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FDIC Celebrates 75 Years as Pillar of American Banking System
Reminds Americans That No Depositor Has Ever Lost a Penny of Insured Funds
Washington, D.C. – Seventy-five years after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed legislation creating the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the FDIC continues to safeguard the money of consumers throughout America in FDIC-insured accounts.
"Deposit insurance has given consumers peace of mind that their insured money is safe. We at the FDIC are very proud to say that no depositor has ever lost a penny of insured funds at an FDIC-insured institution. As bank customers age and accumulate wealth in savings and retirement accounts, now more than ever, it's important for people to know their deposit insurance limits," Chairman Sheila C. Bair said today.
In remarks commemorating the FDIC's 75th anniversary, Bair announced an education campaign designed to raise awareness about deposit insurance limits. The campaign includes national advertising, a multi-city outreach effort, and an award program for outstanding work in financial education. Advertising will appear in major daily newspapers, news magazines, and lifestyle publications to increase awareness about deposit insurance limits.
The basic insurance amount for funds in FDIC-insured banks is $100,000 – per depositor, per bank. Certain retirement accounts are insured up to $250,000 per depositor, per bank. It is possible to obtain coverage above the limits based on how accounts are structured. The FDIC encourages consumers to learn more about deposit insurance limits by visiting www.fdic.gov, calling toll-free 1-877-ASK-FDIC or asking their FDIC-insured bank.
Ronnie McCowan, pastor of St. Timothy Fellowship African American Methodist Episcopal Church (A.M.E.) in Kansas City, knows firsthand the importance of deposit insurance. His nonprofit organization's money was deposited in Douglass National Bank, which failed in January 2008. McCowan said that because of FDIC insurance, he knew that his organization would retain, and be able to access, its funds. All deposits of Douglass National Bank were assumed by Liberty Bank.
"The FDIC is an unsurpassed insurance policy. Because I was aware of deposit insurance limits, I knew that our money was safe," Rev. McCowan said. "Without deposit insurance, I am certain that the Black Heritage Organization could not have continued our important work. Most Americans take the FDIC's deposit insurance for granted, but those of us who've experienced a bank failure know the vital role the FDIC plays in fostering confidence and stability in the banking system and the economy."
Chairman Bair will be embarking on a road tour, stopping in four FDIC regional office cities in July and September, where she will engage guests in discussions about 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 will also address bank services as they relate to building assets and accessing mainstream credit services, including mortgage lending. Moving beyond the topic of financial education to joining the financial mainstream, Chairman Bair wants to stimulate discussion between financial educators and bankers about how banks can expand access to their services among low- and moderate-income communities and other traditionally underserved populations. Finally, the Chairman will be announcing a new award to highlight innovation in financial education. Later this year, Chairman Bair will present awards to six people or organizations (one from each region) for their efforts.
Chairman Bair said, "The FDIC has a proud and storied tradition. We've protected the savings of consumers, we've kept the banking system stable and secure, and we've built confidence and stability into the U.S. economy."
Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to restore public confidence in the nation's banking system. The FDIC insures deposits at the nation's 8,494 banks and savings associations and it promotes the safety and soundness of these institutions by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to which they are exposed. The FDIC receives no federal tax dollars – insured financial institutions fund its operations.
FDIC press releases and other information are available on the Internet at www.fdic.gov, by subscription electronically (go to www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.html) and may also be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information Center (877-275-3342 or 703-562-2200). PR-48-2008
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