The year 2008 marks the 75th anniversary of the FDIC. For 75 years, deposit insurance has given consumers peace of mind that their insured money is safe. No depositor has ever lost a penny of insured funds at an FDIC-insured institution. FDIC has been and continues to be the pillar of the American Banking System.
To celebrate its 75th anniversary and to demonstrate ongoing commitment to consumers, Chairman Bair launched the Face Your Finances road show. The initiative was announced on June 16, 2008, at the anniversary launch in Washington, DC. Chairman Bair traveled to Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, New York City, and Kansas City, Missouri. In each city, Chairman Bair met with community leaders to discuss deposit insurance, what it means to be an FDIC-insured institution, the costs and benefits of banking services, and the consumer protections resulting from federal regulation of the banking industry. Panel discussions were held, addressing bank services as they relate to building assets and accessing mainstream credit services, including mortgage loans. The discussions were intended to elicit information that can be used in financial literacy initiatives and informational materials.
This note was issued by the Farmer’s Exchange Bank of Gloucester, Rhode Island, in 1808; the following year, Farmer’s Exchange became the first bank in the U.S. to fail.
Additionally, the FDIC has on display at its headquarters location, an exhibit that shows FDIC’s history and explores how the FDIC and the banking industry have changed over time. The photographs, charts, cartoons, maps and other images presented will take visitors from inception through the banking and savings and loan crisis to a typical week in the life of the FDIC today. An audio-visual portion of the exhibit offers excerpts from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first fireside chat addressing the 1933 banking crisis, as well as film clips on the creation of the agency and more. Following are excerpts from the exhibit.
The first bank failure in U.S. history occurred
in 1809, and many more would follow.
For about the next hundred years, the country’s recurring financial crises were often accompanied by bank failures. Fourteen states responded by creating bank obligation/deposit insurance systems (none survived beyond 1930). Not until the tremendous dislocation of the Great Depression, though, was federal deposit insurance enacted. Its value became apparent immediately: the number of bank failures declined sharply, and depositor confidence returned.
On August 5, 1931, depositors congregated outside the closed American Union Bank at 37th Street and 8th Avenue in New York City. Courtesy of Corbis Images