During 2002 and early 2003, the FDIC completed evaluations of programs designed to achieve the strategic objectives set forth in the Supervision: Consumer Rights program area of the FDIC's 2001-2006 Strategic Plan.
The program evaluation of each strategic objective included a list of issues to be evaluated, background context of the evaluation, analysis of programs and actions to achieve the objective, evaluation methodology, and findings. The following section presents the issues evaluated and summarizes the results of this evaluation.
Deposit insurance funds and system remain viable.
How does the FDIC ensure that FDIC-supervised institutions comply with consumer protection, Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), and fair lending laws?
The FDIC has extensive procedures in place to evaluate how well FDIC-supervised institutions comply with consumer protection, CRA, and fair lending laws. The FDIC conducts compliance and CRA examinations to evaluate FDIC-supervised institutions' practices regarding consumer protection, CRA, and fair lending laws. In addition to the examination process, the FDIC investigates consumer complaints about banking practices. Noncompliance with consumer protection and fair lending laws can result in civil liability and negative publicity as well as informal or formal enforcement actions against the institution to correct the identified violations. The FDIC also uses the institutions' record of compliance with consumer protection, CRA, and fair lending laws when evaluating applications for new or expanded activities and certain other corporate applications. The Program Evaluation team found that, through its compliance and CRA examinations and its Complaint and Inquiry Program, the FDIC has appropriate procedures in place to evaluate how well FDIC-supervised institutions comply with consumer protection, CRA, and fair lending laws.
Consumers have access to easily understood information about their rights and the disclosures due them under consumer protection and fair lending laws.
Does the FDIC provide information to consumers about their rights and the disclosures due consumers under current consumer protection and fair lending laws?
Is the information easily accessible and easily understood?
The FDIC undertakes an extensive and expanding number of activities to provide information on consumers' rights and the disclosures due them under consumer protection and fair lending laws. A wide array of materials detail consumers' rights; provide consumer information and answers to questions concerning deposit insurance, banks, and consumer rights; and offer practical guidance on how to become a better informed user of financial services. These are readily accessible and widely
distributed on the FDIC's Web site and at outreach seminars and workshops. Many materials are also available in hard copy and some in multiple languages. For example, Spanish, Korean and Chinese versions of information on how FDIC deposit insurance works are in print. The FDIC also has been actively involved in consumer education and disclosure with the creation, implementation and ongoing support of programs such as Money Smart and "EDIE" - the FDIC's Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator. In addition, the FDIC conducts evaluations to assess the effectiveness of its activities and program modifications and improvements. The Program Evaluation team found that through its extensive information dissemination efforts, consumer education and outreach activities, and procedures to handle consumer complaints and inquiries, the FDIC has appropriate measures in place to promote the protection of consumers' rights.