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Inside Washington (04/18/2011)
• WASHINGTON (4/18/11)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s (FDIC) plan to require further account insurance limit training for bank employees has banks both large and small, and their lobbying representation, complaining about the potentially burdensome changes. Banks have also noted that the FDIC’s training initiative could conflict with their own proprietary training programs, and have suggested that the FDIC itself – not the banks – educated consumers on FDIC insurance. However, as reported in Monday’s American Banker, some financial institutions have argued that establishing a standardized, industry-wide training regime could illuminate the often confusing realm of deposit insurance. The FDIC rules have varied in recent years, with the once standard $100,000 deposit coverage limit being temporarily raised to $250,000 per deposit during the financial crisis. Differing standards are applied to different account categories, such as joint accounts opened by married couples, trust accounts, and retirement accounts. The FDIC has noted that many consumers are confused by these differing standards, and some of those same consumers have complained that employees at their respective banks cannot accurately explain their account issues. The FDIC said it is “concerned that these situations could cause financial harm to depositors” and undermine consumer confidence. The agency has estimated that its to-be-developed computer-based training regime would take less than two hours for employees to complete … * WASHINGTON (4/19/11)--The Federal Reserve Board has redesigned and expanded the frequently-asked-questions (FAQs) section of its website with new questions and answers addressing the Fed’s roles and actions, currency and coin, consumer issues, the banking and financial system, and the economy. The new Current FAQs provides many answer links with related information and resources, and videos accompany some answers. The first topic in the new FAQs: How do I determine if a banknote is genuine? What should I do if I think I have a counterfeit note? ... * WASHINGTON (4/19/11)--Oversight of savings and loan holding companies will shift from the Office of Thrift Supervision to the Federal Reserve in July, and the Fed is seeking comment on how savings and loan oversight could be improved once it takes over (American Banker, April 18). The Fed has said that it will integrate thrift holding companies into its current supervisory programs, but has added that it is looking for general comment on how it should evaluate its own supervisory programs. Input on any risks and other characteristics that are specific to savings and loan holding companies has also been requested. The Fed is accepting comments through May 23 …

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