While FDIC-supervised institutions are not at the heart of the problem, the FDIC is concerned that predatory loans, from any source, can harm consumers and damage communities. The FDIC has held nationwide forums with bankers and community leaders to identify predatory lending problems and recommend solutions. "When we meet with bankers, we also encourage them to think creatively and to develop new loan products for borrowers who might otherwise turn to predatory lenders," says Michael J. Zamorski, Director of the FDIC Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection. The FDIC also has urged bankers not to purchase loans made by predatory lenders or provide financial support to these companies.
The FDIC also has unveiled a new adult financial education program called "Money Smart" that is designed to help educators teach money management skills. "Consumer education can be an effective line of defense against predatory tactics," adds Donna J. Gambrell, FDIC Deputy Director for Compliance and Consumer Protection. Organizations interested in more information about the Money Smart program can find details at www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart.