Officials in three states with a system of privately insured savings and loan associations say they have taken measures to prevent a crisis similar to Maryland's and that they foresee no difficulties.
Banking officials in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts said their situations are not comparable to Maryland and Ohio, which earlier had a statewide banking crisis, and that they have enough cash to handle any runs.
However, thrifts in North Carolina and Massachusetts are moving toward replacing private insurance with federal insurance.
Officials in the three states had defended private insurance at congressional hearings in the wake of the collapse of Ohio's private fund. But pressure has mounted for an end to the private funds, which critics say cannot provide the cash and the public confidence required to prevent panics.
In North Carolina, all 30 savings and loan associations and 25 credit unions are in the process of transferring their insurance from a private company to federal agencies.
The switch is described by state officials as an effort, begun in the wake of the Ohio collapse, to bolster public confidence in the institutions. "There has been no noticeable reaction other than business as usual," said George King, director of the savings and loan division of the North Carolina Department of Commerce, which regulates S&Ls.
Donald R. Beason, president of the private insurer, the Financial Institutions Assurance Corp. (FIAC), said, "When you give people a preference, they'll choose federal insurance every time, and I don't blame them."
FIAC has $72 million in reserves, plus authority to borrow $75 million. It protects deposits up to $100,000.
No unusual withdrawals were reported at the 55 North Carolina institutions. At the FIAC-insured State Employees Credit Union, the nation's third-largest credit union, net deposits rose $1.5 million Tuesday.
In Massachusetts, 50 of 145 savings banks are federally insured and most of the remainder have applied for federal insurance, according to state banking commissioner Paul E. Bulman. The 50 represent 60 percent to 70 percent of the $24 billion deposit liability.
The state's private insurer, older than federal insurance agencies, reports that it has $400 million in cash. It has been funded on the basis of insurance premiums and interest on the premiums since 1932.
An additional 100 cooperative banks, similar to state-chartered S&Ls in other states, have an aggregate liability of $5 billion. Their private insurer has $140 million on hand. All have indicated that they will apply for federal insurance.
In Pennsylvania, savings associations are prepared to "meet all possible withdrawals," according to W.L. Brenneman, director of the savings bureau of the state's Department of Banking. If any of the 178 state-chartered associations need money, he said, arrangements have been made for them to go the Federal Reserve Banks in Philadelphia and Cleveland.
More than 100 of the state-chartered S&Ls are federally insured. Of the remaining privately insured S&Ls, none has indicated it will seek federal insurance, officials said.
"I don't think a run could happen here," Brenneman said. "Savings and loans here have been very conservative. People have confidence in respective savings and loan associations, and properly so."