UPDATED: Comments due Feb. 11 to FDIC on deposit insurance RFI; related pubs updated

A request for information (RFI) – out for comment until Feb. 11 – and other initiatives related to the deposit insurance application process for de novo (new) banks and to promote a more transparent, streamlined, and accountable process for all deposit insurance applications were announced Thursday by the federal bank deposit insurer.

In its release, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) included a statement from agency board Chairman Jelena McWilliams citing the agency’s desire to promote rather than deter the opening of new banks. “A pipeline of new banks is critical to the long-term health of the industry and communities across the country. The application process should not be overly burdensome and should not deter prospective banks from applying. The FDIC wants to see more de novo banks, and we are hard at work to make this a reality,” said McWilliams.

Through its RFI, the FDIC is seeking comment from interested parties on all aspects of the deposit insurance application process. The RFI seeks feedback on 13 questions related to deposit insurance applications. They address, among other things, ways in which the FDIC could or should support the continuing evolution of emerging technology and fintech (financial technology) companies; aspects of the application process that may discourage potential applications; possible changes to the application process for traditional community bank proposals; and other suggestions for improving the effectiveness, efficiency, or transparency of the application process.

In addition to the RFI, the FDIC said it has established a voluntary process that gives organizers of new institutions the option of requesting feedback on a draft deposit insurance proposal before filing a formal application. “The new process is intended to provide an early opportunity for both the FDIC and organizers to identify potential challenges with respect to the statutory criteria, areas that may require further detail or support, and potential issues or concerns,” the agency said.

In other actions, according to the release:

  • The FDIC has updated two publications related to the deposit insurance application process. The publications, Applying for Deposit Insurance – A Handbook for Organizers of De Novo Institutions, and Deposit Insurance Applications Procedures Manual, address the informational needs of organizers and provide comprehensive instruction to FDIC staff. (Both are accessible online here.)
  • Regarding the processing of all applications submitted to the FDIC, the agency has updated and is re-publishing its timeframe guidelines for applications.
  • The agency has created a new mailbox – applicationsmailbox@fdic.gov where bankers, applicants, and other interested parties may submit questions regarding specific applications or the application process in general. (This mailbox is separate from, and does not replace, the existing mailbox for submitting public comments on pending applications, it said.)

The agency also published Financial Institution Letters (FILs) on the RFI, handbook updates, voluntary review process, and timeframe guidelines.

Notice and request for information (Federal Register, 12/12/18)

FDIC Announces Actions to Promote a More Transparent, Streamlined, and Accountable Deposit Insurance Application Process

FDIC Issues an Update to its Publication Entitled Applying for Deposit Insurance – A Handbook for Organizers of De Novo Institutions, Finalizes its Deposit Insurance Applications Procedures Manual, and Establishes a Designated Applications Mailbox (FIL 83-2018)

Review Process for Draft Deposit Insurance Proposals (FIL 82-2018)

FDIC Re-Issues its Processing Timeframe Guidelines for Applications, Notices, and Other Requests (FIL 81-2018)

FDIC Requests Information on the Deposit Insurance Application Process (FIL 80-2018)