At 6am this morning, I got a peculiar email from Citibank — not as a journalist, but just as one of their depositors. The subject line was startling:
Unlimited FDIC Insurance Coverage on your Citibank Checking Account
The email continued:
Good news! Citibank is participating in the FDIC’s Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program. Through December 31, 2009, all of your non-interest and interest bearing checking deposit account balances are fully guaranteed by the FDIC for the entire amount in your account. [Emphasis mine.]
Can someone explain to me what’s going on here? I haven’t seen this referred to in any of the stories or press releases about the Citi bailout, and the official FDIC FAQ about the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program states unambiguously that it covers only noninterest-bearing accounts.
As part of the bailout, has the FDIC quietly started insuring all Citi’s interest-bearing checking accounts, even above the $250,000 limit? Is there a press release to this effect somewhere? Or is Citi getting a little ahead of itself, or even a little panicked, when it comes to email communication? The timing of the email certainly implies that it’s somehow related to the latest bailout, but it never says that explicitly. Most peculiar.