Banking Frequently Asked Questions

The North Carolina Office of the Commissioner of Banks charters, licenses and regulates a variety of financial institutions within the State. Answers to many of your questions and concerns may be found in this section. Please use any of the links to the left for additional information. If you still need assistance, please call our office at (919) 733-3016 and we will be happy to assist you.

How many deposits does my local bank branch hold?

The FDIC gathers deposit amount information each year as of June 30th. You can search for your local branch to determine the dollar amount of deposits that your local branch holds. You can access the search form at the FDIC's Summary of Deposits website. This service is not available for Credit Union branches.

How safe is my money at an FDIC insured depository bank?

Deposits are insured up to $250,000 for each insured entity by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. For more detailed information regarding your deposits and FDIC insurance, visit FDIC where you can calculate your insurance coverage by using the Electronic deposit Insurance Estimator.

How can I find out what happened to a bank that is no longer in operation?

You can research both active and inactive banking institutions by using the National Information Center, a division of the Federal Reserve System, and the FDIC website to determine what happened to a financial institution. You can search by several different criteria to determine the current status of the bank.

I made a deposit and the bank placed a hold on my deposit. Can the bank do this?

Yes. Review the deposit account agreement for information about the bank’s funds availability policy.

I found old bank information (Statements, Certificate of Deposit receipts, etc.). The bank does not exist anymore. How can I find out what happened to the account?

You may wish to contact the State Treasurer’s Office in the state where the account was held. All states have programs requiring banks to transfer unclaimed funds to the state.

Can a bank require two forms of identification to open an account?

Yes. Banks are required by law to have a customer identification program as a security measure.

How long are banks required to keep bank account related records?

The bank must keep records for five years or longer at the bank’s discretion. 

Can the bank charge me a fee for requesting copies of bank account related records?

Yes, the bank may charge a fee for this service.

My bank is charging fees for having and keeping an account with them. Can the bank do that?

Yes. Banks are allowed to charge non-interest charges and fees. Banks must disclose certain fees associated with an account when it is set up. Review the deposit account agreement for information about the bank’s policy and fees.

Who oversees setting interest rates on bank savings accounts?

The bank can set its own interest rates on savings accounts as it is a private business.

Does the bank have to let me know if it is removing funds from my account due to a deposit mistake?

No, if the money deposited into the account was in error, the bank does not need permission to remove the funds and deposit them into the correct account.

The bank charged an overdraft fee that the amount seems excessive. Is there a cap for overdraft fees?

Federal law does not stipulate maximum amounts for fees that banks can charge for overdrafts. The decision is made by the bank. Banks must disclose fees when the account is set up and give advance notice if the fees change.

The bank refused to let me open a checking account with them. Can they do that?

Yes. Banks have the authority to decide under what conditions they provide their products and services.

Can a commercial bank close an account without notice?

Yes, commercial bank may close accounts for any reason and without notice. 

There are items missing from my safety deposit box. What can I do?

Contact the bank at once and work with them to try to resolve the situation.

I have unrolled coins and the bank will not accept them for exchange of currency. Can they do that?

Yes. A bank can set an internal policy as to whether they will accept or exchange unrolled coins for currency.

The bank has made the decision to close a branch in my town. Now I will have to travel further to do my banking. Can they do that?

Yes. The bank would have to notify customers of the branch closing by mailing notices before the closing date and posting a notice at the branch that is closing.