A former FDIC employee writes that the FDIC’s call center (877-275-3342) is “a tremendously helpful place to get basic referral information if you’re having trouble with your bank, lender, or finance company.” They can’t help you with complaints, but they can route you to the correct agency, provide credit union contact info, and give you the names and numbers of state agencies where your bank is located.
For a few years I worked as an “Information Specialist” at the FDIC’s call center (877-275-3342). Despite being the lone point of contact between the agency and the public (not to mention being one of the few federal agencies that employs a live call center staff), the minimal call volume only requires a small crew. But it’s a tremendously helpful place to get basic referral information if you’re having trouble with your bank, lender, or finance company.
Now, the call center’s main function is to explain deposit insurance and transfer certain calls to regional offices. They don’t know the ins-and-outs of bank regulations or what your bank is or is not allowed to do. However, they have a ton of phone numbers & addresses that they can give you, specifically for the agencies that regulate banks & credit unions (Federal Reserve Board, Office of Thrift Supervision, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the National Credit Union Association).
They can also give you contact info for the different credit bureaus if you’re trying to clean up a case of identity theft or are working to patch up your credit. If your issue is with a lender or a finance company that is not part of a bank, they can give you contact info for the state agency that might handle such complaints.
FYI, be prepared to articulate your issue in writing. Bank regulators, credit bureaus, and State AG offices won’t even begin to think about addressing an issue unless they have a request in writing, be it via online inquiry (if available) or snail mail. While the FDIC call center won’t accept complaints and can’t really tell you how to go about resolving an issue, they can point you in the right direction and get you started.
Also, while a little dense, the FDIC’s website (fdic.gov) has a wealth of searchable info and a pretty cool database where you can trace the succession of failed/merged banks, if you’re trying to track down an old, forgotten savings account.
Hope this helps. Love the site. Keep fightin’ the good fight!