When people in the U.S. put money in the bank, they know it’s safe. In fact, not a single U.S. person has lost a penny of insured bank deposits since 1933. That’s when the government put in safeguards following the worldwide economic downturn of the Great Depression.
Here are three ways Americans know their money is safe:
- Anyone opening a bank account in the U.S. can look for a logo that says “FDIC,” which stands for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The logo indicates that the institution is affiliated with the FDIC, and that means the money a person puts in checking, savings and other accounts is insured by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.
- In the unlikely event of a bank failure, the FDIC guarantees that people get back their savings up to a certain limit. Today, this limit is $250,000 for a single account.
- Banks also use high-tech fraud detection systems — to prevent hackers from draining accounts with fraudulent transactions.
“Something as basic as an insured deposit account gives households the ability to safely deposit income,” Martin Gruenberg, chairman of the FDIC, said in 2017. “I think that’s something we take for granted, but security of savings is not a small thing.”
The U.S. government also promotes a level playing field by making sure banks and financial companies do not refuse loans or other products based on someone’s race, religion or national origin.
U.S. institutions advocate for people who access financial services that don’t live up to the rules.
Recently, Silicon Valley Bank in California and Signature Bank of New York failed as deposit holders withdrew large amounts of money. But the FDIC took control of those banks’ assets and, using money from the fees that banks pay in to the deposit insurance fund, assured all depositors that their money will be there when they need it.
On March 13, President Biden said, “The banking system is safe,” and the Federal Reserve announced a new lending facility for the nation’s banks to protect them from financial risks.
A version of this article was published April 25, 2018.