Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

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Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
Fdic 276.jpg
Founded 1933
Web site www.fdic.gov

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is an independent federal government agency created by Congress through the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 during the Great Depression to maintain public confidence in the U.S. financial system. FDIC does this by insuring deposits in banks and thrift institutions for at least $100,000, by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to the deposit insurance funds; and by limiting the effect on the economy and the financial system when a bank or thrift institution fails.

The FDIC receives no Congressional appropriations – it is funded by premiums that banks and thrift institutions pay for deposit insurance coverage and from earnings on investments in U.S. Treasury securities. The FDIC insures more than $3 trillion of deposits in U.S. banks and thrifts – deposits in virtually every bank and thrift in the country.[1] As of Q3 2022, the Deposit Insurance Fund totaled $125.5bn.[2]

The FDIC insures deposits only. It does not insure securities, bonds, mutual funds or similar types of investments that banks and thrift institutions may offer.

The FDIC's stated mission is to maintain stability and public confidence in the nation's financial system. In support of this goal, the FDIC:

  • Insures deposits,
  • Examines and supervises financial institutions for safety and soundness and consumer protection,
  • Works to make large and complex financial institutions resolvable, and
  • Manages receiverships.[3]


An independent agency of the federal government, the FDIC was created in 1933 in response to the thousands of bank failures that occurred in the 1920s and early 1930s. Since the start of FDIC insurance on Jan. 1, 1934, no depositor has lost a single cent of insured funds as a result of a failure.

The FDIC said in early January of 2011 that as of mid-December it had authorized lawsuits against 109 directors and officers of failed financial institutions in an effort to recover nearly $2.5 billion. It was anticipated that the agency, which had to contend with 157 bank failures in 2010, could sue bank directors and officers for what it considered gross or simple negligence. The FDIC guarantees individual deposits of up to $250,000, but when a bank fails, the agency’s insurance fund takes a hit, and lawsuits against negligent bank officers are one way it seeks to recover money.[4]

In August of 2017 the FDIC sued Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland, Rabobank and UBS, as well as the British Bankers’ Association, in a London court for fraud in the Libor rate-settling process, after a similar lawsuit failed in New York City.[5]

In November of 2023, a Wall Street Journal investigation based on interviews with FDIC employees and legal filings found that the agency had enabled and failed to punish male FDIC employees for sexual harassment, misogyny and a "toxic atmosphere."[6] [7]

Key People[edit]