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FDIC Consumer News - Winter 1997/1998

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.

A look at the FDIC’s new Internet site for kids, teachers and parents

This Little Piggy Goes Into Cyberspace

We’d like to introduce you to one of your child’s new teachers — Carmen Cents. We think she’s doing an outstanding job teaching children around the world the basics about the FDIC and the American banking system. Carmen is actually a cute, bouncing pig — really a piggy-bank — featured in the FDIC’s new Internet site for kids called the “Learning Bank.” The FDIC knows it isn’t easy making banking, bank regulation or deposit insurance appealing to youth, but so far this educational site for students in kindergarten through grade-12 is a hit.

piggy bank To find the Learning Bank on your computer, click on Carmen Cents’ picture. Once you’re there, you’ll find answers to common questions from kids (like “What is the FDIC?” and “What does a bank do with my money?”). History buffs will be able to trace key financial events going back to the 1700s. You’ll also see neat pictures from olden days, including one of President Franklin Roosevelt signing the law that created the FDIC in 1933. Children and adults also will have a chance to e-mail questions and comments to the FDIC, and to link directly to the Internet sites of other government agencies.

We hope you’ll get a chance to visit our Learning Bank soon. Until you do, here’s a look at some of what it tells kids about how the FDIC and banks serve the American people.

“What is a Savings Account?: A savings account is where to put money you don’t want to spend right away. A good thing about a savings account is that it makes it easy to save money, because you know it’s safe, and you can get in the habit of bringing money, perhaps part of your allowance, to the bank each week. With regular deposits, and the interest you’ll earn, it doesn’t take long for savings to grow.”

“What is a Checking Account?: A check is like a note that says: If you go to my bank (or have your bank go to my bank), they have my permission to give you this much money out of my bank account. You’ve probably seen your parents write checks at stores or at home to pay bills. Checks are especially useful when you have to mail money to someone, since mailing cash is risky because anybody could take the cash and use it. Only the person who the check is made out to can cash a check. If you write checks for more money than you have in your checking account, the bank will not pay them. This is called “bouncing a check,” because your bank will “bounce” your check back to the person you wrote it to, instead of giving them money.”

“What Does a Bank Do With My Money?: A bank collects money from people or businesses that want to keep their money in a safe place. The bank then lends this money to people or businesses that require additional money to meet their current or future needs. So, when you deposit money at your local bank, the money does not remain locked away in the bank vault. Instead, the bank lends your money to others in your local community. Whether it is to assist your parents in the purchase of your home or to help your neighbor start his own business, these loans benefit your entire community.”

“What is the FDIC?: The FDIC’s biggest job is insuring the savings of millions of Americans in all the FDIC insured banks across the country, even the savings of kids. The FDIC also visits banks on a regular basis to make sure they are following the rules they need to. For example, one rule banks have to follow is called the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. It says that a bank can’t refuse to loan money to someone just because of his or her color, religion, national origin or for a number of other reasons.

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Last Updated 08/03/1999 communications@fdic.gov