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Title 12 – Banks and Banking–Volume 4

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Title 12 – Banks and Banking–Volume 4


Part


chapter ii – Federal Reserve System (Continued)

220

CHAPTER II – FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM (CONTINUED)

SUBCHAPTER A – BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM (CONTINUED)

PART 230 [RESERVED]

PART 231 – NETTING ELIGIBILITY FOR FINANCIAL INSTITUTION (REGULATION EE)


Authority:12 U.S.C. 4402(1)(B) and 4402(9).


Source:Reg. EE, 59 FR 4784, Feb. 2, 1994, unless otherwise noted.

§ 231.1 Authority, purpose, and scope.

(a) Authority. This part (Regulation EE; 12 CFR part 231) is issued by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System under the authority of sections 402(1)(B) and 402(9) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991 (12 U.S.C. 4402(1)(B) and 4402(9)).


(b) Purpose and scope. The purpose of the Act and this part is to enhance efficiency and reduce systemic risk in the financial markets. This part expands the Act’s definition of “financial institution” to allow more financial market participants to avail themselves of the netting provisions set forth in sections 401-407 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 4401-4407). This part does not affect the status of those financial institutions specifically defined in the Act.


§ 231.2 Definitions.

As used in this part, unless the context requires otherwise:


(a) Act means the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991 (Pub. L. 102-242, 105 Stat. 2236), as amended.


(b) Affiliate, with respect to a person, means any other person that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with the person.


(c) Bridge institution means a legal entity that has been established by a governmental authority to take over, transfer, or continue operating critical functions and viable operations of an entity in resolution. A bridge institution could include a bridge depository institution or a bridge financial company organized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in accordance with 12 U.S.C. 1821(n) or 5390(h), respectively, or a similar entity organized under foreign law.


(d) Financial contract means a qualified financial contract as defined in section 11(e)(8)(D) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1821(e)(8)(D)), as amended, except that a forward contract includes a contract with a maturity date two days or less after the date the contract is entered into (i.e., a “spot” contract).


(e) Financial market means a market for a financial contract.


(f) Gross mark-to-market positions in one or more financial contracts means the sum of the absolute values of positions in those contracts, adjusted to reflect the market values of those positions in accordance with the methods used by the parties to each contract to value the contract.


(g) Person means any legal entity, foreign or domestic, including a corporation, unincorporated company, partnership, government unit or instrumentality, trust, natural person, or any other entity or organization.


[Reg. EE, 59 FR 4784, Feb. 2, 1994, as amended at 86 FR 11622, Feb. 26, 2021]


§ 231.3 Qualification as a financial institution.

(a) A person qualifies as a financial institution for purposes of sections 401-407 of the Act if it represents, orally or in writing, that it will engage in financial contracts as a counterparty on both sides of one or more financial markets and either –


(1) Had one or more financial contracts of a total gross dollar value of at least $1 billion in notional principal amount outstanding at such time or on any day during the previous 15-month period with counterparties that are not its affiliates; or


(2) Had total gross mark-to-market positions of at least $100 million (aggregated across counterparties) in one or more financial contracts at such time or on any day during the previous 15-month period with counterparties that are not its affiliates.


(b) After two or more persons consolidate, such as through a merger or acquisition, the surviving person meets the quantitative thresholds under paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) if, on the same, single calendar day during the previous 15-month period, the aggregate financial contracts of the consolidated persons would have met such quantitative thresholds.


(c) If a person qualifies as a financial institution under paragraph (a) of this section, that person will be considered a financial institution for the purposes of any contract entered into during the period it qualifies, even if the person subsequently fails to qualify.


(d) If a person qualifies as a financial institution under paragraph (a) of this section on March 7, 1994, that person will be considered a financial institution for the purposes of any outstanding contract entered into prior to March 7, 1994.


(e) A person qualifies as a financial institution for purposes of sections 401-407 of the Act if it is –


(1) A swap dealer or major swap participant registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission pursuant to section 4s of the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 6s);


(2) A security-based swap dealer or major security-based swap participant registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to section 15F of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78o-10);


(3) A derivatives clearing organization registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission pursuant to section 5b(a) of the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 7a-1(a)) or a derivatives clearing organization that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has exempted from registration by rule or order pursuant to section 5b(h) of the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 7a-1(h));


(4) A clearing agency registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to section 17A(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)) or a clearing agency that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has exempted from registration by rule or order pursuant to section 17A(k) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78q-1(k));


(5) A financial market utility that the Financial Stability Oversight Council has designated as, or as likely to become, systemically important pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 5463;


(6) A qualifying central counterparty under 12 CFR 217.2;


(7) A nonbank financial company that the Financial Stability Oversight Council has determined shall be supervised by the Board and subject to prudential standards, pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 5323;


(8) A foreign bank as defined in section 1(b) of the International Banking Act of 1978 (12 U.S.C. 3101), including a foreign bridge bank;


(9) A bridge institution established for the purpose of resolving a financial institution;


(10) A Federal Reserve Bank or a foreign central bank; or


(11) The Bank for International Settlements.


[Reg. EE, 59 FR 4784, Feb. 2, 1994, as amended at 61 FR 1274, Jan. 19, 1996; 86 FR 11622, Feb. 26, 2021]


PART 232 – OBTAINING AND USING MEDICAL INFORMATION IN CONNECTION WITH CREDIT (REGULATION FF)


Authority:15 U.S.C. 1681b.


Source:70 FR 70682, Nov. 22, 2005, unless otherwise noted.

§ 232.1 Scope, general prohibition and definitions.

(a) Scope. This part applies to creditors, as defined in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, except for creditors that are subject to §§ 41.30, 222.30, 334.30, 571.30, or 717.30.


(b) In general. A creditor may not obtain or use medical information pertaining to a consumer in connection with any determination of the consumer’s eligibility, or continued eligibility, for credit, except as provided in this section.


(c) Definitions. (1) Consumer means an individual.


(2) Credit has the same meaning as in section 702 of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, 15 U.S.C. 1691a.


(3) Creditor has the same meaning as in section 702 of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, 15 U.S.C. 1691a.


(4) Eligibility, or continued eligibility, for credit means the consumer’s qualification or fitness to receive, or continue to receive, credit, including the terms on which credit is offered. The term does not include:


(i) Any determination of the consumer’s qualification or fitness for employment, insurance (other than a credit insurance product), or other non-credit products or services;


(ii) Authorizing, processing, or documenting a payment or transaction on behalf of the consumer in a manner that does not involve a determination of the consumer’s eligibility, or continued eligibility, for credit; or


(iii) Maintaining or servicing the consumer’s account in a manner that does not involve a determination of the consumer’s eligibility, or continued eligibility, for credit.


(5) Medical information means:


(i) Information or data, whether oral or recorded, in any form or medium, created by or derived from a health care provider or the consumer, that relates to –


(A) The past, present, or future physical, mental, or behavioral health or condition of an individual;


(B) The provision of health care to an individual; or


(C) The payment for the provision of health care to an individual.


(ii) The term does not include:


(A) The age or gender of a consumer;


(B) Demographic information about the consumer, including a consumer’s residence address or e-mail address;


(C) Any other information about a consumer that does not relate to the physical, mental, or behavioral health or condition of a consumer, including the existence or value of any insurance policy; or


(D) Information that does not identify a specific consumer.


(6) Person means any individual, partnership, corporation, trust, estate cooperative, association, government or governmental subdivision or agency, or other entity.


§ 232.2 Rule of construction for obtaining and using unsolicited medical information.

(a) In general. A creditor does not obtain medical information in violation of the prohibition if it receives medical information pertaining to a consumer in connection with any determination of the consumer’s eligibility, or continued eligibility, for credit without specifically requesting medical information.


(b) Use of unsolicited medical information. A creditor that receives unsolicited medical information in the manner described in paragraph (a) of this section may use that information in connection with any determination of the consumer’s eligibility, or continued eligibility, for credit to the extent the creditor can rely on at least one of the exceptions in § 232.3 or § 232.4.


(c) Examples. A creditor does not obtain medical information in violation of the prohibition if, for example:


(1) In response to a general question regarding a consumer’s debts or expenses, the creditor receives information that the consumer owes a debt to a hospital.


