Request for Information on FDIC Official Sign and Advertising Requirements and Potential Technological Solutions, 18528-18531 [2021-07356]

Download as PDF 18528 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 67 / Friday, April 9, 2021 / Notices Changes in Estimates: There is an increase of 12,878 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. This increase is due to an increase in the number of Conflicts of Interest Plans required by the upsurge in acquisitions during the past three (3) years. In the previous filing, there were 45 required COI plans, but in the current filing there are 56 required COI plans. Form Numbers: None. Respondents/affected entities: All contractors seeking contract award that are identified with the potential conflict of interest upon contract award. Respondent’s obligation to respond: This obligation is mandatory in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) subpart 9.5. Estimated number of respondents: 56. Frequency of response: Varies. Total estimated burden: 68,933 hours annually. Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b). Total estimated cost: $4,996,497.08 (per year), includes $624,851.92 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs. Kimberly Patrick, Director, Office of Acquisition Solutions. FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice of Termination of Receiverships The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC or Receiver), as Receiver for each of the following insured depository institutions, was charged with the duty of winding up the affairs of the former institutions and liquidating all related assets. The Receiver has fulfilled its obligations and made all dividend distributions required by law. [FR Doc. 2021–07331 Filed 4–8–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P NOTICE OF TERMINATION OF RECEIVERSHIPS Fund Receivership name City 10452 ..... 10455 ..... Heartland Bank ................................................................................. Jasper Banking Company ................................................................. Leawood ...................................... Jasper .......................................... The Receiver has further irrevocably authorized and appointed FDICCorporate as its attorney-in-fact to execute and file any and all documents that may be required to be executed by the Receiver which FDIC-Corporate, in its sole discretion, deems necessary, including but not limited to releases, discharges, satisfactions, endorsements, assignments, and deeds. Effective on the termination dates listed above, the Receiverships have been terminated, the Receiver has been discharged, and the Receiverships have ceased to exist as legal entities. (Authority: 12 U.S.C. 1819) Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Dated at Washington, DC, on April 6, 2021. James P. Sheesley, Assistant Executive Secretary. [FR Doc. 2021–07355 Filed 4–8–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714–01–P FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION RIN 3064–ZA14 Request for Information on FDIC Official Sign and Advertising Requirements and Potential Technological Solutions Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). ACTION: Request for information and comment. AGENCY: As banks and savings associations adjust their business models to innovate and remain SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:16 Apr 08, 2021 Jkt 253001 competitive, and as such digital transformation continues to accelerate, the FDIC is renewing its effort to consider how to revise and clarify its official sign and advertising rules related to FDIC deposit insurance. The FDIC is issuing this Request for Information (RFI) to inform FDIC efforts to align the policy objectives of its rules with how today’s banks and savings associations offer deposit products and services and how consumers connect with banks and savings associations, including through evolving channels. The FDIC also requests information about how technological or other solutions could be leveraged to help consumers better distinguish FDICinsured banks and savings associations from entities that are not insured by the FDIC (nonbanks), particularly across web and digital channels. DATES: Comments must be received by May 24, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by RIN 3064–ZA14, by any of the following methods: • Agency Website: https:// www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/federal/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the agency website. • Email: Comments@fdic.gov. Include RIN 3064–ZA14 in the subject line of the message. • Mail: James P. Sheesley, Assistant Executive Secretary, Attention: Comments-RIN 3064–ZA14, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20429. • Hand Delivery/Courier: Comments may be hand-delivered to the guard PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 State KS GA Termination date 04/01/2021 04/01/2021 station at the rear of the 550 17th Street NW, building (located on F Street) on business days between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., EST. All comments received must include the agency name and RIN 3064–ZA14 for this rulemaking. Public Inspection: All comments received will be posted without change to https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/ laws/federal/—including any personal information provided—for public inspection. Paper copies of public comments may be ordered from the FDIC Public Information Center, 3501 North Fairfax Drive, Room E–1002, Arlington, VA 22226 by telephone at (877) 275–3342 or (703) 562–2200. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Friedman, Senior Policy Analyst, Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection, (202) 898–7168, dfriedman@ fdic.gov; Edward Hof, Senior Consumer Affairs Specialist, Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection, (202) 898– 7213, edwhof@fdic.gov; or Richard M. Schwartz, Counsel, Legal Division, (202) 898–7424, rischwartz@fdic.