WASHINGTON (5/12/08)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) increased its reserves for anticipated bank failures by 370%, according to a letter to stakeholders released Wednesday. During the first quarter of 2008, the FDIC raised its reserves from $124 million to $583 million. The increase is “due to the continued deterioration in the banking industry’s financial conditions,” wrote FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair. The FDIC also increased its provision for insurance losses by 819%. The provision was $525 million in the first quarter of 2008, compared with -$73 million at the same time in 2007. The FDIC plans to increase staffing in the Division of Resolutions and Receiverships by up to 60% to handle a likely increase in bank failures and prepare for expected retirements in the division’s workforce, Bair added. “We are focusing on maintaining the safety and soundness of the institutions we insure and are prepared to move promptly to handle any bank failures that may occur,” Bair said. For more information, use the link.