(2) In a conversation with the creditor’s loan officer, the consumer informs the creditor that the consumer has a particular medical condition.


(3) In connection with a consumer’s application for an extension of credit, the creditor requests a consumer report from a consumer reporting agency and receives medical information in the consumer report furnished by the agency even though the creditor did not specifically request medical information from the consumer reporting agency.


§ 232.3 Financial information exception for obtaining and using medical information.

(a) In general. A creditor may obtain and use medical information pertaining to a consumer in connection with any determination of the consumer’s eligibility, or continued eligibility, for credit so long as:


(1) The information is the type of information routinely used in making credit eligibility determinations, such as information relating to debts, expenses, income, benefits, assets, collateral, or the purpose of the loan, including the use of proceeds;


(2) The creditor uses the medical information in a manner and to an extent that is no less favorable than it would use comparable information that is not medical information in a credit transaction; and


(3) The creditor does not take the consumer’s physical, mental, or behavioral health, condition or history, type of treatment, or prognosis into account as part of any such determination.


(b) Examples – (1) Examples of the types of information routinely used in making credit eligibility determinations. Paragraph (a)(1) of this section permits a creditor, for example, to obtain and use information about:


(i) The dollar amount, repayment terms, repayment history, and similar information regarding medical debts to calculate, measure, or verify the repayment ability of the consumer, the use of proceeds, or the terms for granting credit;


(ii) The value, condition, and lien status of a medical device that may serve as collateral to secure a loan;


(iii) The dollar amount and continued eligibility for disability income, workers’ compensation income, or other benefits related to health or a medical condition that is relied on as a source of repayment; or


(iv) The identity of creditors to whom outstanding medical debts are owed in connection with an application for credit, including but not limited to, a transaction involving the consolidation of medical debts.


(2) Examples of uses of medical information consistent with the exception. (i) A consumer includes on an application for credit information about two $20,000 debts. One debt is to a hospital; the other debt is to a retailer. The creditor contacts the hospital and the retailer to verify the amount and payment status of the debts. The creditor learns that both debts are more than 90 days past due. Any two debts of this size that are more than 90 days past due would disqualify the consumer under the creditor’s established underwriting criteria. The creditor denies the application on the basis that the consumer has a poor repayment history on outstanding debts. The creditor has used medical information in a manner and to an extent no less favorable than it would use comparable non-medical information.


(ii) A consumer indicates on an application for a $200,000 mortgage loan that she receives $15,000 in long-term disability income each year from her former employer and has no other income. Annual income of $15,000, regardless of source, would not be sufficient to support the requested amount of credit. The creditor denies the application on the basis that the projected debt-to-income ratio of the consumer does not meet the creditor’s underwriting criteria. The creditor has used medical information in a manner and to an extent that is no less favorable than it would use comparable non-medical information.


(iii) A consumer includes on an application for a $10,000 home equity loan that he has a $50,000 debt to a medical facility that specializes in treating a potentially terminal disease. The creditor contacts the medical facility to verify the debt and obtain the repayment history and current status of the loan. The creditor learns that the debt is current. The applicant meets the income and other requirements of the creditor’s underwriting guidelines. The creditor grants the application. The creditor has used medical information in accordance with the exception.


(3) Examples of uses of medical information inconsistent with the exception. (i) A consumer applies for $25,000 of credit and includes on the application information about a $50,000 debt to a hospital. The creditor contacts the hospital to verify the amount and payment status of the debt, and learns that the debt is current and that the consumer has no delinquencies in her repayment history. If the existing debt were instead owed to a retail department store, the creditor would approve the application and extend credit based on the amount and repayment history of the outstanding debt. The creditor, however, denies the application because the consumer is indebted to a hospital. The creditor has used medical information, here the identity of the medical creditor, in a manner and to an extent that is less favorable than it would use comparable non-medical information.


(ii) A consumer meets with a loan officer of a creditor to apply for a mortgage loan. While filling out the loan application, the consumer informs the loan officer orally that she has a potentially terminal disease. The consumer meets the creditor’s established requirements for the requested mortgage loan. The loan officer recommends to the credit committee that the consumer be denied credit because the consumer has that disease. The credit committee follows the loan officer’s recommendation and denies the application because the consumer has a potentially terminal disease. The creditor has used medical information in a manner inconsistent with the exception by taking into account the consumer’s physical, mental, or behavioral health, condition, or history, type of treatment, or prognosis as part of a determination of eligibility or continued eligibility for credit.


(iii) A consumer who has an apparent medical condition, such as a consumer who uses a wheelchair or an oxygen tank, meets with a loan officer to apply for a home equity loan. The consumer meets the creditor’s established requirements for the requested home equity loan and the creditor typically does not require consumers to obtain a debt cancellation contract, debt suspension agreement, or credit insurance product in connection with such loans. However, based on the consumer’s apparent medical condition, the loan officer recommends to the credit committee that credit be extended to the consumer only if the consumer obtains a debt cancellation contract, debt suspension agreement, or credit insurance product from a nonaffiliated third party. The credit committee agrees with the loan officer’s recommendation. The loan officer informs the consumer that the consumer must obtain a debt cancellation contract, debt suspension agreement, or credit insurance product from a nonaffiliated third party to qualify for the loan. The consumer obtains one of these products and the creditor approves the loan. The creditor has used medical information in a manner inconsistent with the exception by taking into account the consumer’s physical, mental, or behavioral health, condition, or history, type of treatment, or prognosis in setting conditions on the consumer’s eligibility for credit.


§ 232.4 Specific exceptions for obtaining and using medical information.

(a) In general. A creditor may obtain and use medical information pertaining to a consumer in connection with any determination of the consumer’s eligibility, or continued eligibility, for credit:


(1) To determine whether the use of a power of attorney or legal representative that is triggered by a medical condition or event is necessary and appropriate or whether the consumer has the legal capacity to contract when a person seeks to exercise a power of attorney or act as legal representative for a consumer based on an asserted medical condition or event;


(2) To comply with applicable requirements of local, state, or Federal laws;


(3) To determine, at the consumer’s request, whether the consumer qualifies for a legally permissible special credit program or credit-related assistance program that is –


(i) Designed to meet the special needs of consumers with medical conditions; and


(ii) Established and administered pursuant to a written plan that –


(A) Identifies the class of persons that the program is designed to benefit; and


(B) Sets forth the procedures and standards for extending credit or providing other credit-related assistance under the program;


(4) To the extent necessary for purposes of fraud prevention or detection;


(5) In the case of credit for the purpose of financing medical products or services, to determine and verify the medical purpose of a loan and the use of proceeds;


(6) Consistent with safe and sound practices, if the consumer or the consumer’s legal representative specifically requests that the creditor use medical information in determining the consumer’s eligibility, or continued eligibility, for credit, to accommodate the consumer’s particular circumstances, and such request is documented by the creditor;


(7) Consistent with safe and sound practices, to determine whether the provisions of a forbearance practice or program that is triggered by a medical condition or event apply to a consumer;


(8) To determine the consumer’s eligibility for, the triggering of, or the reactivation of a debt cancellation contract or debt suspension agreement if a medical condition or event is a triggering event for the provision of benefits under the contract or agreement; or


(9) To determine the consumer’s eligibility for, the triggering of, or the reactivation of a credit insurance product if a medical condition or event is a triggering event for the provision of benefits under the product.


(b) Example of determining eligibility for a special credit program or credit assistance program. A not-for-profit organization establishes a credit assistance program pursuant to a written plan that is designed to assist disabled veterans in purchasing homes by subsidizing the down payment for the home purchase mortgage loans of qualifying veterans. The organization works through mortgage lenders and requires mortgage lenders to obtain medical information about the disability of any consumer that seeks to qualify for the program, use that information to verify the consumer’s eligibility for the program, and forward that information to the organization. A consumer who is a veteran applies to a creditor for a home purchase mortgage loan. The creditor informs the consumer about the credit assistance program for disabled veterans and the consumer seeks to qualify for the program. Assuming that the program complies with all applicable law, including applicable fair lending laws, the creditor may obtain and use medical information about the medical condition and disability, if any, of the consumer to determine whether the consumer qualifies for the credit assistance program.


