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4000 - Advisory Opinions

Whether FDIC Logo May be Displayed on Lapel Pin Worn by Bank Employees


April 13, 1992

Valerie J. Best, Counsel

I am writing in response to your letter concerning the FDIC logo. You ask if it would be permissible to use the FDIC logo on a lapel pin. We understand that the lapel pin would display the FDIC logo and nothing else. The lapel pin would be worn by the employees of an insured depository institution.

We are concerned that such a lapel pin would lead observers to believe that the individual wearing the pin is an FDIC employee. Consequently, we would discourage the use of such a lapel pin.

It may be possible to style a pin that does not suggest to a casual observer that the individual wearing the pin is an FDIC employee, however.

For example, the phrase "FDIC Insured" or "Member FDIC" used in connection with the name of the insured depository institution would be acceptable:

First National Bank or First National Bank
FDIC Insured Member FDIC

You also ask us to advise you of restrictions in using the logo. The use of the FDIC name to represent falsely that deposits, obligations, certificates or shares are insured or guaranteed by the FDIC is a violation of the United States Criminal Code (18 U.S.C. 709).

I am not sure from your letter whether or not you are interested in the deposit insurance signs that depository institutions are required to display at each teller window or station where deposits are normally received in their principal place of business and at all of their branches. In the event you are interested, I have enclosed a copy of the FDIC's regulations governing the display of the deposit insurance signs. I have also enclosed a copy of a letter dated April 1, 1992 from Assistant General Counsel Roger A. Hood concerning the color of the signs. Also enclosed is a letter dated July 25, 1991 discussing the display of insurance signs by savings associations.

I hope this information is helpful to you. Please call me at (202) 898-3812 if you have any questions. I apologize for the delay in responding to your inquiry. We were not able to answer your letter as quickly as we would have liked due to the unusual number of inquiries we have been receiving.

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