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Regulatory Updates

FDIC’s Advertising Rule: Updates for Digital Marketing Materials

April 18, 2024

At the end of last year, the FDIC finalized updates to its rules governing the use of the official FDIC signs and advertising statements and clarified its regulations regarding false advertising, misrepresentations of deposit insurance coverage, and misuse of the FDIC’s name or logo.

The rule addresses requirements across all banking channels—including digital websites, landing pages, and mobile applications—to better align with how banking is done today.

The final rule officially took effect starting April 1 of this year, with an extended compliance date of January 1, 2025. 

Background: More fintechs, more misleading FDIC insurance statements

Driven by strong consumer demand, the fintech industry continues to boom, offering consumers new and innovative options for accessing bank products and services.

But, with over 13,000 fintechs in the United States alone, the distinction between FDIC-insured institutions and non-banks has blurred for consumers, says the FDIC. With these blurred lines comes an increased potential for consumer confusion around deposit insurance coverage and where their money is actually insured.

There’s also been an increase in misleading representations about deposit insurance across the web. 

The FDIC has sent out several cease and desist letters in recent years to companies for making false representations regarding FDIC insurance, including:

  • Stating or suggesting that the companies are FDIC-insured
  • Uninsured financial products are insured by the FDIC
  • Misusing the FDIC name or logo
  • Misrepresenting the nature or extent of deposit insurance, 
  • Failing to identify insured depository institutions with which it has a relationship for the placement of customer deposits and into which funds can be deposited

The FDIC even went so far as to launch a public campaign around this issue titled “Know Your Risk. Protect Your Money.” While the campaign wrapped up in January 2024, its goal was to increase public awareness of deposit insurance and how it protects money in case of bank failure. 

A high-level summary of digital marketing requirements

Below is a very high-level summary of digital marketing materials and doesn’t include all sections or updates—for full information, access the final rule here.

For banks and insured institutions

For insured institutions, the FDIC digital sign must be displayed clearly and conspicuously on the homepage of the web page or application, on landing pages, on login pages, and on any other pages where consumers may transact with deposits.

Banks must also include the official advertising statement on advertisements—digital or physical—but can use the shortened disclosure “FDIC-Insured” or “Member FDIC” where space is tight.

For fintechs and non-banks

For institutions that aren’t FDIC-insured, it must be made clear that the insurance is held by their banking partner and not by the non-bank. The non-bank cannot misrepresent that it is the insured institution.

Similarly, if FDIC insurance information is present and a non-bank fails to disclose that it itself is not an FDIC-insured institution, this could be considered a material omission.

For those who partner with FDIC-insured banks to offer deposit services, it can be considered a best practice to identify the bank that holds the deposits. 

For example, a disclosure might read, “ABC Co. is not an FDIC-insured institution. Banking services provided by XYZ Bank, Member FDIC.” 

Monitor for FDIC insurance disclosures with PerformLine

PerformLine can help both banks and non-bank institutions monitor their brand across the web, social media, and email to ensure compliance with the FDIC’s advertising rule and that any required disclosures are present. 

Learn more by requesting a demo here.

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