(c) Examples of verifying the medical purpose of the loan or the use of proceeds. (1) If a consumer applies for $10,000 of credit for the purpose of financing vision correction surgery, the creditor may verify with the surgeon that the procedure will be performed. If the surgeon reports that surgery will not be performed on the consumer, the creditor may use that medical information to deny the consumer’s application for credit, because the loan would not be used for the stated purpose.


(2) If a consumer applies for $10,000 of credit for the purpose of financing cosmetic surgery, the creditor may confirm the cost of the procedure with the surgeon. If the surgeon reports that the cost of the procedure is $5,000, the creditor may use that medical information to offer the consumer only $5,000 of credit.


(3) A creditor has an established medical loan program for financing particular elective surgical procedures. The creditor receives a loan application from a consumer requesting $10,000 of credit under the established loan program for an elective surgical procedure. The consumer indicates on the application that the purpose of the loan is to finance an elective surgical procedure not eligible for funding under the guidelines of the established loan program. The creditor may deny the consumer’s application because the purpose of the loan is not for a particular procedure funded by the established loan program.


(d) Examples of obtaining and using medical information at the request of the consumer. (1) If a consumer applies for a loan and specifically requests that the creditor consider the consumer’s medical disability at the relevant time as an explanation for adverse payment history information in his credit report, the creditor may consider such medical information in evaluating the consumer’s willingness and ability to repay the requested loan to accommodate the consumer’s particular circumstances, consistent with safe and sound practices. The creditor may also decline to consider such medical information to accommodate the consumer, but may evaluate the consumer’s application in accordance with its otherwise applicable underwriting criteria. The creditor may not deny the consumer’s application or otherwise treat the consumer less favorably because the consumer specifically requested a medical accommodation, if the creditor would have extended the credit or treated the consumer more favorably under the creditor’s otherwise applicable underwriting criteria.


(2) If a consumer applies for a loan by telephone and explains that his income has been and will continue to be interrupted on account of a medical condition and that he expects to repay the loan liquidating assets, the creditor may, but is not required to, evaluate the application using the sale of assets as the primary source of repayment, consistent with safe and sound practices, provided that the creditor documents the consumer’s request by recording the oral conversation or making a notation of the request in the consumer’s file.


(3) If a consumer applies for a loan and the application form provides a space where the consumer may provide any other information or special circumstances, whether medical or non-medical, that the consumer would like the creditor to consider in evaluating the consumer’s application, the creditor may use medical information provided by the consumer in that space on that application to accommodate the consumer’s application for credit, consistent with safe and sound practices, or may disregard that information.


(4) If a consumer specifically requests that the creditor use medical information in determining the consumer’s eligibility, or continued eligibility, for credit and provides the creditor with medical information for that purpose, and the creditor determines that it needs additional information regarding the consumer’s circumstances, the creditor may request, obtain, and use additional medical information about the consumer as necessary to verify the information provided by the consumer or to determine whether to make an accommodation for the consumer. The consumer may decline to provide additional information, withdraw the request for an accommodation, and have the application considered under the creditor’s otherwise applicable underwriting criteria.


(5) If a consumer completes and signs a credit application that is not for medical purpose credit and the application contains boilerplate language that routinely requests medical information from the consumer or that indicates that by applying for credit the consumer authorizes or consents to the creditor obtaining and using medical information in connection with a determination of the consumer’s eligibility, or continued eligibility, for credit, the consumer has not specifically requested that the creditor obtain and use medical information to accommodate the consumer’s particular circumstances.


(e) Example of a forbearance practice or program. After an appropriate safety and soundness review, a creditor institutes a program that allows consumers who are or will be hospitalized to defer payments as needed for up to three months, without penalty, if the credit account has been open for more than one year and has not previously been in default, and the consumer provides confirming documentation at an appropriate time. A consumer is hospitalized and does not pay her bill for a particular month. This consumer has had a credit account with the creditor for more than one year and has not previously been in default. The creditor attempts to contact the consumer and speaks with the consumer’s adult child, who is not the consumer’s legal representative. The adult child informs the creditor that the consumer is hospitalized and is unable to pay the bill at that time. The creditor defers payments for up to three months, without penalty, for the hospitalized consumer and sends the consumer a letter confirming this practice and the date on which the next payment will be due. The creditor has obtained and used medical information to determine whether the provisions of a medically-triggered forbearance practice or program apply to a consumer.


PART 233 – PROHIBITION ON FUNDING OF UNLAWFUL INTERNET GAMBLING (REGULATION GG)


Authority:31 U.S.C. 5364.


Source:Reg. GG, 73 FR 69405, Nov. 18, 2008, unless otherwise noted.

§ 233.1 Authority, purpose, collection of information, and incorporation by reference.

(a) Authority. This part is issued jointly by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) and the Secretary of the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) under section 802 of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (Act) (enacted as title VIII of the Security and Accountability For Every Port Act of 2006, Pub. L. No. 109-347, 120 Stat. 1884, and codified at 31 U.S.C. 5361-5367). The Act states that none of its provisions shall be construed as altering, limiting, or extending any Federal or State law or Tribal-State compact prohibiting, permitting, or regulating gambling within the United States. See 31 U.S.C. 5361(b). In addition, the Act states that its provisions are not intended to change which activities related to horseracing may or may not be allowed under Federal law, are not intended to change the existing relationship between the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 (IHA) (15 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.) and other Federal statutes in effect on October 13, 2006, the date of the Act’s enactment, and are not intended to resolve any existing disagreements over how to interpret the relationship between the IHA and other Federal statutes. See 31 U.S.C. 5362(10)(D)(iii). This part is intended to be consistent with these provisions.


(b) Purpose. The purpose of this part is to issue implementing regulations as required by the Act. The part sets out necessary definitions, designates payment systems subject to the requirements of this part, exempts certain participants in designated payment systems from certain requirements of this part, provides nonexclusive examples of policies and procedures reasonably designed to identify and block, or otherwise prevent and prohibit, restricted transactions, and sets out the Federal entities that have exclusive regulatory enforcement authority with respect to the designated payments systems and non-exempt participants therein.


(c) Collection of information. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the collection of information requirements in this part for the Department of the Treasury and assigned OMB control number 1505-0204. The Board has approved the collection of information requirements in this part under the authority delegated to the Board by OMB, and assigned OMB control number 7100-0317.


(d) Incorporation by reference – relevant definitions from ACH rules. (1) This part incorporates by reference the relevant definitions of ACH terms as published in the “2008 ACH Rules: A Complete Guide to Rules & Regulations Governing the ACH Network” (the “ACH Rules”). The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies of the “2008 ACH Rules” are available from the National Automated Clearing House Association, Suite 100, 13450 Sunrise Valley Drive, Herndon, Virginia 20171, http://nacha.org, (703) 561-1100. Copies also are available for public inspection at the Department of Treasury Library, Room 1428, Main Treasury Building, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20220, and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Before visiting the Treasury library, you must call (202) 622-0990 for an appointment. For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html 20002.


(2) Any amendment to definitions of the relevant ACH terms in the ACH Rules shall not apply to this part unless the Treasury and the Board jointly accept such amendment by publishing notice of acceptance of the amendment to this part in the Federal Register. An amendment to the definition of a relevant ACH term in the ACH Rules that is accepted by the Treasury and the Board shall apply to this part on the effective date of the rulemaking specified by the Treasury and the Board in the joint Federal Register notice expressly accepting such amendment.


§ 233.2 Definitions.

The following definitions apply solely for purposes of this part:


(a) Actual knowledge with respect to a transaction or commercial customer means when a particular fact with respect to that transaction or commercial customer is known by or brought to the attention of:


(1) An individual in the organization responsible for the organization’s compliance function with respect to that transaction or commercial customer; or


(2) An officer of the organization.


(b) Automated clearing house system or ACH system means a funds transfer system, primarily governed by the ACH Rules, which provides for the clearing and settlement of batched electronic entries for participating financial institutions. When referring to ACH systems, the terms in this regulation (such as “originating depository financial institution,” “operator,” “originating gateway operator,” “receiving depository financial institution,” “receiving gateway operator,” and “third-party sender”) are defined as those terms are defined in the ACH Rules.


