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Important Update: Changes in FDIC Deposit Insurance Coverage

The FDIC deposit insurance rules have undergone a series of changes starting in the fall of 2008. As a result, certain previously published information related to FDIC insurance coverage may not reflect the current rules. For details about the changes, visit Changes in FDIC Deposit Insurance Coverage. For more information about FDIC insurance, go to www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/index.html or call toll-free 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342). For the hearing-impaired, the number is 1-800-925-4618.

Summer 2005

A Shopper's Guide to Bank Products and Services

A Basic Shopping List for Bank Customers

We asked Janet Kincaid, FDIC Senior Consumer Affairs Officer, for a simple game plan most people could follow to make sure they're getting a good deal for the right services.

Periodically review your existing accounts. "Every few years, or when you believe your financial needs have changed, talk to a customer service representative at your bank to make sure you're signed up for the right kinds of accounts and features." Kincaid said. "For example, if you tend to carry a balance on your credit card, find out if can qualify for a card with a lower interest rate. Or, find out if your bank offers special deals if you maintain certain balances or use additional services, such as direct deposit of your paycheck."

At the same time, compare your bank's products and services with those of competitors. "Don't be afraid to shop around," she said. "If nothing else, you'll want to know that the rates, fees and services at your existing bank are at least comparable to what's out there in the marketplace and, most importantly, that they still meet your needs."

Always read and save the most recent "disclosures" you get about your accounts. Knowing the features, fees and limitations—before you open the account and later as you conduct business—can prevent misunderstandings and costly mistakes. "We always say to read the disclosures," Kincaid stressed. "Make sure you know exactly what you are getting and paying for and what you are not."

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Last Updated 5/17/2005