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The FDIC is an independent federal agency with a mission of maintaining stability and public confidence in the nation’s financial system by insuring bank deposits, examining and supervising financial institutions for safety and soundness and consumer protection, making large and complex financial institutions resolvable, and managing receiverships. Today, there are approximately five thousand FDICinsured banks and savings associations E:\FR\FM\09APN1.SGM 09APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 67 / Friday, April 9, 2021 / Notices in the United States. The FDIC insures money deposited in FDIC-insured banks and savings associations, and FDIC deposit insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. On February 26, 2020, the FDIC published a notice in the Federal Register (85 FR 10997) seeking input regarding potential modernization of its official sign and advertising rules to reflect that deposit-taking via physical branch, digital, and mobile banking channels continues to evolve since the FDIC last significantly updated its rules in 2006. On March 13, 2020, the FDIC published an extension of the comment period in the Federal Register (85 FR 14678). However, on April 16, 2020, in light of COVID–19, the FDIC announced that it was temporarily postponing its efforts to modify its official sign and advertising requirements. The FDIC noted that the agency remains committed to modernizing these rules at a future date to better reflect how banks and savings associations are transforming their business models to take deposits via physical branches, digital, and mobile banking channels. This notice is substantially the same as the notice published on February 26, 2020, with the exception of the issue of misrepresentations about deposit insurance, as discussed below. As banks and savings associations adjust their business models to innovate and remain competitive, and as such digital transformation continues to accelerate, the FDIC is renewing its effort to consider how to revise and clarify its official sign and advertising rules related to FDIC deposit insurance. The FDIC is issuing this Request for Information (RFI) to inform FDIC efforts to align the policy objectives of its rules with how today’s banks and savings associations offer deposit products and services and how consumers connect with banks and savings associations, including through evolving channels. The FDIC also requests information about how technological or other solutions could be leveraged to help consumers better distinguish FDICinsured banks and savings associations from entities that are not insured by the FDIC (nonbanks), particularly across web and digital channels. Although the February 26, 2020, RFI also sought input on how to address misrepresentations about deposit insurance, that subject is not addressed in this RFI. On an ongoing basis, pursuant to its statutory authority, the FDIC actively seeks to protect depositors by ensuring the FDIC’s name, seal, and logo are appropriately used and limited to being associated with insured depository institutions. In light of an VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Apr 08, 2021 Jkt 253001 increasing number of instances where people or entities have misused the FDIC’s name or logo or have made misrepresentations that would falsely suggest to the public that their products are FDIC-insured, the FDIC expects to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comment on a proposed rule regarding misrepresentations about deposit insurance and misuse of the FDIC’s name or logo. The FDIC intends to engage in its efforts to modernize the FDIC official sign and advertising requirements and its rulemaking regarding misrepresentations about deposit insurance in tandem and on a coordinated basis. FDIC Official Sign and Advertising Statement Requirements The FDIC’s official sign and advertising statement regulations (12 CFR part 328) require banks to continuously display the FDIC sign where insured deposits are usually and normally received in the bank’s principal place of business and at all of its branches and to use an official advertising statement, such as ‘‘Member FDIC,’’ when advertising deposit products and services. Official sign and advertising statement requirements are set forth in in section 18(a) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDI Act) and have been in place since 1935.1 The last major changes to the regulations were made in 2006 2 and the rules do not reflect evolving banking channels and operations. Technology and Innovation The FDIC has begun a number of initiatives focused on innovation and technology. For example, the FDIC established the FDIC Tech Lab (FDiTech) to foster innovation across the banking sector, while simultaneously protecting consumers, markets, and the Deposit Insurance Fund. FDiTech is undertaking a number of activities to promote innovation under four broad themes: Inclusion, Resilience, Amplification and Protecting the Future. In February 2021, the FDIC appointed its first Chief Innovation Officer. Technology has advanced the business of banking in many ways, including how and where depositors interface with banks and savings associations when making deposits. The internet, through online and mobile banking, smart phone applications (apps), digital wallets, and other tools, has had a profound effect on the way 1 12 U.S.C. 1828(a). See Banking Act of 1935, Public Law 74–305, section 101(v) (Aug. 23, 1935). 2 71 FR 40440 (July 17, 2006). PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18529 banking and deposit-taking is conducted. Some banks have no physical branches. Other banks with physical branches are also increasingly offering ways to open and manage accounts online or through mobile apps. Remote deposit capture for depositing checks, introduced in the early 2000s, has become a common feature of many banking apps. In addition, some banks have moved away from the traditional branch/bank teller models to electronically-staffed kiosks and pop-up facilities and teller-less cafes where deposits can be accepted on tablets. In addition, some consumers ‘‘deposit’’ funds with prepaid account providers and technologically-focused financial companies (fintechs), some of which are not themselves FDIC-insured banks.3 In some cases, consumers have difficulty distinguishing FDIC-insured banks from nonbank fintechs when they look online for places to put their money. This can also occur when the nonbank fintech advertises deposit products from FDICinsured banks and savings associations. Given these banking industry developments, the FDIC is seeking information on its official sign and advertising requirements to align with how banks offer products through various deposit-taking channels and how consumers interact with banks. Request for Comment The FDIC encourages comments from all interested parties, including but not limited to insured banks and savings associations, technology companies and fintechs, other financial institutions or companies, depositors and financial consumers (of both FDIC-insured and uninsured institutions), consumer groups, researchers, trade associations, and other members of the financial services industry. In particular, the FDIC requests input on the following topics and questions: Official Sign The FDI Act requires that insured depository institutions display a sign relating to the insurance of deposits at each place of business maintained by that institution in accordance with regulations issued by the FDIC.4 The implementing regulation, 12 CFR 328.2(a), requires the sign to be displayed continuously at each station or window where insured deposits are usually and normally received in the depository institution’s principal place 3 Some uninsured companies enter into deposit arrangements with FDIC-insured banks, which may, under some circumstances, result in ‘‘pass-through’’ deposit insurance being applied per customer. See generally, 12 CFR part 330. 