FDIC Call Center: Former Employee Says It's A Great Place For Bank & Credit Union Info

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!

Yours,
Anon.

Comments

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  1. Very nice to know.

  2. STrRedWolf says:

    So if I ask about if my bank is on the “about to fail” list…

  3. DrGirlfriend says:

    Good info to have. Thank you.

  4. ANON4444 says:

    @STrRedWolf

    there is no such list. that’s like saying Progressive Insurance has a list that details when and where their policy holders will have a car accident.

    furthermore, the FDIC is not the “bank police.” they regulate certain banks, but the do not oversee all banks.

    this isn’t the definitive process, but it goes something like this…

    if a bank is in trouble the regulator tries to assist the bank in merging w/another institution, or arrange some other arrangement that may prevent the bank from out-and-out failing. sometimes the FDIC may be involved during these proceedings, but not always.

    if all options are exhausted and the bank does fails, then believe me you will know about it. and at that point the FDIC will be able to assist you with obtaining 100% of your insured deposits.

    hope that helps.

    ANON