(c) Bet or wager:


(1) Means the staking or risking by any person of something of value upon the outcome of a contest of others, a sporting event, or a game subject to chance, upon an agreement or understanding that the person or another person will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome;


(2) Includes the purchase of a chance or opportunity to win a lottery or other prize (which opportunity to win is predominantly subject to chance);


(3) Includes any scheme of a type described in 28 U.S.C. 3702;


(4) Includes any instructions or information pertaining to the establishment or movement of funds by the bettor or customer in, to, or from an account with the business of betting or wagering (which does not include the activities of a financial transaction provider, or any interactive computer service or telecommunications service); and


(5) Does not include –


(i) Any activity governed by the securities laws (as that term is defined in section 3(a)(47) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(47)) for the purchase or sale of securities (as that term is defined in section 3(a)(10) of that act (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(10));


(ii) Any transaction conducted on or subject to the rules of a registered entity or exempt board of trade under the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 1 et seq.);


(iii) Any over-the-counter derivative instrument;


(iv) Any other transaction that –


(A) Is excluded or exempt from regulation under the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 1 et seq.); or


(B) Is exempt from State gaming or bucket shop laws under section 12(e) of the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 16(e)) or section 28(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78bb(a));


(v) Any contract of indemnity or guarantee;


(vi) Any contract for insurance;


(vii) Any deposit or other transaction with an insured depository institution;


(viii) Participation in any game or contest in which participants do not stake or risk anything of value other than –


(A) Personal efforts of the participants in playing the game or contest or obtaining access to the Internet; or


(B) Points or credits that the sponsor of the game or contest provides to participants free of charge and that can be used or redeemed only for participation in games or contests offered by the sponsor; or


(ix) Participation in any fantasy or simulation sports game or educational game or contest in which (if the game or contest involves a team or teams) no fantasy or simulation sports team is based on the current membership of an actual team that is a member of an amateur or professional sports organization (as those terms are defined in 28 U.S.C. 3701) and that meets the following conditions:


(A) All prizes and awards offered to winning participants are established and made known to the participants in advance of the game or contest and their value is not determined by the number of participants or the amount of any fees paid by those participants.


(B) All winning outcomes reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the participants and are determined predominantly by accumulated statistical results of the performance of individuals (athletes in the case of sports events) in multiple real-world sporting or other events.


(C) No winning outcome is based –


(1) On the score, point-spread, or any performance or performances of any single real-world team or any combination of such teams, or


(2) Solely on any single performance of an individual athlete in any single real-world sporting or other event.


(d) Block means to reject a particular transaction before or during processing, but it does not require freezing or otherwise prohibiting subsequent transfers or transactions regarding the proceeds or account.


(e) Card issuer means any person who issues a credit card, debit card, pre-paid card, or stored value card, or the agent of such person with respect to such card.


(f) Card system means a system for authorizing, clearing and settling transactions in which credit cards, debit cards, pre-paid cards, or stored value cards (such cards being issued or authorized by the operator of the system), are used to purchase goods or services or to obtain a cash advance. The term includes systems both in which the merchant acquirer, card issuer, and system operator are separate entities and in which more than one of these roles are performed by the same entity.


(g) Check clearing house means an association of banks or other payors that regularly exchange checks for collection or return.


(h) Check collection system means an interbank system for collecting, presenting, returning, and settling for checks or intrabank system for settling for checks deposited in and drawn on the same bank. When referring to check collection systems, the terms in this regulation (such as “paying bank,” “collecting bank,” “depositary bank,” “returning bank,” and “check”) are defined as those terms are defined in 12 CFR 229.2. For purposes of this part, “check” also includes an electronic representation of a check that a bank agrees to handle as a check.


(i) Commercial customer means a person that is not a consumer and that contracts with a non-exempt participant in a designated payment system to receive, or otherwise accesses, payment transaction services through that non-exempt participant.


(j) Consumer means a natural person.


(k) Designated payment system means a system listed in § 233.3.


(l) Electronic fund transfer has the same meaning given the term in section 903 of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (15 U.S.C. 1693a), except that such term includes transfers that would otherwise be excluded under section 903(6)(E) of that act (15 U.S.C. 1693a(6)(E)), and includes any funds transfer covered by Article 4A of the Uniform Commercial Code, as in effect in any State.


(m) Financial institution means a State or national bank, a State or Federal savings and loan association, a mutual savings bank, a State or Federal credit union, or any other person that, directly or indirectly, holds an account belonging to a consumer. The term does not include a casino, sports book, or other business at or through which bets or wagers may be placed or received.


(n) Financial transaction provider means a creditor, credit card issuer, financial institution, operator of a terminal at which an electronic fund transfer may be initiated, money transmitting business, or international, national, regional, or local payment network utilized to effect a credit transaction, electronic fund transfer, stored value product transaction, or money transmitting service, or a participant in such network, or other participant in a designated payment system.


(o) Foreign banking office means:


(1) Any non-U.S. office of a financial institution; and


(2) Any non-U.S. office of a foreign bank as described in 12 U.S.C. 3101(7).


(p) Interactive computer service means any information service, system, or access software provider that provides or enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server, including specifically a service or system that provides access to the Internet and such systems operated or services offered by libraries or educational institutions.


(q) Internet means the international computer network of interoperable packet switched data networks.


(r) Internet gambling business means the business of placing, receiving or otherwise knowingly transmitting a bet or wager by any means which involves the use, at least in part, of the Internet, but does not include the performance of the customary activities of a financial transaction provider, or any interactive computer service or telecommunications service.


(s) Intrastate transaction means placing, receiving, or otherwise transmitting a bet or wager where –


(1) The bet or wager is initiated and received or otherwise made exclusively within a single State;


(2) The bet or wager and the method by which the bet or wager is initiated and received or otherwise made is expressly authorized by and placed in accordance with the laws of such State, and the State law or regulations include –


(i) Age and location verification requirements reasonably designed to block access to minors and persons located out of such State; and


(ii) Appropriate data security standards to prevent unauthorized access by any person whose age and current location has not been verified in accordance with such State’s law or regulations; and


(3) The bet or wager does not violate any provision of –


(i) The Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 (15 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.);


(ii) 28 U.S.C. chapter 178 (professional and amateur sports protection);


(iii) The Gambling Devices Transportation Act (15 U.S.C. 1171 et seq.); or


(iv) The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.).


(t) Intratribal transaction means placing, receiving or otherwise transmitting a bet or wager where –


(1) The bet or wager is initiated and received or otherwise made exclusively –


(i) Within the Indian lands of a single Indian tribe (as such terms are defined under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 2703)); or


(ii) Between the Indian lands of two or more Indian tribes to the extent that intertribal gaming is authorized by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.);


(2) The bet or wager and the method by which the bet or wager is initiated and received or otherwise made is expressly authorized by and complies with the requirements of –


(i) The applicable tribal ordinance or resolution approved by the Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission; and


(ii) With respect to class III gaming, the applicable Tribal-State compact;


(3) The applicable tribal ordinance or resolution or Tribal-State compact includes –


(i) Age and location verification requirements reasonably designed to block access to minors and persons located out of the applicable Tribal lands; and


(ii) Appropriate data security standards to prevent unauthorized access by any person whose age and current location has not been verified in accordance with the applicable tribal ordinance or resolution or Tribal-State Compact; and


(4) The bet or wager does not violate any provision of –


(i) The Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 (15 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.);


(ii) 28 U.S.C. chapter 178 (professional and amateur sports protection);


(iii) The Gambling Devices Transportation Act (15 U.S.C. 1171 et seq.); or


(iv) The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.).


(u) Money transmitting business has the meaning given the term in 31 U.S.C. 5330(d)(1) (determined without regard to any regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury thereunder).


(v) Operator of a designated payment system means an entity that provides centralized clearing and delivery services between participants in the designated payment system and maintains the operational framework for the system. In the case of an automated clearinghouse system, the term “operator” has the same meaning as provided in the ACH Rules.


