Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (FDIC) - independent federal agency, established in 1933 in the aftermath of numerous bank failures after the Great Depression. The FDIC helps preserve public confidence in American banks and other financial institutions. It accomplishes this by providing insurance for bank and thrift deposits up to a legal limit of $100,000. In addition, the FDIC periodically examines banks chartered by the states which are not members of the Federal Reserve system, to make sure that they are sound and that they follow consumer protection laws. When banks and other financial institutions fail, the FDIC liquidates their assets and reimburses insurance funds for the cost of the failures. Congress does not assign money for the operation of the FDIC. Instead, the FDIC gets its income from fees paid by insured banks; interest from required investment of surplus funds; and, if necessary, borrowing up to $30 billion for insurance purposes from the Department of the Treasury.. .