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Speeches and Testimony


Remarks by
Donna Tanoue
Chairman
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
before an
International Conference on Deposit Insurance
Sponsored by the FDIC
Washington, D.C.
September 9, 1998

Thank you, and good morning.

I want to welcome you to this International Conference on Deposit Insurance. The world is here today: Asia and Africa. The Americas and Europe. With New Zealand carrying the flag from Down Under. This conference is the first time that deposit insurance authorities from around the world have met in an international conference.

Over the next three days, 240 participants from 63 countries will discuss the role of deposit insurance in promoting and preserving public confidence in our financial institutions. We will share experiences. We will exchange opinions, and we will forge relationships.

Your outstanding and widespread response to our invitation to this conference reflects global interest in deposit insurance issues and their importance.

As you know, this conference is sponsored by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

While not the first national deposit insurer in the world, the FDIC is the oldest and largest governmental deposit insurer still in operation.

The FDIC was created in 1933, following a crisis in which 4,000 banks failed in the previous year.

In the year following our creation, only nine insured banks failed.

Our experience over the years convinces us that deposit insurance works and that public confidence in our banking systems can never be taken for granted.

There are few certainties in life, but to be effective, deposit insurance must be one of them.

Deposit insurance is a simple concept -- one that continues to work and to endure -- as the world grows more complex.

Although the FDIC is the oldest deposit insurance system, we know that we do not have all the answers.

We want to share what we have learned, but we are eager to learn from your experiences as well.

There are many issues and topics relating to deposit insurance that would benefit from our increased communication and cooperation.

Recent events have shown that promoting and preserving public confidence has become more difficult.

There are a number of reasons why. One is the condition of the global economy. Another reason is that technology has transformed how banking is transacted. I have been told that when the Bank for International Settlements was formed, it was headquartered in Basle because the central bankers of Europe could reach that city by train in a day.

Today, money moves at the speed of light. If confidence erodes, runs on financial institutions can occur in an instant. Given recent developments around the world, it would be hard to imagine a more appropriate time than now for bringing the world’s deposit insurance authorities together.

Today, the conference will be devoted to exploring the role that governments play in stabilizing banking systems. Tomorrow we will focus on recent banking crises. And that will include the resolution of failed or failing institutions. Friday, we will look ahead to identifying emerging risks. And we will discuss issues relating to bank supervision in a global banking market.

Some of our colleagues have suggested the formation of an informal working group of deposit insurers to explore increased cooperation. The group might serve the purpose of: Acting as a clearing house for information . . . Coordinating education and training . . . And providing technical assistance, as necessary. I ask you to consider this proposal. Should this be of interest to all of you, I pledge the FDIC’s willingness to cooperate.

We at the FDIC hope that this conference will be the first of many opportunities for the international community of deposit insurers to gather. And we are willing to work toward making that hope a reality. We have a saying in the United States: Every cloud has a silver lining.

Certainly, no one wishes for adversity. But the FDIC, born in adversity, has been a blessing for three generations of Americans. If from the current turmoil, stronger deposit insurance programs emerge around the globe, future generations will benefit.

Over the next three days, let us explore the means of strengthening deposit insurance systems. And in doing so, let us promote the public confidence we all desire. Thank you.

 

 

Remarks by
Donna Tanoue
Chairman
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
before an
International Conference on Deposit Insurance
Sponsored by the FDIC
Washington, D.C.
September 11, 1998

Over the past three days, we have explored an extraordinary range of issues. How deposit insurance has evolved in many countries. The roles that the deposit insurer plays. And the balance between moral hazard and stability. We have looked at economic issues. Legal issues. And accounting issues.

We have examined recent banking crises. And the various ways to address the problems relating to troubled institutions. Looking ahead, we have discussed the efforts of financial institutions to ready their computer systems for the Year 2000 date change.

And banking supervision in a global financial system. We benefited from hearing Larry Summers, Ricki Helfer, Stanley Fischer, John Heimann and many other distinguished speakers give their views on international trends and events.

Our panel discussions reflected differing experiences and perspectives. Which should come as no surprise. While technology has made the world a smaller place than it was just a few short years ago, it remains diverse. Because of that diversity, we can all learn from one another. This conference brought deposit insurance authorities from around the world together for the first time.

Despite our diversity, we found that we had much in common. We found that we have a community of interest. And we began a conversation about who we are, what we do, and what we can do better -- individually and collectively.

You’ll recall in opening this conference, I proposed that we discuss ways to increase cooperation and communication. And, in particular, whether we might benefit from the creation of a formal international consortium on deposit insurance.

Such a consortium might have the mission of: Acting as a clearinghouse for information... Coordinating education and training... And providing technical assistance to countries creating or refining their deposit insurance systems.

Based on your informal comments, it appears that many of you support exploring this -- and other -- ways of formally enhancing communications and cooperation.

In other words, keeping our conversation going after this conference closes. The FDIC is committed to that conversation... And to working with all of you to find ways for it to continue. In the next few weeks, we will write to all of you, and ask you for your thoughts and recommendations on carrying the momentum of this conference forward. Of course, you do not have to wait until then to tell us what you think. We welcome hearing from you at any time.

During the past three days, I have stressed that this conference is not the FDIC’s -- it is yours. It was intended to be truly collegial and international in spirit. And I hope you will all agree that it has been. In closing, there are a few people I want to thank... First, Claude Rollin, who first began to think about this conference when he was returning from an advisory mission to Ukraine, and who worked for more than a year to make it a reality.

Next Detta Voesar, Chris Blair, Rose Kushmeier, Kay Zielinski, Pauline Tao, Donna Soto, Andrew Roberts and Valerie Best, who worked on the strategy, organization and planning that made this conference a success. My colleagues on the FDIC Board who enthusiastically supported this effort from conception to completion: Vice Chairman Andrew Hove, under whose leadership this effort was first undertaken and Director Joseph Neely who allowed his Special Assistant, Claude Rollins, to spearhead the planning of this conference.

But most of all, on behalf of the men and women of the FDIC, I thank all of you who have come from all over the world to participate in this conference. You have made this conference a remarkable success. Thank you.

Last Updated 06/25/1999 communications@fdic.gov