Established by Congress in June 1933 in response to the failure of more than 9,000 banks between the stock market crash of October 1929 and March 1933.
An independent agency of the federal government, the FDIC is governed by a five-member board of directors appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The FDIC is subject to audits by the General Accounting Office and oversight by Congress.
The FDIC, like the Federal Reserve System, receives no congressional appropriations to carry out its mission as a deposit insurer and banking regulator. The money for these purposes comes from deposit insurance premiums paid by banks and savings associations and from earnings on investments in U.S. Treasury Securities.
When FDIC insurance began Jan. 1, 1934, coverage was limited to $2,500 per depositor. Over time, Congress increased the coverage limit and in March 1980 raised it to its current $100,000.
- The FDIC administers two federal insurance fundsthe Bank Insurance
Fund (BIF) and the Savings Association Insurance Fund (SIAF); both programs
are backed by the full faith of the U.S. government.
- The FDIC is the primary federal regulator of about 6,000 state-chartered nonmember banks (commercial and savings banks that are not members of the Federal Reserve System).
More information on the FDIC.
Return to Donald Powell interview.