4 See 12 U.S.C. 1828(a)(1)(A). E:\FR\FM\09APN1.SGM 09APN1 18530 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 67 / Friday, April 9, 2021 / Notices of business and at all of its branches.5 The official sign must be 7″ x 3″ with black lettering on a gold background.6 The official sign is permitted—but not required—to be displayed in other locations 7 and on or at ‘‘Remote Service Facilities.’’ 8 In lieu of the official sign, banks may vary the sign subject to the minimum standards set for the sign.9 Non-English equivalent signs must be approved by the FDIC. The FDIC seeks comments on all aspects of the sign regulation, including the following specific questions: 1. Should the rule continue to require the sign be a minimum size and a specific color? Is this needed to ensure consumers understand ‘‘deposit insurance?’’ 2. Should the rule continue to link the placement of the sign to each teller station or window where insured deposits are usually and normally received? 3. Should the rule take into account changes in places where deposits are ‘‘usually and normally received’’ by banks? How? 4. Should the FDIC’s current approach of allowing for permissive or optional placement and use of signage be broadened? How? 5. Does the rule’s definition of ‘‘Remote Service Facility’’ appropriately reflect current banking practices? For example, should the list of facilities (any automated teller machine, cash dispensing machine, point-of-sale terminal, or other remote electronic facility where deposits are received) be broadened? If so, what other ‘‘facilities’’ should be included? 6. Are FDIC-insured institutions currently displaying a digital representation of the FDIC sign or logo on their websites/mobile apps at account opening? If not, should they do so? 7. Are FDIC-insured institutions currently displaying a digital representation of the FDIC sign or logo on their websites/mobile apps each time a consumer deposits funds? If not, should they do so? 8. Are alternative means of displaying an official FDIC sign, beyond a twodimensional placard, appropriate in places such as bank ‘‘cafes’’ and through 5 Part 328 does not apply to uninsured offices or branches of insured depository institutions located outside the United States. 12 CFR part 328. 6 12 CFR 328.1(a). 7 12 CFR 328.2(a)(1)(i). 8 12 CFR 328.2(a)(1)(ii). ‘‘Remote Service Facilities’’ are defined as including ‘‘any automated teller machine, cash dispensing machine, point-ofsale terminal, or other remote electronic facility where deposits are received.’’ 9 12 CFR 328.2(a)(2). VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Apr 08, 2021 Jkt 253001 digital means? How might this be implemented for different delivery channels (e.g., brick-and-mortar, website, app-based)? 9. As noted above, the current regulation requires that the official FDIC sign be displayed continuously at each station or window where insured deposits are usually and normally received in the depository institution’s principal place of business and at all of its branches. Should the rule continue to require that the sign be displayed continuously, or should it allow for digital displays or representations that are not continuously displayed? 10. To what extent do the existing rules enable consumers to distinguish between FDIC-insured institutions and uninsured entities? Are there data, surveys, and studies on this issue? Official Advertising Statement The current rule requires bank advertisements 10 that promote deposit products and services or promote nonspecific banking products and services offered by the institution to state that the bank is a ‘‘Member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation,’’ ‘‘Member of FDIC,’’ or ‘‘Member FDIC,’’ or that the bank use the FDIC’s symbol (taken from the official sign).11 This advertising statement seeks to enable consumers to recognize FDIC-insured deposit products, as contrasted with non-deposit investment products that are not insured. Size, print legibility and proportions are prescribed.12 Insured and uninsured (foreign) branches must be identified.13 Insured depository institutions may not include the official advertising statement or other statements that imply Federal deposit insurance in any advertisement relating solely to ‘‘nondeposit products’’ or ‘‘hybrid products.’’ 14 With ‘‘mixed’’ advertisements for both insured deposit products and uninsured or hybrid products, the official advertising statement must be segregated within the ad.15 ‘‘Hybrid product’’ means ‘‘a product or service that has both deposit product features and non-deposit product features.’’ 16 ‘‘Non-deposit products’’ are defined to include ‘‘insurance products, annuities, mutual 10 ‘‘Advertisement’’ is defined as ‘‘a commercial message, in any medium, that is designed to attract public attention or patronage to a product or business.’’ 12 CFR 328.3(a). 11 12 CFR 328.3(c)(1). 12 12 CFR 328.3(b)(2). 13 12 CFR 328.3(c)(2). 14 12 CFR 328.3(e)(2) and (e)(3). 15 12 CFR 328.3(e)(4). 16 12 CFR 328.3(e)(1)(ii). PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 funds and securities’’ but not credit products.17 The FDIC seeks comments on all aspects of the official advertising statement regulation, including the following specific questions: 11. Can the regulation be better clarified regarding which types of advertising require the inclusion of the official advertising statement? Should some forms of advertising currently subject to the requirement be made exempt? Are there newer forms of advertising that do not now but should include the official advertising statement? 12. How do banks currently provide the advertising statement when promoting deposit products through non-traditional channels? 13. If a bank is identified in a nonbank’s promotion or advertisement for a deposit product or service, should the advertising statement be required, or conversely, should it be prohibited given that the advertisement is from an uninsured entity? Technological Solutions The FDIC regularly receives reports of fraudulent communications made to consumers that appear to be from FDICinsured entities, but actually originate from fraudsters. These types of scams may involve a variety of electronic communication channels, including emails, websites, text messages, and social media posts. Some scam messages might ask the recipient to ‘‘confirm’’ or ‘‘update’’ confidential personal financial information, such as bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and other valuable details. Other scams might ask for payments or deposits to be sent, for example, by money order, Automated Clearing House (ACH) credit, wire transfer service, peer-to-peer payment service, gift cards, or digital currency. Banks also face risks that fraudsters may be using their names and brands to perpetrate such frauds. The FDIC is exploring whether technological or other solutions might enable consumers to validate when they are interacting with a FDIC-insured financial institution when visiting websites and using apps on mobile devices. The FDIC seeks comments on how technology might be utilized to allow consumers to distinguish FDICinsured banks and savings association from nonbanks across various web and digital channels, including the following specific questions: 14. Do consumers look for the FDIC name or logo when using financial 17 12 E:\FR\FM\09APN1.SGM CFR 328.3(e)(1)(i). 