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What Exactly Does "FDIC-Insured" Mean?

Written by: Sara Coulter |

MEMBER FDIC.

You see it on the bank doors, drive-up windows and on signs inside the branches.  It accompanies your bank’s logo on letterhead and brochures.  You hear it at the end of radio and TV commercials.  It really is a big deal, but what exactly does "Member FDIC" mean?

headshot of Franklin D. Roosevelt

A Little History

In 1907, and again during the Great Depression in the 30’s, the public was skeptical about the financial health of banks in general.  In a panic, large numbers of depositors withdrew their money from their accounts, forcing banks to run out of cash and file bankruptcy.  Many people were left high and dry, losing all of their deposits, which sent the economy into a tailspin.

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Banking Act of 1933, establishing the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as a temporary agency.  (The Banking Act of 1935 made it permanent and protects our deposits today.)

Click here to listen to President Roosevelt talk about the role of banks and what was happening in the country in March of 1933.

What is deposit insurance?

It’s a guarantee by the FDIC to cover all of your deposits, dollar-for-dollar up to $250,000, if an FDIC-insured financial institution fails.

woman on computer opening a bank account

How can I get it?

If you bank with an FDIC-insured financial institution (like First Bank), your deposits are automatically insured (up to $250,000) when you open your account!

How much do I qualify for?

The standard deposit insurance amount is $250,000 per depositor, per FDIC-insured bank, per ownership category.   

So the next time you visit your bank, look for the Member FDIC words or logo.  And if you'd like to know more about deposit insurance, visit the FDIC at www.FDIC.gov.

Topics: Wealth, Business, Personal

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