(w) Participant in a designated payment system means an operator of a designated payment system, a financial transaction provider that is a member of, or has contracted for financial transaction services with, or is otherwise participating in, a designated payment system, or a third-party processor. This term does not include a customer of the financial transaction provider, unless the customer is also a financial transaction provider otherwise participating in the designated payment system on its own behalf.


(x) Reasoned legal opinion means a written expression of professional judgment by a State-licensed attorney that addresses the facts of a particular client’s business and the legality of the client’s provision of its services to relevant customers in the relevant jurisdictions under applicable federal and State law, and, in the case of intratribal transactions, applicable tribal ordinances, tribal resolutions, and Tribal-State compacts. A written legal opinion will not be considered “reasoned” if it does nothing more than recite the facts and express a conclusion.


(y) Restricted transaction means any of the following transactions or transmittals involving any credit, funds, instrument, or proceeds that the Act prohibits any person engaged in the business of betting or wagering (which does not include the activities of a financial transaction provider, or any interactive computer service or telecommunications service) from knowingly accepting, in connection with the participation of another person in unlawful Internet gambling –


(1) Credit, or the proceeds of credit, extended to or on behalf of such other person (including credit extended through the use of a credit card);


(2) An electronic fund transfer, or funds transmitted by or through a money transmitting business, or the proceeds of an electronic fund transfer or money transmitting service, from or on behalf of such other person; or


(3) Any check, draft, or similar instrument that is drawn by or on behalf of such other person and is drawn on or payable at or through any financial institution.


(z) State means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, or any commonwealth, territory, or other possession of the United States, including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.


(aa) Third-party processor means a service provider that –


(1) In the case of a debit transaction payment, such as an ACH debit entry or card system transaction, has a direct relationship with the commercial customer that is initiating the debit transfer transaction and acts as an intermediary between the commercial customer and the first depository institution to handle the transaction;


(2) In the case of a credit transaction payment, such as an ACH credit entry, has a direct relationship with the commercial customer that is to receive the proceeds of the credit transfer and acts as an intermediary between the commercial customer and the last depository institution to handle the transaction; and


(3) In the case of a cross-border ACH debit or check collection transaction, is the first service provider located within the United States to receive the ACH debit instructions or check for collection.


(bb) Unlawful Internet gambling means to place, receive, or otherwise knowingly transmit a bet or wager by any means which involves the use, at least in part, of the Internet where such bet or wager is unlawful under any applicable Federal or State law in the State or Tribal lands in which the bet or wager is initiated, received, or otherwise made. The term does not include placing, receiving, or otherwise transmitting a bet or wager that is excluded from the definition of this term by the Act as an intrastate transaction or an intra-tribal transaction, and does not include any activity that is allowed under the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 (15 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.; see § 233.1(a)). The intermediate routing of electronic data shall not determine the location or locations in which a bet or wager is initiated, received, or otherwise made.


(cc) Wire transfer system means a system through which an unconditional order to a bank to pay a fixed or determinable amount of money to a beneficiary upon receipt, or on a day stated in the order, is transmitted by electronic or other means through the network, between banks, or on the books of a bank. When referring to wire transfer systems, the terms in this regulation (such as “bank,” “originator’s bank,” “beneficiary’s bank,” and “intermediary bank”) are defined as those terms are defined in 12 CFR part 210, appendix B.


§ 233.3 Designated payment systems.

The following payment systems could be used by participants in connection with, or to facilitate, a restricted transaction:


(a) Automated clearing house systems;


(b) Card systems;


(c) Check collection systems;


(d) Money transmitting businesses solely to the extent they


(1) Engage in the transmission of funds, which does not include check cashing, currency exchange, or the issuance or redemption of money orders, travelers’ checks, and other similar instruments; and


(2) Permit customers to initiate transmission of funds transactions remotely from a location other than a physical office of the money transmitting business; and


(e) Wire transfer systems.


§ 233.4 Exemptions.

(a) Automated clearing house systems. The participants processing a particular transaction through an automated clearing house system are exempt from this regulation’s requirements for establishing written policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent or prohibit restricted transactions with respect to that transaction, except for –


(1) The receiving depository financial institution and any third-party processor receiving the transaction on behalf of the receiver in an ACH credit transaction;


(2) The originating depository financial institution and any third-party processor initiating the transaction on behalf of the originator in an ACH debit transaction; and


(3) The receiving gateway operator and any third-party processor that receives instructions for an ACH debit transaction directly from a foreign sender (which could include a foreign banking office, a foreign third-party processor, or a foreign originating gateway operator).


(b) Check collection systems. The participants in a particular check collection through a check collection system are exempt from this regulation’s requirements for establishing written policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent or prohibit restricted transactions with respect to that check collection, except for the depositary bank.


(c) Money transmitting businesses. The participants in a money transmitting business are exempt from this regulation’s requirements for establishing written policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent or prohibit restricted transactions, except for the operator.


(d) Wire transfer systems. The participants in a particular wire transfer through a wire transfer system are exempt from this regulation’s requirements for establishing written policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent or prohibit restricted transactions with respect to that transaction, except for the beneficiary’s bank.


§ 233.5 Policies and procedures required.

(a) All non-exempt participants in designated payment systems shall establish and implement written policies and procedures reasonably designed to identify and block or otherwise prevent or prohibit restricted transactions.


(b) A non-exempt financial transaction provider participant in a designated payment system shall be considered to be in compliance with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section if –


(1) It relies on and complies with the written policies and procedures of the designated payment system that are reasonably designed to –


(i) Identify and block restricted transactions; or


(ii) Otherwise prevent or prohibit the acceptance of the products or services of the designated payment system or participant in connection with restricted transactions; and


(2) Such policies and procedures of the designated payment system comply with the requirements of this part.


(c) For purposes of paragraph (b)(2) in this section, a participant in a designated payment system may rely on a written statement or notice by the operator of that designated payment system to its participants that states that the operator has designed or structured the system’s policies and procedures for identifying and blocking or otherwise preventing or prohibiting restricted transactions to comply with the requirements of this part as conclusive evidence that the system’s policies and procedures comply with the requirements of this part, unless the participant is notified otherwise by its Federal functional regulator or, in the case of participants that are not directly supervised by a Federal functional regulator, the Federal Trade Commission.


(d) As provided in the Act, a person that identifies and blocks a transaction, prevents or prohibits the acceptance of its products or services in connection with a transaction, or otherwise refuses to honor a transaction, shall not be liable to any party for such action if –


(1) The transaction is a restricted transaction;


(2) Such person reasonably believes the transaction to be a restricted transaction; or


(3) The person is a participant in a designated payment system and blocks or otherwise prevents the transaction in reliance on the policies and procedures of the designated payment system in an effort to comply with this regulation.


(e) Nothing in this part requires or is intended to suggest that designated payment systems or participants therein must or should block or otherwise prevent or prohibit any transaction in connection with any activity that is excluded from the definition of “unlawful Internet gambling” in the Act as an intrastate transaction, an intratribal transaction, or a transaction in connection with any activity that is allowed under the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 (15 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.; see § 233.1(a)).


(f) Nothing in this part modifies any requirement imposed on a participant by other applicable law or regulation to file a suspicious activity report to the appropriate authorities.


(g) The requirement of this part to establish and implement written policies and procedures applies only to the U.S. offices of participants in designated payment systems.


§ 233.6 Non-exclusive examples of policies and procedures.

(a) In general. The examples of policies and procedures to identify and block or otherwise prevent or prohibit restricted transactions set out in this section are non-exclusive. In establishing and implementing written policies and procedures to identify and block or otherwise prevent or prohibit restricted transactions, a non-exempt participant in a designated payment system is permitted to design and implement policies and procedures tailored to its business that may be different than the examples provided in this section. In addition, non-exempt participants may use different policies and procedures with respect to different business lines or different parts of the organization.


(b) Due diligence. If a non-exempt participant in a designated payment system establishes and implements procedures for due diligence of its commercial customer accounts or commercial customer relationships in order to comply, in whole or in part, with the requirements of this regulation, those due diligence procedures will be deemed to be reasonably designed to identify and block or otherwise prevent or prohibit restricted transactions if the procedures include the steps set out in paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(2), and (b)(3) of this section and subject to paragraph (b)(4) of this section.


