Florence Helm, 93, a retired official of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and a Washington area resident for 46 years, died of cardiac arrest Tuesday at the Westwood Retirement Home in Bethesda.

An economist and former banker, Miss Helm joined the FDIC in 1934. From 1946 until her retirement in 1949, she was acting chief of the division of research and statistics.

She began her career as a banker in her native Hannibal, Mo. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in economics from the University of Missouri, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

After studying banking and monetary theory in Europe and at the University of California during the late 1920s and early 1930s, she earned a doctorate in economics from Yale University in 1934.

During World War I, she worked with the American Red Cross in Italy for more than a year.

Miss Helm lived in Washington before moving to the Westwood Retirement Home several months ago.

Active in the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church for 46 years, she was a former officer of the Women's association and a church choir sponsor.

She was a member of the Dolly Madison Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the 20th Century Club.

There are no immediate survivors.