4000 - Advisory Opinions
Advertisements Soliciting Deposits and Non-Deposit Obligations Should Clearly State Which Investments Are Insured
January 14, 1993
Gerald J. Gervino, Senior Attorney
You have inquired concerning Part 328.3 of our regulations which deals with official advertising statements by insured banks.
Some of your staff recently attended a meeting where a non-FDIC speaker stated that the FDIC logo should not appear on a bank advertisement unless it advertises or refers to deposits. You have been using the logo on various advertisements including pens, calendars, and miscellaneous newspaper and radio advertisements. You ask the following questions.
1. Is it against regulations to use the logo on all bank advertising?
The regulations do not explicitly prohibit the use of the FDIC logo in bank advertising. In cases where the public might confuse the bank's solicitation of deposits with the accompanying solicitation of potentially confusing non-deposit obligations, the logo may contribute to public confusion. In those cases, the two products should be separately advertised, with the logo deleted from the solicitation for the non-deposit obligation. Alternatively, if the two are combined, the advertisement should make it very clear, which deposits are insured and which obligations are not insured.
2. If it is, would a general advertisement referring to "complete bank services" (which include deposits) require or exclude the logo?
A general advertisement referring to "complete bank services" must include the official advertising statement, which may be the FDIC symbol. The exceptions contained in 12 CFR 328.3(c) may provide an exemption in the circumstances that they specify.