09APN1 18531 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 67 / Friday, April 9, 2021 / Notices institution websites and apps to confirm the validity of insured institutions’ authenticity? Do they look for the logo when deciding to open new deposit accounts? During every interaction? 15. What technological options or other approaches could be utilized to allow consumers to distinguish FDICinsured banks and savings associations from nonbanks across web and digital channels? What are the benefits and drawbacks of each approach? Is it necessary or desirable for the FDIC to try to ‘‘solve’’ this by rule, or can private sector initiatives better address this issue? 16. If the FDIC develops a technological solution to allow consumers to distinguish FDIC-insured banks and savings associations from nonbanks across web and digital channels, what challenges would institutions have in implementing such solutions? How would any solution work with third parties that have established legitimate business relationships with banks or savings associations? 17. If the FDIC develops a technological solution to allow consumers to distinguish FDIC-insured banks and savings associations from nonbanks across web and digital channels, should its use be limited to FDIC-insured banks, or should third parties that market or facilitate access to deposit products (e.g., prepaid program managers, fintechs) be permitted or required to use such a logo in certain circumstances? Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Dated at Washington, DC, on April 5, 2021. James P. Sheesley, Assistant Executive Secretary. [FR Doc. 2021–07356 Filed 4–8–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714–01–P FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of Intent To Terminate Receiverships Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC or Receiver), as Receiver for the institutions listed below, intends to terminate its receivership for said institutions. NOTICE OF INTENT TO TERMINATE RECEIVERSHIPS Fund 10076 10077 10078 10085 10174 10182 10196 10222 10223 10246 10351 10354 10514 ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... Receivership name City The John Warner Bank ..................................................................... First State Bank of Winchester ......................................................... First National Bank of Danville ......................................................... Security Bank of Bibb County ........................................................... Bank of Leeton .................................................................................. Marshall Bank, NA ............................................................................ Statewide Bank ................................................................................. New Century Bank ............................................................................ Peotone Bank and Trust Company .................................................. Arcola Homestead Savings Bank ..................................................... Nevada Commerce Bank .................................................................. Heritage Banking Group ................................................................... Edgebrook Bank ................................................................................ Clinton ......................................... Winchester .................................. Danville ........................................ Macon .......................................... Leeton ......................................... Hallock ......................................... Covington .................................... Chicago ....................................... Peotone ....................................... Arcola .......................................... Las Vegas ................................... Carthage ...................................... Chicago ....................................... The liquidation of the assets for each receivership has been completed. To the extent permitted by available funds and in accordance with law, the Receiver will be making a final dividend payment to proven creditors. Based upon the foregoing, the Receiver has determined that the continued existence of the receiverships will serve no useful purpose. Consequently, notice is given that the receiverships shall be terminated, to be effective no sooner than thirty days after the date of this notice. If any person wishes to comment concerning the termination of any of the receiverships, such comment must be made in writing, identify the receivership to which the comment pertains, and be sent within thirty days of the date of this notice to: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, Attention: Receivership Oversight Department 34.6, 1601 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX 75201. No comments concerning the termination of the above-mentioned VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Apr 08, 2021 Jkt 253001 receiverships will be considered which are not sent within this time frame. (Authority: 12 U.S.C. 1819) Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Dated at Washington, DC, on April 6, 2021. James P. Sheesley, Assistant Executive Secretary. [FR Doc. 2021–07354 Filed 4–8–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714–01–P FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (Act) (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board’s Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the applications are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)). PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 State IL IL IL GA MO MN LA IL IL IL NV MS IL Date of appointment of receiver 07/02/2009 07/02/2009 07/02/2009 07/24/2009 01/22/2010 01/29/2010 03/12/2010 04/23/2010 04/23/2010 06/04/2010 04/08/2011 04/15/2011 05/08/2015 The public portions of the applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, if any, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank(s) indicated below and at the offices of the Board of Governors. This information may also be obtained on an expedited basis, upon request, by contacting the appropriate Federal Reserve Bank and from the Board’s Freedom of Information Office at https://www.federalreserve.gov/foia/ request.htm. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in paragraph 7 of the Act. Comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors, Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington DC 20551–0001, not later than April 26, 2021. A. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (Holly A. Rieser, Manager) P.O. Box 442, St. Louis, Missouri 63166–2034. E:\FR\FM\09APN1.SGM 09APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 67 (Friday, April 9, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 18528-18531]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-07356]


