New Consumer Protections for Bank Insurance Sales
The FDIC and the three other federal banking regulators have adopted new rules to protect and inform consumers who are considering buying insurance products (including tax-deferred annuities) from federally insured banks and savings institutions. Included in the new rules: a prohibition against misleading a consumer into believing that an insurance product bought at a banking institution is federally insured; a requirement that insurance sales take place away from where deposits are routinely accepted; and a notice to consumers that the institution cannot condition the approval of a loan on the purchase of insurance from that bank or an affiliate. The rules also establish government procedures for handling consumer complaints about bank insurance sales. The new rules are scheduled to become effective April 1, 2001.
Updated Consumer Guide Now Available
Now available from the federal governmentthe 2001 edition of the "Consumer Action Handbook," full of tips, addresses, phone numbers and other useful information on everything from car repair to credit repair. Free copies of the 148-page printed edition are available from the Consumer Information Center toll-free at 888-8-PUEBLO, which is 888-878-3256, or check out the guide on the Web at www.pueblo.gsa.gov.
New FDIC Brochure on Banking Over the Internet
The FDIC has published a new brochure, "Tips for Safe Banking Over the Internet," explaining how to confirm that an online bank is legitimate, how to keep your personal information private and secure, and how to file a complaint about a suspicious or fraudulent Web site. Read or print out the brochure at www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/online/safe.html on the FDIC's Web site. Single copies can be obtained from the FDIC's Public Information Center.