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FAQs

Banking Information

 

How many U.S. commercial banks exist?
The most recent list of U.S. commercial banks is available from Bank Data and Statistics section of the FDIC Web site.

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How can I check the status of a bank holding company merger or acquisition?
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System's Release H.2a Release "Notice of Formation and Mergers of, and Acquisitions by, Bank Holding Companies; Change in Bank Control," provides the most recent list of bank holding company mergers and acquisitions. Additional information on all bank holding companies is available at the National Information Center Web site.

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Where can I find a merger application?
Different types of application forms are required depending on the nature of the applicant organization and type of merger. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System's Web site provides more detailed information in the Application Filing Information section.

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Where can I find information about a bank that seems to have closed?
The Federal Reserve System's National Information Center provides this information in its Institution Search.

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What is the Community Reinvestment Act, and where can I find a bank's CRA rating?
The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977 was passed by Congress to ensure that banks meet the credit needs of their local communities and to encourage investment in the immediate communities served by depository institutions. Banks are rated periodically on their efforts to achieve these goals.

The results of these periodic ratings are known as "CRA ratings." An institution's CRA rating can be found on the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) Interagency's CRA rating search Web site.


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What is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and what does it mean if a bank is an FDIC member?
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is an independent agency created by Congress in 1933. It is the primary federal regulator of state-chartered banks that are not members of the Federal Reserve System. In addition, it insures the deposits of member banks, up to $250,000 per account. Almost all U.S. banks and savings associations are members of the FDIC.

Where can I find Call Report data?
Reports of Condition and Income, also known as "Call Reports," for individual FDIC insured institutions can be found on the FDIC's Reports of Condition and Income and Thrift Financial Reports Web site.

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How do I know if a bank is "safe and sound"?
Federal banking regulatory agencies do not make public their ratings on the safety and soundness of banks and thrifts. Some private companies offer either bank ranking services or credit rating/analytical services, but . Neither the FDIC nor the Federal Reserve endorses or confirms the information provided by such companies.

How soon after I deposit a check are the funds available to me?
Under the Expedited Funds Availability Act, a depository institution must make funds deposited into a customer's account by cash, by check, or by electronic payment available for withdrawal within a specified number of days after the day of deposit. Generally, the amount of time within which deposited funds must be made available depends on the type of deposit (by check or by cash or electronic payment) and the amount of the deposit. There are a number of statutory exceptions, however, under which a depository institution can delay funds availability. Included among these exceptions are deposits into newly established accounts, deposits into accounts where there have been repeated overdrafts, deposits of large dollar amounts (over $5,000), deposits where there is reasonable cause to doubt that the check can be collected, and deposits in emergency situations. A depository institution must adopt a specific funds availability policy and must disclose this policy to its customers when an account is opened and upon request. You should check with your depository institution to obtain a copy of its funds availability policy and to determine when funds deposited into your account will be made available under that policy.

Where can I find a list of banks in my area?
You can search for banks by location by using the Institution Search function on the National Information Center's (NIC) Web site.

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Does the Federal Reserve keep information about individual bank accounts?
No, the Federal Reserve does not have any information about individual bank accounts.

How can I locate information about old, lost, or abandoned checking accounts?
First, if possible, contact the institution that held the account. If the institution no longer exists, you can search for the successor to the institution (if there is one) on the FDIC's Bank Find Web site and contact the successor institution to determine whether it has information about the account.

If you still need information, you can contact your state banking agency by checking in the State Government section of your telephone directory. Provide the agency with as much detail as possible, including the institution's name, the account number, the exact name(s) on the account, and any other information you may have concerning the account.


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Where are bank reserve requirements?
"Reserve requirements" are imposed on certain types of deposits and other liabilities of depository institutions for monetary policy purposes only. An institution maintains reserves to satisfy its reserve requirements either as cash in its vault or in the form of a balance in an account at a Federal Reserve Bank.

Further information on reserve requirements is available on the Reserve Requirements section of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Web site.


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How can I reclaim a lost or abandoned bank account?
First, if possible, contact the financial institution where you opened the account. If the institution no longer exists, contact your state banking agency. Provide the agency with as much detail as possible, including the financial institution's name, the account number, and the exact name(s) on the account.

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What is a routing number and where can I get information about valid routing numbers and the financial institutions to which they have been assigned?
A routing number (also called an "ABA number," a "routing transit number," or a "transit number") is a nine-digit number that identifies an institution and the region in which the institution is located. Routing numbers commonly appear in the lower left-hand corner of a personal check. Routing numbers are assigned by the Official American Bankers Association Registrar of Routing Numbers and are not assigned by the Federal Reserve.

You can get information on purchasing a copy of the American Bankers Association Key to Routing Numbers from the American Bankers Association, or you can consult with your bank to determine to whom a routing number has been assigned and whether the routing number is valid.


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How can I file a consumer complaint about a bank?
The Federal Reserve urges you to file a complaint if you think a bank has been unfair or misleading, discriminated against you in lending, or violated a federal consumer protection law or regulation. You can file a complaint online through the Federal Reserve's Consumer Complaint Form.

You can also call or email Federal Reserve Consumer Help, the System's central repository for consumer complaints and inquiries, and they will walk you through the process of filing a complaint and answer any questions you might have.

Although the Federal Reserve looks into every complaint that involves banks it regulates, it does not have the authority to resolve every problem. There are several federal agencies who handle complaints about banks and other financial institutions, so the Federal Reserve may connect you with or forward your complaint to another federal regulator.


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Where can I find the FR-Y6 form?
Form FR Y-6 ("Annual Report of Bank Holding Companies"), together with the instructions for completing the form, can be found on the "Reporting Forms" section of the Board of Governor's Web site.

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