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FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION

RIN 3064-ZA14


Request for Information on FDIC Official Sign and Advertising 
Requirements and Potential Technological Solutions

AGENCY: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

ACTION: Request for information and comment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: As banks and savings associations adjust their business models 
to innovate and remain competitive, and as such digital transformation 
continues to accelerate, the FDIC is renewing its effort to consider 
how to revise and clarify its official sign and advertising rules 
related to FDIC deposit insurance. The FDIC is issuing this Request for 
Information (RFI) to inform FDIC efforts to align the policy objectives 
of its rules with how today's banks and savings associations offer 
deposit products and services and how consumers connect with banks and 
savings associations, including through evolving channels. The FDIC 
also requests information about how technological or other solutions 
could be leveraged to help consumers better distinguish FDIC-insured 
banks and savings associations from entities that are not insured by 
the FDIC (nonbanks), particularly across web and digital channels.

DATES: Comments must be received by May 24, 2021.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by RIN 3064-ZA14, by any 
of the following methods:
     Agency Website: https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/federal/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the agency 
website.
     Email: [email protected]. Include RIN 3064-ZA14 in the 
subject line of the message.
     Mail: James P. Sheesley, Assistant Executive Secretary, 
Attention: Comments-RIN 3064-ZA14, Federal Deposit Insurance 
Corporation, 550 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20429.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Comments may be hand-delivered to 
the guard station at the rear of the 550 17th Street NW, building 
(located on F Street) on business days between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., 
EST.
    All comments received must include the agency name and RIN 3064-
ZA14 for this rulemaking.
    Public Inspection: All comments received will be posted without 
change to https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/federal/--including any 
personal information provided--for public inspection. Paper copies of 
public comments may be ordered from the FDIC Public Information Center, 
3501 North Fairfax Drive, Room E-1002, Arlington, VA 22226 by telephone 
at (877) 275-3342 or (703) 562-2200.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Friedman, Senior Policy Analyst, 
Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection, (202) 898-7168, 
[email protected]; Edward Hof, Senior Consumer Affairs Specialist, 
Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection, (202) 898-7213, 
[email protected]; or Richard M. Schwartz, Counsel, Legal Division, (202) 
898-7424, [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The FDIC is an independent federal agency 
with a mission of maintaining stability and public confidence in the 
nation's financial system by insuring bank deposits, examining and 
supervising financial institutions for safety and soundness and 
consumer protection, making large and complex financial institutions 
resolvable, and managing receiverships. Today, there are approximately 
five thousand FDIC-insured banks and savings associations