(1) At the establishment of the account or relationship, the participant conducts due diligence of a commercial customer and its activities commensurate with the participant’s judgment of the risk of restricted transactions presented by the customer’s business.


(2) Based on its due diligence, the participant makes a determination regarding the risk the commercial customer presents of engaging in an Internet gambling business and follows either paragraph (b)(2)(i) or (b)(2)(ii) of this section.


(i) The participant determines that the commercial customer presents a minimal risk of engaging in an Internet gambling business.


(ii) The participant cannot determine that the commercial customer presents a minimal risk of engaging in an Internet gambling business, in which case it obtains the documentation in either paragraph (b)(2)(ii)(A) or (b)(2)(ii)(B) of this section –


(A) Certification from the commercial customer that it does not engage in an Internet gambling business; or


(B) If the commercial customer does engage in an Internet gambling business, each of the following –


(1) Evidence of legal authority to engage in the Internet gambling business, such as –


(i) A copy of the commercial customer’s license that expressly authorizes the customer to engage in the Internet gambling business issued by the appropriate State or Tribal authority or, if the commercial customer does not have such a license, a reasoned legal opinion that demonstrates that the commercial customer’s Internet gambling business does not involve restricted transactions; and


(ii) A written commitment by the commercial customer to notify the participant of any changes in its legal authority to engage in its Internet gambling business.


(2) A third-party certification that the commercial customer’s systems for engaging in the Internet gambling business are reasonably designed to ensure that the commercial customer’s Internet gambling business will remain within the licensed or otherwise lawful limits, including with respect to age and location verification.


(3) The participant notifies all of its commercial customers, through provisions in the account or commercial customer relationship agreement or otherwise, that restricted transactions are prohibited from being processed through the account or relationship.


(4) With respect to the determination in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, participants may deem the following commercial customers to present a minimal risk of engaging in an Internet gambling business –


(i) An entity that is directly supervised by a Federal functional regulator as set out in § 233.7(a); or


(ii) An agency, department, or division of the Federal government or a State government.


(c) Automated clearing house system examples. (1) The policies and procedures of the originating depository financial institution and any third party processor in an ACH debit transaction, and the receiving depository financial institution and any third party processor in an ACH credit transaction, are deemed to be reasonably designed to identify and block or otherwise prevent or prohibit restricted transactions if they –


(i) Address methods to conduct due diligence in establishing a commercial customer account or relationship as set out in § 233.6(b);


(ii) Address methods to conduct due diligence as set out in § 233.6(b)(2)(ii)(B) in the event that the participant has actual knowledge that an existing commercial customer of the participant engages in an Internet gambling business; and


(iii) Include procedures to be followed with respect to a commercial customer if the originating depository financial institution or third-party processor has actual knowledge that its commercial customer has originated restricted transactions as ACH debit transactions or if the receiving depository financial institution or third-party processor has actual knowledge that its commercial customer has received restricted transactions as ACH credit transactions, such as procedures that address –


(A) The circumstances under which the commercial customer should not be allowed to originate ACH debit transactions or receive ACH credit transactions; and


(B) The circumstances under which the account should be closed.


(2) The policies and procedures of a receiving gateway operator and third-party processor that receives instructions to originate an ACH debit transaction directly from a foreign sender are deemed to be reasonably designed to prevent or prohibit restricted transactions if they include procedures to be followed with respect to a foreign sender if the receiving gateway operator or third-party processor has actual knowledge, obtained through notification by a government entity, such as law enforcement or a regulatory agency, that such instructions included instructions for restricted transactions. Such procedures may address sending notification to the foreign sender, such as in the form of the notice contained in appendix A to this part.


(d) Card system examples. The policies and procedures of a card system operator, a merchant acquirer, third-party processor, or a card issuer, are deemed to be reasonably designed to identify and block or otherwise prevent or prohibit restricted transactions, if the policies and procedures –


(1) Provide for either –


(i) Methods to conduct due diligence –


(A) In establishing a commercial customer account or relationship as set out in § 233.6(b); and


(B) As set out in § 233.6(b)(2)(ii)(B) in the event that the participant has actual knowledge that an existing commercial customer of the participant engages in an Internet gambling business; or


(ii) Implementation of a code system, such as transaction codes and merchant/business category codes, that are required to accompany the authorization request for a transaction, including –


(A) The operational functionality to enable the card system operator or the card issuer to reasonably identify and deny authorization for a transaction that the coding procedure indicates may be a restricted transaction; and


(B) Procedures for ongoing monitoring or testing by the card system operator to detect potential restricted transactions, including –


(1) Conducting testing to ascertain whether transaction authorization requests are coded correctly; and


(2) Monitoring and analyzing payment patterns to detect suspicious payment volumes from a merchant customer; and


(2) For the card system operator, merchant acquirer, or third-party processor, include procedures to be followed when the participant has actual knowledge that a merchant has received restricted transactions through the card system, such as –


(i) The circumstances under which the access to the card system for the merchant, merchant acquirer, or third-party processor should be denied; and


(ii) The circumstances under which the merchant account should be closed.


(e) Check collection system examples. (1) The policies and procedures of a depositary bank are deemed to be reasonably designed to identify and block or otherwise prevent or prohibit restricted transactions, if they –


(i) Address methods for the depositary bank to conduct due diligence in establishing a commercial customer account or relationship as set out in § 233.6(b);


(ii) Address methods for the depositary bank to conduct due diligence as set out in § 233.6(b)(2)(ii)(B) in the event that the depositary bank has actual knowledge that an existing commercial customer engages in an Internet gambling business; and


(iii) Include procedures to be followed if the depositary bank has actual knowledge that a commercial customer of the depositary bank has deposited checks that are restricted transactions, such as procedures that address –


(A) The circumstances under which check collection services for the customer should be denied; and


(B) The circumstances under which the account should be closed.


(2) The policies and procedures of a depositary bank that receives checks for collection from a foreign banking office are deemed to be reasonably designed to identify and block or otherwise prevent or prohibit restricted transactions if they include procedures to be followed by the depositary bank when it has actual knowledge, obtained through notification by a government entity, such as law enforcement or a regulatory agency, that a foreign banking office has sent checks to the depositary bank that are restricted transactions. Such procedures may address sending notification to the foreign banking office, such as in the form of the notice contained in the appendix to this part.


(f) Money transmitting business examples. The policies and procedures of an operator of a money transmitting business are deemed to be reasonably designed to identify and block or otherwise prevent or prohibit restricted transactions if they –


(1) Address methods for the operator to conduct due diligence in establishing a commercial customer relationship as set out in § 233.6(b);


(2) Address methods for the operator to conduct due diligence as set out in § 233.6(b)(2)(ii)(B) in the event that the operator has actual knowledge that an existing commercial customer engages in an Internet gambling business;


(3) Include procedures regarding ongoing monitoring or testing by the operator to detect potential restricted transactions, such as monitoring and analyzing payment patterns to detect suspicious payment volumes to any recipient; and


(4) Include procedures when the operator has actual knowledge that a commercial customer of the operator has received restricted transactions through the money transmitting business, that address –


(i) The circumstances under which money transmitting services should be denied to that commercial customer; and


(ii) The circumstances under which the commercial customer account should be closed.


(g) Wire transfer system examples. The policies and procedures of the beneficiary’s bank in a wire transfer are deemed to be reasonably designed to identify and block or otherwise prevent or prohibit restricted transactions if they –


(1) Address methods for the beneficiary’s bank to conduct due diligence in establishing a commercial customer account as set out in § 233.6(b);


(2) Address methods for the beneficiary’s bank to conduct due diligence as set out in § 233.6(b)(2)(ii)(B) in the event that the beneficiary’s bank has actual knowledge that an existing commercial customer of the bank engages in an Internet gambling business;


(3) Include procedures to be followed if the beneficiary’s bank obtains actual knowledge that a commercial customer of the bank has received restricted transactions through the wire transfer system, such as procedures that address


(i) The circumstances under which the beneficiary bank should deny wire transfer services to the commercial customer; and


(ii) The circumstances under which the commercial customer account should be closed.


