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FDIC Consumer News
Agencies Looking to Update CRA Rules
The FDIC and the other federal banking regulators are considering updating their Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) rules to reflect recent changes in the financial industry and the needs of consumers. The CRA encourages institutions to meet the credit needs of their entire communities.
As part of the review process, the agencies held four public hearings around the country in July through mid-August. For more details, see www.fdic.gov/news/news/press/2010/pr10134.html.
New Rules Restrict Fees, Expiration Dates on Gift Cards
New Federal Reserve Board rules restrict inactivity fees and generally prohibit expiration dates of less than five years on retail gift cards used to make purchases at stores and service providers. The rules, which apply to cards sold on or after August 22, 2010, mostly cover gift cards that can be used to buy goods or services at sponsoring or issuing merchants, and gift cards used at any merchant that accepts the card's brand (MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover).
The rules do not apply to reloadable cards that are not marketed and intended for gift-giving purposes (for example, a reloadable, branded card that is intended to be used like a checking account) and cards that are given as a reward or as part of a promotion. For more information, visit www.federalreserve.gov/consumerinfo/wyntk_giftcards.htm.
Processing Changes Dramatically Cut the "Hold" on Deposited Checks
A major restructuring of the Federal Reserve Board's check-processing operations has resulted in most deposited checks being available for withdrawal within two business days unless the bank provides a note listing a valid reason to hold the funds longer. Under previous rules, a depositor would have to wait from one to 11 business days before funds could be withdrawn.
Bank funds-availability policies can vary, so ask a customer service representative if you want to know when a deposit can be withdrawn.
FDIC Unveils Updates to "EDIE" the Insurance Estimator
The FDIC has launched an updated version of "EDIE," our online Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator, which helps consumers determine if their deposit accounts at FDIC-insured institutions are fully protected.
The latest EDIE provides new functions requested by consumers and bankers, such as the ability to calculate the deposit insurance coverage for irrevocable trust accounts (held in the name of trusts that cannot be changed) and for deposit accounts by government entities such as cities and counties. You can find EDIE at www.fdic.gov/edie.
Last Updated 8/23/2010