Facts About Banks During The Great Depression

Here are some interesting facts about banks and bank failures during the Great Depression:

•An estimated 9,000 banks failed during the 1930s and the Great Depression.

•In 1933 alone, people who had money deposited in banks lost approximately $140 billion.

•In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) declared a three-day National Bank Holiday to prevent people from withdrawing money from banks. To sell the idea of a cooling off period to the American public, Roosevelt uttered the line that would become famous: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”


•The FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) was created in 1933 to insure deposits, in the event that a bank failed. The FDIC now insures bank depositors up to $250,000 per insured bank. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) signed the Banking Act of 1933 on June 16, 1933, which established the FDIC.

•Farmers defaulting on loans (because of Dust Bowl conditions) was one of the main contributing factors to the record number of bank failures during the Great Depression.

•During the Great Depression, there were several major run on banks, times during which panic struck and Americans tried to withdraw all of their money from banks.

•In 1932, the Federal Home Loan Bank Act was passed by Congress.

•In 1933, the  Emergency Banking Bill was passed by Congress.

•In 1935, the Banking Act of 1935 was passed by Congress.