FDIC sign getting makeover for digital age

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WASHINGTON — The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is seeking feedback on plans to update its logo and the iconic FDIC sign that customers see at bank branches and ATMs.

The agency issued a request for information this week asking for ideas on adapting the sign, which was last significantly updated in 2006, for the digital age. Comments are due March 19.

A new sign will aim to address “significant changes in the marketplace, technological developments, and rapidly evolving consumer behaviors” in recent years, the FDIC said. It can also clear up any "misrepresentations — intentional or unintentional — concerning" the availability of deposit insurance through nonbanks.

Since the Federal Deposit Insurance Act was signed in 1950, insured depository institutions have been required to display the FDIC’s logo physically wherever deposits are taken at a bank’s branches. The agency also requires that its insured banks include the ubiquitous “Member FDIC” line in advertisements.

Since the Federal Deposit Insurance Act was signed in 1950, insured depository institutions have been required to display the FDIC’s logo physically wherever deposits are taken at a bank’s branches.
Since the Federal Deposit Insurance Act was signed in 1950, insured depository institutions have been required to display the FDIC’s logo physically wherever deposits are taken at a bank’s branches.

But current regulation says little about how the FDIC’s logo should be displayed in digital mediums like inside a bank’s mobile app, despite the pace of consumer movement away from physical bank branches.

The FDIC asked whether banks should be required to display its logo on websites and mobile apps when customers open accounts or deposit funds in insured accounts, as well if banks are already doing so. The agency also asks about displaying the logo “beyond a two-dimensional placard, appropriate in places such as cafes and through digital means.”

The RFI suggests the FDIC is open to adapting signage rules to “newer forms of advertising,” though the agency did not specify exactly which mediums would apply.

The FDIC also asked the industry whether nonbanks advertising with FDIC-insured bank partners should use the agency's seal, or if the agency should take the opposite approach and prohibit the use of the FDIC’s likeness, “given that the deposit product or service is from an uninsured entity.”

The FDIC also said it was considering solutions to combat bad actors using the FDIC sign for fraud. In a world where any scammer can copy and paste the FDIC’s logo into an email asking for personal data, the agency said it was “exploring whether technological or other solutions might enable consumers to validate when they are interacting with a FDIC-insured financial institution, and not a fraudster, when visiting websites and using apps on mobile devices.”

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FDIC Deposit insurance Digital banking ATMs Branch banking Policymaking
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