The Federal Trade Commission approved a final rule requiring depository institutions that lack federal deposit insurance to disclose that information to consumers.
Most depository institutions — including all federally chartered and most state-chartered banks, thrifts and credit unions — are required to have federal deposit insurance that currently guarantees all deposits up to $250,000 per depositor.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act — adopted in 1991 following the collapse of savings and loans — requires institutions without that insurance to provide disclosures that they lack it and directed the FTC to develop regulations for these required disclosures. But several issues, including Congress preventing the FDIC from spending money on the effort for the past dozen years, has prevented any rules until now.
The rule announced Tuesday requires that institutions without federal deposit insurance disclose they aren't federally insured and that the federal government doesn't guarantee consumers will get their money back if the institution fails. Those disclosures must be made on account statements, in advertising and inside branches at deposit windows.
According to the FTC, about 170 state-chartered credit unions in about nine states don't have federal deposit insurance, and instead protect their customers through private deposit insurance. In Puerto Rico, the government provides deposit insurance for non-federal credit unions.