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FDIC: Deposits safe amid coronavirus crisis

FDIC: Deposits safe amid coronavirus crisis
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The U.S. regulator responsible for protecting U.S. bank deposits stressed Wednesday that Americans can feel confident storing their money in federally insured banks amid a financial panic driven by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a Wednesday statement, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) sought to remind "Americans that FDIC-insured banks remain the safest place to keep their money." The agency also warned Americans to be vigilant against “recent scams where imposters are pretending to be agency representatives to perpetrate fraudulent schemes.”

Established in 1933 after the 1929 financial crisis, the FDIC insures up to $250,000 per depositor at thousands of federally backed U.S. banks. The agency, which is independently funded by fees paid by banks, insures more than $14 trillion in deposits at 5,120 banks across the U.S. as of March 12, according to FDIC data.

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“Since 1933, no depositor has ever lost a penny of FDIC-insured funds,” the agency said in the Wednesday statement, adding that while banks may cut branch service hours, “customers’ deposits remain safe in these banks, as does customer access to their funds.”

The FDIC’s warning comes amid rising anxiety about the economic and financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Efforts to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus have already led to thousands of layoffs in the restaurant and bar, hospitality, travel and retail industries and could plunge the U.S. economy into a recession.

The stock market has crashed from record highs set in February as the pandemic escalates, and the Federal Reserve has offered more than $1 trillion in short-term loans and purchases to keep the bond market that underpins the U.S. credit system flowing.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race Scott Atlas resigns as coronavirus adviser to Trump MORE and lawmakers in both parties have proposed close to $1 trillion in fiscal stimulus intended to help households and businesses facing sudden financial hardship weather an economic slowdown that depends largely on the path and response to the pandemic.