Are Banks Safe Right Now?

Understandably, the coronavirus pandemic has created quite a bit of anxiety among Americans concerned about their finances.

One of the big questions many people have on their minds is: Are our banks safe right now?

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Coronavirus Pandemic: Are Banks Safe?

Money expert Clark Howard has been getting a lot of questions related to whether your money is secure with various financial institutions. Here's his short answer:

"Money and banks are safe," Clark says.

Now let’s get into the reasons why he says that.

These bank guarantees mean that you can have up to $250,000 in your personal checking and savings accounts combined in each institution that you use and still be protected.

But what if those protections break down?

“It would take a complete destruction of civil order in the United States and an insolvency of the U.S. government for the bank guarantees not to hold,” Clark says.

He says that the U.S. financial sector — including the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department — have all learned the lessons of the Great Depression and won’t let the economy fail.

As for the government slipping into insolvency, “the chances that would happen are so minute that it’s not even measurable,” Clark says.

Conclusion

To sum it up, if your money’s in the bank, it’s safe right where it is, Clark says — and that goes for online banks and credit unions, too.

“Any money you have in an online bank, a traditional bank, or a credit union insured by the NCUA (the credit union equivalent of the FDIC), your accounts are insured directly by the Feds,” Clark says.

Of course, he understands the financial worries of millions of Americans right now. That's why he says, "It is a good idea for you to have some amount of cash on hand."

Meanwhile, the American financial system is taking several measures to bolster the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what the FDIC, in particular, is encouraging financial institutions to do:

  • Allow customers to skip loan payments without penalty
  • Ease restrictions on cashing out-of-state and non-customer checks
  • Waive fees for customers and non-customers

If you want to speak to someone about your FDIC deposit insurance coverage, call 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342)  between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and ask to speak to a Deposit Insurance Subject Matter Expert.

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