The well-known U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers is facing the possibility of bankruptcy following the collapse Sunday of talks aimed at finding a buyer for the troubled financial institution.

Regulators and bankers had been holding talks aimed at stabilizing the 158-year-old investment bank, but news reports Sunday said Britain's Barclays Plc and Bank America decided against buying Lehman Brothers.

Lehman was once the fourth-largest investment bank in the United States, but bad investments in real estate and other areas brought a drastic fall in the value of Lehman shares recently.

Government and banking officials are concerned that the failure of such a large institution could shake confidence in the financial system and hurt the value of other firms.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, Bloomberg and Reuters.