With Hurricane Rita about to hit the Gulf Coast, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is encouraging the banks it supervises to work constructively with consumers who may be hit hard by the storm.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the millions of Americans who have had to up-end their lives and leave behind their homes," said FDIC Chairman Don Powell. "The FDIC will do everything we can to help banks and consumers get through this next disaster. We learned from Hurricane Katrina that bankers will work hand-in-hand around the clock to ensure that consumers have access to their money. Banks have back-up systems and contingency plans in place."
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the FDIC established a 24-hour hotline for consumers with banking troubles: 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342). This 24-hour hotline continues to operate and the FDIC welcomes calls from victims of both Hurricane Katrina and Rita. Banks affected by the hurricanes may also contact the FDIC at 1-877-ASK-FDIC.
In addition, the FDIC has created a special Web page for victims of the hurricanes, www.fdic.gov/hurricane, that includes frequently-asked questions, tips on re-establishing identity as well as an up-to-date list of financial institutions affected by the hurricanes, such as customer contact information and branch status.
The FDIC encourages customers to open a dialogue with their bank to find out how it can help them recover from this natural disaster.
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Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to restore public confidence in the nation's banking system. The FDIC insures deposits at the nation's 8,868 banks and savings associations and it promotes the safety and soundness of these institutions by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to which they are exposed. The FDIC receives no federal tax dollars – insured financial institutions fund its operations.
FDIC press releases and other information are available on the Internet at www.fdic.gov, by subscription electronically (go to www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.html) and may also be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information Center (877-275-3342 or (703) 562-2200).