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Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation promotes and preserves public confidence in U.S. financial institutions by insuring bank and thrift deposits up to the legal limit of $100,000; by periodically examining State-chartered banks that are not members of the Federal Reserve System for safety and soundness as well as compliance with consumer protection laws; and by liquidating assets of failed institutions to reimburse the insurance funds for the cost of failures.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was established under the Banking Act of 1933 in response to numerous bank failures during the Great Depression. FDIC began insuring banks on January 1, 1934. As of April 1, 2006, the deposit insurance coverage on certain retirement accounts at a bank or savings institution was raised to $250,000. The basic insurance coverage for other deposit accounts remains at $100,000.

The FDIC does not operate on funds appropriated by Congress. Its income is derived from insurance premiums on deposits held by insured banks and savings associations and from interest on the required investment of the premiums in U.S. Government securities. It also has authority to borrow from the Treasury up to $30 billion for insurance purposes.

Management of the FDIC consists of a Board of Directors that includes the Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Appointive Director. The Comptroller of the Currency, whose office supervises national banks, and the Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, which supervises federally or State-chartered savings associations, are also members of the Board. All five Board members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, with no more than three being from the same political party.

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