FDIC Consumer News - Winter 2017
BankFind, FDIC’s website featuring information about individual insured banks, is now faster and easier to use. The pull-down menus have been expanded to help visitors more quickly find an insured bank’s office locations, financial data and other information. BankFind now also displays other names (often called “trade names”) that banks use for marketing, including on the Internet.
The FDIC has launched an online resource center about affordable mortgage products and programs from federal agencies and government-sponsored enterprises. The website is primarily intended to help bankers learn about these programs, but consumers may also find it useful to understand options to help finance a single-family mortgage.
The FDIC also has a new Spanish-language website with links to the agency's available resources in Spanish. "'Recursos para Consumidores en español" features links to information on topics such as deposit insurance, consumer protections and the FDIC's Money Smart education program. The goal is to help Spanish-speaking consumers learn more about the benefits of a banking relationship.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has revamped its website that helps members of the military and their families make financial decisions in light of frequent relocations and deployment. The website features consumer information from the FTC, the Department of Defense, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and others. The new site can be viewed on mobile devices as well as personal computers, and features new tips from the FTC on topics such as renting or buying a new place to live, managing money on the move, and avoiding scams and identity theft.
The CFPB has issued a new rule to strengthen the protections for most prepaid debit cards. Starting October 1, 2017, the rule provides fraud and lost-card protections to prepaid cards, which typically have a cash value deposited onto them instead of being linked to a checking or savings account. The CFPB rule also includes requirements for assisting consumers who report errors with prepaid card transactions, and new disclosures about fees and other features of a card. And if the prepaid card allows a consumer to borrow funds (for example, to cover an overdraft) the rule provides many of the protections that consumers have with credit cards. In addition, the new rule requires certain disclosures from financial institutions, including a statement that consumers should register their prepaid cards for FDIC deposit insurance eligibility, where applicable, and other consumer protections. Learn more about prepaid debit cards at From the FDIC Inbox: Our Answers to Common Financial Questions.
Scam calls and emails pretending to be from the IRS continue to lure in victims. As we have previously reported, be on guard against threatening phone calls or emails from thieves who falsely claim to be from the IRS. Sometimes the perpetrators demand immediate payment of back taxes or try to trick people into revealing Social Security numbers and other personal information that can be used to steal identities and money, including tax refunds. Go to the IRS website for the latest tips.
The CFPB has started a “book club” to help adults teach children about money management. To find the suggested list of popular books for children ages 4 to 10 and corresponding discussion guides that parents, caregivers and teachers can use, visit the Money as You Grow book club page. To learn about related initiatives from the FDIC and the CFPB, such as the Money Smart for Young People curriculum for Grades Pre-K through 12, start at the FDIC's Teacher Online Resource Center.