[[Page 18529]]

in the United States. The FDIC insures money deposited in FDIC-insured 
banks and savings associations, and FDIC deposit insurance is backed by 
the full faith and credit of the United States.
    On February 26, 2020, the FDIC published a notice in the Federal 
Register (85 FR 10997) seeking input regarding potential modernization 
of its official sign and advertising rules to reflect that deposit-
taking via physical branch, digital, and mobile banking channels 
continues to evolve since the FDIC last significantly updated its rules 
in 2006. On March 13, 2020, the FDIC published an extension of the 
comment period in the Federal Register (85 FR 14678). However, on April 
16, 2020, in light of COVID-19, the FDIC announced that it was 
temporarily postponing its efforts to modify its official sign and 
advertising requirements. The FDIC noted that the agency remains 
committed to modernizing these rules at a future date to better reflect 
how banks and savings associations are transforming their business 
models to take deposits via physical branches, digital, and mobile 
banking channels. This notice is substantially the same as the notice 
published on February 26, 2020, with the exception of the issue of 
misrepresentations about deposit insurance, as discussed below.
    As banks and savings associations adjust their business models to 
innovate and remain competitive, and as such digital transformation 
continues to accelerate, the FDIC is renewing its effort to consider 
how to revise and clarify its official sign and advertising rules 
related to FDIC deposit insurance. The FDIC is issuing this Request for 
Information (RFI) to inform FDIC efforts to align the policy objectives 
of its rules with how today's banks and savings associations offer 
deposit products and services and how consumers connect with banks and 
savings associations, including through evolving channels. The FDIC 
also requests information about how technological or other solutions 
could be leveraged to help consumers better distinguish FDIC-insured 
banks and savings associations from entities that are not insured by 
the FDIC (nonbanks), particularly across web and digital channels.
    Although the February 26, 2020, RFI also sought input on how to 
address misrepresentations about deposit insurance, that subject is not 
addressed in this RFI. On an ongoing basis, pursuant to its statutory 
authority, the FDIC actively seeks to protect depositors by ensuring 
the FDIC's name, seal, and logo are appropriately used and limited to 
being associated with insured depository institutions. In light of an 
increasing number of instances where people or entities have misused 
the FDIC's name or logo or have made misrepresentations that would 
falsely suggest to the public that their products are FDIC-insured, the 
FDIC expects to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comment 
on a proposed rule regarding misrepresentations about deposit insurance 
and misuse of the FDIC's name or logo. The FDIC intends to engage in 
its efforts to modernize the FDIC official sign and advertising 
requirements and its rulemaking regarding misrepresentations about 
deposit insurance in tandem and on a coordinated basis.

FDIC Official Sign and Advertising Statement Requirements

    The FDIC's official sign and advertising statement regulations (12 
CFR part 328) require banks to continuously display the FDIC sign where 
insured deposits are usually and normally received in the bank's 
principal place of business and at all of its branches and to use an 
official advertising statement, such as ``Member FDIC,'' when 
advertising deposit products and services. Official sign and 
advertising statement requirements are set forth in in section 18(a) of 
the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDI Act) and have been in place 
since 1935.\1\ The last major changes to the regulations were made in 
2006 \2\ and the rules do not reflect evolving banking channels and 
operations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 12 U.S.C. 1828(a). See Banking Act of 1935, Public Law 74-
305, section 101(v) (Aug. 23, 1935).
    \2\ 71 FR 40440 (July 17, 2006).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Technology and Innovation

    The FDIC has begun a number of initiatives focused on innovation 
and technology. For example, the FDIC established the FDIC Tech Lab 
(FDiTech) to foster innovation across the banking sector, while 
simultaneously protecting consumers, markets, and the Deposit Insurance 
Fund. FDiTech is undertaking a number of activities to promote 
innovation under four broad themes: Inclusion, Resilience, 
Amplification and Protecting the Future. In February 2021, the FDIC 
appointed its first Chief Innovation Officer.
    Technology has advanced the business of banking in many ways, 
including how and where depositors interface with banks and savings 
associations when making deposits. The internet, through online and 
mobile banking, smart phone applications (apps), digital wallets, and 
other tools, has had a profound effect on the way banking and deposit-
taking is conducted. Some banks have no physical branches. Other banks 
with physical branches are also increasingly offering ways to open and 
manage accounts online or through mobile apps. Remote deposit capture 
for depositing checks, introduced in the early 2000s, has become a 
common feature of many banking apps. In addition, some banks have moved 
away from the traditional branch/bank teller models to electronically-
staffed kiosks and pop-up facilities and teller-less cafes where 
deposits can be accepted on tablets. In addition, some consumers 
``deposit'' funds with prepaid account providers and technologically-
focused financial companies (fintechs), some of which are not 
themselves FDIC-insured banks.\3\ In some cases, consumers have 
difficulty distinguishing FDIC-insured banks from nonbank fintechs when 
they look online for places to put their money. This can also occur 
when the nonbank fintech advertises deposit products from FDIC-insured 
banks and savings associations.
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    \3\ Some uninsured companies enter into deposit arrangements 
with FDIC-insured banks, which may, under some circumstances, result 
in ``pass-through'' deposit insurance being applied per customer. 
See generally, 12 CFR part 330.
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    Given these banking industry developments, the FDIC is seeking 
information on its official sign and advertising requirements to align 
with how banks offer products through various deposit-taking channels 
and how consumers interact with banks.

