McWilliams promotes ‘trust through transparency’ initiative in speech before international deposit insurers’ conference

The chairman of the U.S. bank deposit insurance agency took her message of “trust through transparency” to a global audience during a speech Thursday before an international group of deposit insurers gathered in Basel, Switzerland.

Speaking before the 2018 International Association of Deposit Insurers (IADI) Annual Conference and 17th Annual General Meeting, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Chairman Jelena McWilliams talked about the importance of the public’s trust in the deposit insurance system and role of transparency in securing and keeping that trust.

She told the group about the agency’s “Trust through Transparency” initiative, and she encouraged her international colleagues to adopt similar programs in tandem with their efforts to promote core principles for effective deposit insurance systems throughout the world.

“Deposit insurance is all about trust. The essence of an effective deposit insurance system is the trust of the banking public in the operations of the deposit insurer,” McWilliams said. “The only way to build trust is to make those operations transparent so that your stakeholders have the information and the means to hold you accountable.”

Trust in the FDIC has been important to the agency’s roles as insurer, bank supervisor, and receiver of failed institutions, McWilliams said, adding that transparency becomes even more important during times of stress as the agency undertakes stronger and more visible actions. “Communications that are absent, misunderstood, or nonresponsive, will only serve to heighten misperceptions that undermine trust and the recovery process,” she said.

She added, “Core-principles compliance and transparency are essential ingredients for building and maintaining the public trust that is the heart and soul of our common mission as deposit insurers.”

Remarks by Jelena McWilliams, Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, “A Call to Action: Why We Need Effective Deposit Insurance Systems” at the 2018 IADI Annual Conference and 17th Annual General Meeting; Basel, Switzerland