§ 233.7 Regulatory enforcement.

The requirements under this part are subject to the exclusive regulatory enforcement of –


(a) The Federal functional regulators, with respect to the designated payment systems and participants therein that are subject to the respective jurisdiction of such regulators under section 505(a) of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (15 U.S.C. 6805(a)) and section 5g of the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 7b-2); and


(b) The Federal Trade Commission, with respect to designated payment systems and participants therein not otherwise subject to the jurisdiction of any Federal functional regulators (including the Commission) as described in paragraph (a) of this section.


Appendix A to Part 233 – Model Notice

[Date]

[Name of foreign sender or foreign banking office]

[Address]

Re: U.S. Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act Notice

Dear [Name of foreign counterparty]:

On [date], U.S. government officials informed us that your institution processed payments through our facilities for Internet gambling transactions restricted by U.S. law on [dates, recipients, and other relevant information if available].


We provide this notice to comply with U.S. Government regulations implementing the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (Act), a U.S. federal law. Our policies and procedures established in accordance with those regulations provide that we will notify a foreign counterparty if we learn that the counterparty has processed payments through our facilities for Internet gambling transactions restricted by the Act. This notice ensures that you are aware that we have received information that your institution has processed payments for Internet gambling restricted by the Act.


The Act is codified in subchapter IV, chapter 53, title 31 of the U.S. Code (31 U.S.C. 5361 et seq.). Implementing regulations that duplicate one another can be found at part 233 of title 12 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (12 CFR part 233) and part 132 of title 31 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (31 CFR part 132).


PART 234 – DESIGNATED FINANCIAL MARKET UTILITIES (REGULATION HH)


Authority:12 U.S.C. 5461 et seq.


Source:77 FR 45919, Aug. 2, 2012, unless otherwise noted.

§ 234.1 Authority, purpose, and scope.

(a) Authority. This part is issued under the authority of sections 805, 806, and 810 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) (Pub. L. 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376; 12 U.S.C. 5464, 5465, and 5469).


(b) Purpose and scope. This part establishes risk-management standards governing the operations related to the payment, clearing, and settlement activities of designated financial market utilities. In addition, this part sets out requirements and procedures for a designated financial market utility that proposes to make a change to its rules, procedures, or operations that could materially affect the nature or level of risks presented by the designated financial market utility and for which the Board is the Supervisory Agency (as defined below). The risk management standards do not apply, however, to a designated financial market utility that is a derivatives clearing organization registered under section 5b of the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 7a-1) or a clearing agency registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under section 17A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78q-1), which are governed by the risk-management standards promulgated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission or the Securities and Exchange Commission, respectively, for which each is the Supervisory Agency. This part also sets out standards, restrictions, and guidelines regarding a Federal Reserve Bank establishing and maintaining an account for, and providing services to, a designated financial market utility. In addition, this part sets forth the terms under which a Reserve Bank may pay a designated financial market utility interest on the designated financial market utility’s balances held at the Reserve Bank.


[77 FR 45919, Aug. 2, 2012, as amended at 78 FR 76979, Dec. 20, 2013]


§ 234.2 Definitions.

(a) Backtest means the ex post comparison of realized outcomes with margin model forecasts to analyze and monitor model performance and overall margin coverage.


(b) Central counterparty means an entity that interposes itself between counterparties to contracts traded in one or more financial markets, becoming the buyer to every seller and the seller to every buyer.


(c) Central securities depository means an entity that provides securities accounts and central safekeeping services.


(d) Designated financial market utility means a financial market utility that is currently designated by the Financial Stability Oversight Council under section 804 of the Dodd-Frank Act (12 U.S.C. 5463).


(e) Financial market utility has the same meaning as the term is defined in section 803(6) of the Dodd-Frank Act (12 U.S.C. 5462(6)).


(f) Link means, for purposes of § 234.3(a)(20), a set of contractual and operational arrangements between two or more central counterparties, central securities depositories, or securities settlement systems, or between one or more of these financial market utilities and one or more trade repositories, that connect them directly or indirectly, such as for the purposes of participating in settlement, cross margining, or expanding their services to additional instruments and participants.


(g) Orderly wind-down means the actions of a designated financial market utility to effect the permanent cessation, sale, or transfer of one or more of its critical operations or services in a manner that would not increase the risk of significant liquidity or credit problems spreading among financial institutions or markets and thereby threaten the stability of the U.S. financial system.


(h) Recovery means, for purposes of § 234.3(a)(3) and (15), the actions of a designated financial market utility, consistent with its rules, procedures, and other ex ante contractual arrangements, to address any uncovered loss, liquidity shortfall, or capital inadequacy, whether arising from participant default or other causes (such as business, operational, or other structural weaknesses), including actions to replenish any depleted prefunded financial resources and liquidity arrangements, as necessary to maintain the designated financial market utility’s viability as a going concern and to continue its provision of critical services.


(i) Securities settlement system means an entity that enables securities to be transferred and settled by book entry and allows transfers of securities free of or against payment.


(j) Stress test means the estimation of credit or liquidity exposures that would result from the realization of potential stress scenarios, such as extreme price changes, multiple defaults, and changes in other valuation inputs and assumptions.


(k) Supervisory Agency has the same meaning as the term is defined in section 803(8) of the Dodd-Frank Act (12 U.S.C. 5462(8)).


(l) Trade repository means an entity that maintains a centralized electronic record of transaction data, such as a swap data repository or a security-based swap data repository.


[79 FR 65557, Nov. 5, 2014]


§ 234.3 Standards for payment systems.

(a) A designated financial market utility must implement rules, procedures, or operations designed to ensure that it meets or exceeds the following risk-management standards with respect to its payment, clearing, and settlement activities.


(1) Legal basis. The designated financial market utility has a well-founded, clear, transparent, and enforceable legal basis for each material aspect of its activities in all relevant jurisdictions.


(2) Governance. The designated financial market utility has governance arrangements that –


(i) Are clear, transparent, and documented;


(ii) Promote the safety and efficiency of the designated financial market utility;


(iii) Support the stability of the broader financial system, other relevant public interest considerations such as fostering fair and efficient markets, and the legitimate interests of relevant stakeholders, including the designated financial market utility’s owners, participants, and participants’ customers; and


(iv) Are designed to ensure –


(A) Lines of responsibility and accountability are clear and direct;


(B) The roles and responsibilities of the board of directors and senior management are clearly specified;


(C) The board of directors consists of suitable individuals having appropriate skills to fulfill its multiple roles;


(D) The board of directors includes a majority of individuals who are not executives, officers, or employees of the designated financial market utility or an affiliate of the designated financial market utility;


(E) The board of directors establishes policies and procedures to identify, address, and manage potential conflicts of interest of board members and to review its performance and the performance of individual board members on a regular basis;


(F) The board of directors establishes a clear, documented risk-management framework that includes the designated financial market utility’s risk-tolerance policy, assigns responsibilities and accountability for risk decisions, and addresses decisionmaking in crises and emergencies;


(G) Senior management has the appropriate experience, skills, and integrity necessary to discharge operational and risk-management responsibilities;


(H) The risk-management function has sufficient authority, resources, and independence from other operations of the designated financial market utility, and has a direct reporting line to and is overseen by a committee of the board of directors;


(I) The internal audit function has sufficient authority, resources, and independence from management, and has a direct reporting line to and is overseen by a committee of the board of directors; and


(J) Major decisions of the board of directors are clearly disclosed to relevant stakeholders, including the designated financial market utility’s owners, participants, and participants’ customers, and, where there is a broad market impact, the public.


