Financial Protection

Is your money in an FDIC-insured bank or not?

Two banks, SVB and Signature, failed this month. Consumers are wondering where their money is safe. I spoke with MarketWatch for a story about what they called “look-alike” banks. Some sites call themselves banks, but aren’t FDIC-insured. Other fintechs admit that they’re not banks, but you may need to click through several screens to find the phrase “not FDIC-insured,” often hidden behind an asterisk.

Of course, it’s been years since the FDIC logo on the outside of a bank meant that all products sold inside were FDIC-insured deposit accounts. Banks have long sold investments, too, but are required to make it clear which products are FDIC-insured deposit accounts.

But as I told the reporter, “Given the current banking turmoil, ‘everyone wants to be associated withe FDIC.'”

I was astonished to see one fintech promise that its “deposits” were backed by “real estate.” Others claim that the FDIC backs their cryptocurrencies. It’s not true. The FDIC says so, as we recently explained. Click here to learn more about FDIC rules that keep your money safe up to $250,000 per account category (yes, you can have more than one fully insured account in one bank).

Also, even the FDIC window sticker isn’t enough anymore. For many consumers, a bank’s “ATM, website, or mobile application effectively serves as a digital teller window.” You can find out more in the FDIC’s request for your comments on Misuse of the FDIC’s Name or Logo and related matters. The extended comment period now goes until April 7th. Be sure to put “12 CFR Part 328 RIN 3064–AF26” in the subject line of your email to “[email protected]“.



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