On September 18, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) announced the launch of the agency’s first-ever Academic Challenge, a competition among teams of university and college students to address questions concerning the U.S. banking sector. The topic for this inaugural challenge is “The Effects of Community Banks on Local Economic Development.” The FDIC’s Center for Financial Research is hosting the 2020–21 Academic Challenge, which will consist of two rounds. In the first round, teams will submit a written response to a question on the banking industry. In the second round, five finalist teams will be invited to Washington, D.C., to give a presentation of their findings and answer questions from a panel of judges who work in the areas of banking and bank supervision.
“We are launching this academic challenge to excite young minds to the world of banking and how community banks connect to their communities,” says Jelena McWilliams, FDIC chair. “This competition will expose undergraduates to the regulation and supervision of financial institutions.”
Teams will be challenged to use government and other public data to inform their insights. In addition, FDIC economists will host two online sessions to help students find resources and address questions about the competition. Participants will have the opportunity to showcase and sharpen their analytical and presentation skills, be exposed to important issues in banking and deepen their experiences working in teams.
The objectives of the FDIC Academic Challenge include:
- Increasing understanding of the banking industry and the FDIC’s role of ensuring the stability of our nation’s financial system;
- Engaging in critical dialogue with undergraduate scholars on the banking trends and policies related to the FDIC’s mission;
- Promoting interest in future FDIC careers in the fields of economics, accounting and finance; and
- Building relationships between the FDIC, students and the academic community.
The first online Q&A session is October 7, with the second Q&A session scheduled for November 12. November 20 is the deadline for submitting the written portion of the competition. The final-round decisions will be made in February 2021 and the final presentations will be held April 16, 2021.