Request for Comment

    The FDIC encourages comments from all interested parties, including 
but not limited to insured banks and savings associations, technology 
companies and fintechs, other financial institutions or companies, 
depositors and financial consumers (of both FDIC-insured and uninsured 
institutions), consumer groups, researchers, trade associations, and 
other members of the financial services industry. In particular, the 
FDIC requests input on the following topics and questions:

Official Sign

    The FDI Act requires that insured depository institutions display a 
sign relating to the insurance of deposits at each place of business 
maintained by that institution in accordance with regulations issued by 
the FDIC.\4\ The implementing regulation, 12 CFR 328.2(a), requires the 
sign to be displayed continuously at each station or window where 
insured deposits are usually and normally received in the depository 
institution's principal place

[[Page 18530]]

of business and at all of its branches.\5\ The official sign must be 
7'' x 3'' with black lettering on a gold background.\6\ The official 
sign is permitted--but not required--to be displayed in other locations 
\7\ and on or at ``Remote Service Facilities.'' \8\ In lieu of the 
official sign, banks may vary the sign subject to the minimum standards 
set for the sign.\9\ Non-English equivalent signs must be approved by 
the FDIC.
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    \4\ See 12 U.S.C. 1828(a)(1)(A).
    \5\ Part 328 does not apply to uninsured offices or branches of 
insured depository institutions located outside the United States. 
12 CFR part 328.
    \6\ 12 CFR 328.1(a).
    \7\ 12 CFR 328.2(a)(1)(i).
    \8\ 12 CFR 328.2(a)(1)(ii). ``Remote Service Facilities'' are 
defined as including ``any automated teller machine, cash dispensing 
machine, point-of-sale terminal, or other remote electronic facility 
where deposits are received.''
    \9\ 12 CFR 328.2(a)(2).
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    The FDIC seeks comments on all aspects of the sign regulation, 
including the following specific questions:
    1. Should the rule continue to require the sign be a minimum size 
and a specific color? Is this needed to ensure consumers understand 
``deposit insurance?''
    2. Should the rule continue to link the placement of the sign to 
each teller station or window where insured deposits are usually and 
normally received?
    3. Should the rule take into account changes in places where 
deposits are ``usually and normally received'' by banks? How?
    4. Should the FDIC's current approach of allowing for permissive or 
optional placement and use of signage be broadened? How?
    5. Does the rule's definition of ``Remote Service Facility'' 
appropriately reflect current banking practices? For example, should 
the list of facilities (any automated teller machine, cash dispensing 
machine, point-of-sale terminal, or other remote electronic facility 
where deposits are received) be broadened? If so, what other 
``facilities'' should be included?
    6. Are FDIC-insured institutions currently displaying a digital 
representation of the FDIC sign or logo on their websites/mobile apps 
at account opening? If not, should they do so?
    7. Are FDIC-insured institutions currently displaying a digital 
representation of the FDIC sign or logo on their websites/mobile apps 
each time a consumer deposits funds? If not, should they do so?
    8. Are alternative means of displaying an official FDIC sign, 
beyond a two-dimensional placard, appropriate in places such as bank 
``cafes'' and through digital means? How might this be implemented for 
different delivery channels (e.g., brick-and-mortar, website, app-
based)?
    9. As noted above, the current regulation requires that the 
official FDIC sign be displayed continuously at each station or window 
where insured deposits are usually and normally received in the 
depository institution's principal place of business and at all of its 
branches. Should the rule continue to require that the sign be 
displayed continuously, or should it allow for digital displays or 
representations that are not continuously displayed?
    10. To what extent do the existing rules enable consumers to 
distinguish between FDIC-insured institutions and uninsured entities? 
Are there data, surveys, and studies on this issue?

