In case you haven’t heard, the recent economic bailout bill included a provision for increasing FDIC insurance limits to $250,000 per depositor per insured bank. This move is intended to shore up confidence in struggling banks and improve liquidity in banks across the country.
What increased FDIC coverage means for you
The new limits mean that a married couple such as my wife and I could conceivably keep up to $1M at a single bank — individual accounts for each of us ($250k/each) plus a joint account ($500k). Not that it matters too much for us, but the increased coverage is currently slated to end in December 2009, though it’s conceivable that additional legislation could extend this deadline, or make the change permanent.
Who’s paying for the increased FDIC coverage?
Interestingly, FDIC premiums (paid by banks) are increasing, with the average premium going up to roughly double the current rate (from 6.3 to 13.5 cents per $100). This change has actually been in the works since July, and will apply only to the first $100k of deposits per depositor, as the FDIC isn’t being allowed to increase their rates to offset the additional coverage. Rather, they’ll have to borrow from the Treasury to cover losses due to the higher limits.
The future of FDIC insurance
On a related note, Congress actually approved new limits that would peg FDIC coverage to inflation back in 2005. However, that measure wasn’t scheduled to go into effect until 2011. Stay tuned — I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ll be hearing more about FDIC coverage in the coming months…