Press Releases Press Releases

October 24, 2007
Contact: Alana Golden, Public Information Officer
(916) 323-7012 or (916) 322-5966

Consumers Can Continue to Access Accounts Using ATMs and other Services Provided by Financial Institutions that have Closed Branches Due to Wildfires

(San Francisco, CA) The Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) reminds consumers that they can access their bank and credit union accounts at ATMs and also through other services provided by their financial institution including telephone and online banking. These services are not interrupted when a branch office is closed due to an emergency situation.

Consumers can contact their financial institution by visiting the Web site and/or by calling the toll-free telephone banking line or customer service numbers.

The DFI Web site provides a list of state financial institutions with Web site links

If your ATM card will not work, it is possible that the bank's verification system is not working. You may consider other options, such as cashing a check in the area where you are located or using a credit card.

If you have relatives that can wire money to you, please have them contact your financial institution first to make sure they are able to receive the funds. You can also use licensed money transmitters to receive money from friends or relatives that live in another area.

For credit issues, including car and home loans, regulators encourage banks and credit unions to be understanding during times of crisis. DFI requests that financial institutions work with customers hit hardest by the wild fires.

Resources regarding emergency response, preparedness and other emergency-related information are available from the California Office of Emergency Services and the American Red Cross

DFI supervises over 700 state financial institutions. The Department is responsible for administering state laws regulating state-licensed financial institutions: banks, credit unions, industrial banks, trust companies, offices of foreign banks, issuers of travelers' checks and payment instruments (money orders), and money transmitters. DFI reports to Business, Transportation & Housing Agency Secretary Dale E. Bonner and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.