Official Advertising Statement

    The current rule requires bank advertisements \10\ that promote 
deposit products and services or promote non-specific banking products 
and services offered by the institution to state that the bank is a 
``Member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation,'' ``Member of 
FDIC,'' or ``Member FDIC,'' or that the bank use the FDIC's symbol 
(taken from the official sign).\11\ This advertising statement seeks to 
enable consumers to recognize FDIC-insured deposit products, as 
contrasted with non-deposit investment products that are not insured. 
Size, print legibility and proportions are prescribed.\12\ Insured and 
uninsured (foreign) branches must be identified.\13\
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    \10\ ``Advertisement'' is defined as ``a commercial message, in 
any medium, that is designed to attract public attention or 
patronage to a product or business.'' 12 CFR 328.3(a).
    \11\ 12 CFR 328.3(c)(1).
    \12\ 12 CFR 328.3(b)(2).
    \13\ 12 CFR 328.3(c)(2).
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    Insured depository institutions may not include the official 
advertising statement or other statements that imply Federal deposit 
insurance in any advertisement relating solely to ``non-deposit 
products'' or ``hybrid products.'' \14\ With ``mixed'' advertisements 
for both insured deposit products and uninsured or hybrid products, the 
official advertising statement must be segregated within the ad.\15\ 
``Hybrid product'' means ``a product or service that has both deposit 
product features and non-deposit product features.'' \16\ ``Non-deposit 
products'' are defined to include ``insurance products, annuities, 
mutual funds and securities'' but not credit products.\17\
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    \14\ 12 CFR 328.3(e)(2) and (e)(3).
    \15\ 12 CFR 328.3(e)(4).
    \16\ 12 CFR 328.3(e)(1)(ii).
    \17\ 12 CFR 328.3(e)(1)(i).
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    The FDIC seeks comments on all aspects of the official advertising 
statement regulation, including the following specific questions:
    11. Can the regulation be better clarified regarding which types of 
advertising require the inclusion of the official advertising 
statement? Should some forms of advertising currently subject to the 
requirement be made exempt? Are there newer forms of advertising that 
do not now but should include the official advertising statement?
    12. How do banks currently provide the advertising statement when 
promoting deposit products through non-traditional channels?
    13. If a bank is identified in a nonbank's promotion or 
advertisement for a deposit product or service, should the advertising 
statement be required, or conversely, should it be prohibited given 
that the advertisement is from an uninsured entity?

Technological Solutions

    The FDIC regularly receives reports of fraudulent communications 
made to consumers that appear to be from FDIC-insured entities, but 
actually originate from fraudsters. These types of scams may involve a 
variety of electronic communication channels, including emails, 
websites, text messages, and social media posts. Some scam messages 
might ask the recipient to ``confirm'' or ``update'' confidential 
personal financial information, such as bank account numbers, Social 
Security numbers, dates of birth and other valuable details. Other 
scams might ask for payments or deposits to be sent, for example, by 
money order, Automated Clearing House (ACH) credit, wire transfer 
service, peer-to-peer payment service, gift cards, or digital currency. 
Banks also face risks that fraudsters may be using their names and 
brands to perpetrate such frauds.
    The FDIC is exploring whether technological or other solutions 
might enable consumers to validate when they are interacting with a 
FDIC-insured financial institution when visiting websites and using 
apps on mobile devices. The FDIC seeks comments on how technology might 
be utilized to allow consumers to distinguish FDIC-insured banks and 
savings association from nonbanks across various web and digital 
channels, including the following specific questions:
    14. Do consumers look for the FDIC name or logo when using 
financial

[[Page 18531]]

institution websites and apps to confirm the validity of insured 
institutions' authenticity? Do they look for the logo when deciding to 
open new deposit accounts? During every interaction?
    15. What technological options or other approaches could be 
utilized to allow consumers to distinguish FDIC-insured banks and 
savings associations from nonbanks across web and digital channels? 
What are the benefits and drawbacks of each approach? Is it necessary 
or desirable for the FDIC to try to ``solve'' this by rule, or can 
private sector initiatives better address this issue?
    16. If the FDIC develops a technological solution to allow 
consumers to distinguish FDIC-insured banks and savings associations 
from nonbanks across web and digital channels, what challenges would 
institutions have in implementing such solutions? How would any 
solution work with third parties that have established legitimate 
business relationships with banks or savings associations?
    17. If the FDIC develops a technological solution to allow 
consumers to distinguish FDIC-insured banks and savings associations 
from nonbanks across web and digital channels, should its use be 
limited to FDIC-insured banks, or should third parties that market or 
facilitate access to deposit products (e.g., prepaid program managers, 
fintechs) be permitted or required to use such a logo in certain 
circumstances?

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

    Dated at Washington, DC, on April 5, 2021.
James P. Sheesley,
Assistant Executive Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2021-07356 Filed 4-8-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6714-01-P