Loans

    Which Is One Of The Nation’s Safest Banks?

    While there's no such thing as a completely safe bank stock, it's hard to find one that comes closer to the mark than New York Community Bancorp .

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Efficiency Ratio

    Ratios that are typically used to analyze how well a company uses its assets and liabilities internally. Efficiency Ratios ...
  2. Fixed Cost

    A cost that does not change with an increase or decrease in the amount of goods or services produced. Fixed costs are expenses ...
  3. Subsidy

    A benefit given by the government to groups or individuals usually in the form of a cash payment or tax reduction. The subsidy ...
  4. Sunk Cost

    A cost that has already been incurred and thus cannot be recovered. A sunk cost differs from other, future costs that a business ...
  5. Technical Skills

    1. The knowledge and abilities needed to accomplish mathematical, engineering, scientific or computer-related duties, as ...
  6. Prepaid Expense

    A type of asset that arises on a balance sheet as a result of business making payments for goods and services to be received ...
Trading Center