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Navigating the FDIC's New Regulations: Key Takeaways from the Recent Webinar

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Navigating the FDIC's New Regulations: Key Takeaways from the Recent Webinar

Eric Cook by Eric Cook

Chief Digital Strategist

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Full biography

Eric considers himself a “recovering banker” of 15 years, who for the past eleven years has focused his efforts as a digital strategist, helping his clients (mostly community banks) better understand and leverage the power of the Internet as a strategic business tool. An award-winning web designer with WSI, the world’s largest digital agency network, Eric is a two-time contributing author to the best-selling book Digital Minds – 12 Things Every Business Needs to Know About Digital Marketing. Consistently rated in the top five digital marketing books on Amazon, the book is in its second edition and available in three languages.

A sought-after, nationally-recognized speaker in the financial services industry, Eric is a member of the National Speakers Association and loves sharing his knowledge to help educate and inspire others. He is the co-creator of a weekly webinar show called Free Webinar Wednesdays, founder of the Banker Education Series webinar series, and serves as a faculty member at several banking schools around the country where he teaches bankers about digital strategy, online marketing and social media. He is a WSI Certified LinkedIn Professional and holds undergraduate degrees in business administration and psychology. While working full-time as a community banker, Eric earned his MBA and completed the three-year Graduate School of Banking program in Madison, WI in 2003.

Professionally, Eric helps his clients in all areas of digital marketing, which includes mobile-responsive web development, search engine marketing and optimization, social media strategies, e-mail communication, and “big-picture” digital strategic planning. He’s the co-founder of DigitalRCP.com, a service created to help businesses understand their risk when it comes to operating in today’s digital world. When he’s not helping his clients succeed online, he can typically be found on one of his many bicycles training for his next mountain bike/triathlon race or spending time with his wife and two (very spoiled) golden retrievers.

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Summary:

In a recent webinar hosted by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), they presented key updates to regulations governing the use of FDIC official signs and advertising statements for banks. This comprehensive webinar session aimed to clarify new rules on misrepresentations of insured status and the misuse of the FDIC’s name and logo, with a particular focus on the evolving digital landscape.

As an agency that prides itself on building beautiful (and functional) bank websites, you can imagine this was one event we didn’t want to miss. Most of our banking customers, as well as bank marketers I work with through the various marketing forums I facilitate, are asking questions I was glad to see the FDIC make a proactive effort to help us all understand what’s required.

Overview of the New Regulations

First, a bit about timing and the purpose of the update to set the stage. The final rule, which became effective on April 1, 2024, has a compliance date of January 1, 2025. The intent is to modernize how FDIC-insured institutions use official signs and advertising statements. This update reflects significant changes in banking practices, especially the increased use of digital and mobile channels.

Key Updates and Requirements

1. New FDIC Official Digital Sign: Banks are now required to display a new FDIC official digital sign on their websites, mobile apps, and ATMs. This digital sign is designed to provide clear and conspicuous assurance to consumers that they are dealing with an FDIC-insured institution.

FDIC

The above slide from the FDIC webinar shows an example of the logo that needs to be added to all bank websites. And below is the FDIC official digital sign(s). 

FDIC Logo

2. Enhanced Consumer Protection: The rule aims to help consumers better understand when their funds are protected by FDIC deposit insurance, particularly in the digital realm. This includes clear differentiation between insured deposits and non-deposit products, which may cause confusion.

3. Misrepresentations and Misuse: The final rule addresses misleading representations about FDIC insurance, often seen online. It prohibits any person or entity, including non-banks, from misusing the FDIC name or logo or making false statements about deposit insurance.

4. Signage Requirements:

  • Branches: Banks must continue to display the FDIC official sign in branch locations. They now have flexibility in placement, including the use of electronic media.
  • Digital Channels: The FDIC official digital sign must be displayed clearly, continuously, and conspicuously on homepages, landing pages, login pages, and any pages where deposits are taken.FDIC LOGO

The above slide from the FDIC webinar shows an example of the logo implemented on a sample bank website.

5. Non-Deposit Products: Banks offering both deposit and non-deposit products must display a non-deposit sign indicating that non-deposit products are not insured by the FDIC and may lose value. This sign must also be clear, conspicuous, and continuous.

6. Policies and Procedures: Banks are required to establish written policies and procedures to ensure compliance with Part 328, including monitoring third-party compliance.

Implementation and Compliance

Although the compliance date is set for January 1, 2025, some banks have already begun implementing the new requirements, including displaying the official digital sign on their websites. Here at WSI, all of our in-process bank website projects are being designed and developed with the new digital sign elements in place. Plus, we’re working closely with our existing clients to update their websites well in advance of the deadline, as the FDIC encourages early adoption to ensure smooth compliance by the deadline.

Upcoming Seminars

This webinar is the first in a series of four planned for 2024, aimed at providing further guidance and addressing questions from stakeholders. Future seminar dates will be announced on the FDIC's banker seminar webpage. We recommend you bookmark this page and check back often (or sign up for our email updates, and we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as we know)! 

For detailed information, including access to the final rule and further guidance, bank officers, employees, and other stakeholders are encouraged to visit the FDIC website or contact the FDIC directly.

Conclusion

The FDIC’s updated regulations are a critical step in ensuring that consumers remain confident and informed about the safety of their deposits, especially as banking continues to evolve in the digital age. By adhering to these new requirements, banks can enhance transparency and trust, ultimately strengthening the stability of the financial system.

If you’d like to keep updated on when the next FDIC webinar will be - or join other WSI webinar events on digital marketing strategies or trends in bank website development, be sure to sign up for email updates. With over 30 years of combined experience in banking and the world of digital, we’ve got lots of ideas on the “digital direction” your bank may be headed and would love to keep you informed.

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