337 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903
Phone: (401) 222-2353
Fax: (401) 222-3199
Open to the public
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
In 1991, the Rhode Island General Assembly created the Depositors Economic Protection Corporation (DEPCO) to assist in protecting the interests of depositors of certain credit unions, loan and investment companies and bank and trust companies in the state (PL 1991, ch.116.) This was made necessary by a banking crisis triggered by the collapse of the Rhode Island Share and Depositors' Indemnity Corporation (RISDIC), a private firm that had been established by the General Assembly in 1969 to insure deposits in certain of Rhode Island's financial institutions. The failure of multiple state credit unions and other financial institutions over a short period of time had overwhelmed RISDIC's limited resources. This prompted Governor Bruce Sundlun to declare a banking emergency and to close over forty institutions unable to obtain legally required insurance to back their deposits. This was the last in a series of post-1970 failures of state-chartered, privately operated deposit insurance funds for thrift institutions, industrial banks, and some credit unions. The failures began in Mississippi in 1976 and continued in Nebraska and California (1983), Ohio and Maryland (1985), Utah and Colorado (1987), and Rhode Island (1991).
The lockout provoked a financial crisis. It prevented depositors from withdrawing their funds and caused consternation in myriad other ways. Over time, many of the affected institutions were able to obtain deposit insurance from other sources, such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and resumed operations. Others were absorbed by insured entities. In the end, ten financial institutions were unable to reopen. These financial institutions' lending practices accounted for their eventual insolvency. They were all placed into conservatorship.
DEPCO was created to assume the role of a liquidating bank for the closed, uninsurable institutions. As such, certain accounting principles governing liquidating banks were applicable to DEPCO. DEPCO was empowered to act as the receiver, to manage the failed banks' estates, marshal and liquidate their assets, repay depositors, and seek recovery from those responsible for the fiasco. It was established as a semi-autonomous public corporation. It was dissolved on April 30, 2003.
The records in this Record Group include DEPCO's corporate records as well as the records of the Select Commission established to investigate RISDIC's failure; the Gregorian Commission; RISDIC’s corporate records and also the corporate records from those financial institutions that fell into bankruptcy and came under DEPCO receivership.