(3) Framework for the comprehensive management of risks. The designated financial market utility has a sound risk-management framework for comprehensively managing legal, credit, liquidity, operational, general business, custody, investment, and other risks that arise in or are borne by the designated financial market utility. This framework is subject to periodic review and includes –


(i) Risk-management policies, procedures, and systems that enable the designated financial market utility to identify, measure, monitor, and manage the risks that arise in or are borne by the designated financial market utility, including those posed by other entities as a result of interdependencies;


(ii) Risk-management policies, procedures, and systems that enable the designated financial market utility to identify, measure, monitor, and manage the material risks that it poses to other entities, such as other financial market utilities, settlement banks, liquidity providers, or service providers, as a result of interdependencies; and


(iii) Integrated plans for the designated financial market utility’s recovery and orderly wind-down that –


(A) Identify the designated financial market utility’s critical operations and services related to payment, clearing, and settlement;


(B) Identify scenarios that may potentially prevent it from being able to provide its critical operations and services as a going concern, including uncovered credit losses (as described in paragraph (a)(4)(vi)(A) of this section), uncovered liquidity shortfalls (as described in paragraph (a)(7)(viii)(A) of this section), and general business losses (as described in paragraph (a)(15) of this section);


(C) Identify criteria that could trigger the implementation of the recovery or orderly wind-down plan;


(D) Include rules, procedures, policies, and any other tools the designated financial market utility would use in a recovery or orderly wind-down to address the scenarios identified under paragraph (a)(3)(iii)(B) of this section;


(E) Include procedures to ensure timely implementation of the recovery and orderly wind-down plans in the scenarios identified under paragraph (a)(3)(iii)(B) of this section;


(F) Include procedures for informing the Board, as soon as practicable, if the designated financial market utility is considering initiating recovery or orderly wind-down; and


(G) Are reviewed the earlier of every two years or following changes to the system or the environment in which the designated financial market utility operates that would significantly affect the viability or execution of the plans.


(4) Credit risk. The designated financial market utility effectively measures, monitors, and manages its credit exposures to participants and those arising from its payment, clearing, and settlement processes. In this regard, the designated financial market utility maintains sufficient financial resources to cover its credit exposure to each participant fully with a high degree of confidence. In addition, the designated financial market utility –


(i) If it operates as a central counterparty, maintains additional prefunded financial resources that are sufficient to cover its credit exposure under a wide range of significantly different stress scenarios that includes the default of the participant and its affiliates that would potentially cause the largest aggregate credit exposure to the designated financial market utility in extreme but plausible market conditions;


(ii) If it operates as a central counterparty, may be directed by the Board to maintain additional prefunded financial resources that are sufficient to cover its credit exposure under a wide range of significantly different stress scenarios that includes the default of the two participants and their affiliates that would potentially cause the largest aggregate credit exposure to the designated financial market utility in extreme but plausible market conditions. The Board may consider such a direction if the central counterparty –


(A) Is involved in activities with a more-complex risk profile, such as clearing financial instruments characterized by discrete jump-to-default price changes or that are highly correlated with potential participant defaults, or


(B) Has been determined by another jurisdiction to be systemically important in that jurisdiction;


(iii) If it operates as a central counterparty, determines the amount and regularly tests the sufficiency of the total financial resources available to meet the requirements of this paragraph by –


(A) On a daily basis, conducting a stress test of its total financial resources using standard and predetermined stress scenarios, parameters, and assumptions;


(B) On at least a monthly basis, and more frequently when the products cleared or markets served experience high volatility or become less liquid, or when the size or concentration of positions held by the central counterparty’s participants increases significantly, conducting a comprehensive and thorough analysis of the existing stress scenarios, models, and underlying parameters and assumptions such that the designated financial market utility meets its required level of default protection in light of current and evolving market conditions; and


(C) Having clear procedures to report the results of its stress tests to decisionmakers at the central counterparty and using these results to evaluate the adequacy of and adjust its total financial resources;


(iv) If it operates as a central counterparty, excludes assessments for additional default or guaranty fund contributions (that is, default or guaranty fund contributions that are not prefunded) in its calculation of financial resources available to meet the total financial resource requirement under this paragraph;


(v) At least annually, provides for a validation of the designated financial market utility’s risk-management models used to determine the sufficiency of its total financial resources that –


(A) Includes the designated financial market utility’s models used to comply with the collateral provisions under paragraph (a)(5) of this section and models used to determine initial margin under paragraph (a)(6) of this section; and


(B) Is performed by a qualified person who does not perform functions associated with the model (except as part of the annual model validation), does not report to such a person, and does not have a financial interest in whether the model is determined to be valid; and


(vi) Establishes rules and procedures that explicitly –


(A) Address allocation of credit losses the designated financial market utility may face if its collateral and other financial resources are insufficient to cover fully its credit exposures, including the repayment of any funds a designated financial market utility may borrow from liquidity providers; and


(B) Describe the designated financial market utility’s process to replenish any financial resources that the designated financial market utility may employ during a stress event, including a participant default.


(5) Collateral. If it requires collateral to manage its or its participants’ credit exposure, the designated financial market utility accepts collateral with low credit, liquidity, and market risks and sets and enforces conservative haircuts and concentration limits, in order to ensure the value of the collateral in the event of liquidation and that the collateral can be used in a timely manner. In this regard, the designated financial market utility –


(i) Establishes prudent valuation practices and develops haircuts that are tested regularly and take into account stressed market conditions;


(ii) Establishes haircuts that are calibrated to include relevant periods of stressed market conditions to reduce the need for procyclical adjustments;


(iii) Provides for annual validation of its haircut procedures, as part of its risk-management model validation under paragraph (a)(4)(v) of this section;


(iv) Avoids concentrated holdings of any particular type of asset where the concentration could significantly impair the ability to liquidate such assets quickly without significant adverse price effects;


(v) Uses a collateral management system that is well-designed and operationally flexible such that it, among other things, –


(A) Accommodates changes in the ongoing monitoring and management of collateral; and


(B) Allows for the timely valuation of collateral and execution of any collateral or margin calls.


(6) Margin. If it operates as a central counterparty, the designated financial market utility covers its credit exposures to its participants for all products by establishing a risk-based margin system that –


(i) Is conceptually and methodologically sound for the risks and particular attributes of each product, portfolio, and markets it serves, as demonstrated by documented and empirical evidence supporting design choices, methods used, variables selected, theoretical bases, key assumptions, and limitations;


(ii) Establishes margin levels commensurate with the risks and particular attributes of each product, portfolio, and market it serves;


(iii) Has a reliable source of timely price data;


(iv) Has procedures and sound valuation models for addressing circumstances in which pricing data are not readily available or reliable;


(v) Marks participant positions to market and collects variation margin at least daily and has the operational capacity to make intraday margin calls and payments, both scheduled and unscheduled, to participants;


(vi) Generates initial margin requirements sufficient to cover potential changes in the value of each participant’s position during the interval between the last margin collection and the closeout of positions following a participant default by –


(A) Ensuring that initial margin meets an established single-tailed confidence level of at least 99 percent with respect to the estimated distribution of future exposure; and


(B) Using a conservative estimate of the time horizons for the effective hedging or closeout of the particular types of products cleared, including in stressed market conditions; and


(vii) Is monitored on an ongoing basis and regularly reviewed, tested, and verified through –


(A) Daily backtests;


(B) Monthly sensitivity analyses, performed more frequently during stressed market conditions or significant fluctuations in participant positions, with this analysis taking into account a wide range of parameters and assumptions that reflect possible market conditions that captures a variety of historical and hypothetical conditions, including the most volatile periods that have been experienced by the markets the designated financial market utility serves; and


(C) Annual model validations of the designated financial market utility’s margin models and related parameters and assumptions, as part of its risk-management model validation under paragraph (a)(4)(v) of this section.


(7) Liquidity risk. The designated financial market utility effectively measures, monitors, and manages the liquidity risk that arises in or is borne by the designated financial market utility. In this regard, the designated financial market utility –


(i) Has effective operational and analytical tools to identify, measure, and monitor its settlement and funding flows on an ongoing and timely basis, including its use of intraday liquidity;


(ii) Maintains sufficient liquid resources in all relevant currencies to effect same-day and, where applicable, intraday and multiday settlement of payment obligations with a high degree of confidence under a wide range of significantly different potential stress scenarios that includes the default of the participant and its affiliates that would generate the largest aggregate liquidity obligation for the designated financial market utility in extreme but plausible market conditions;


(iii) Holds, for purposes of meeting the minimum liquid resource requirement under paragraph (a)(7)(ii) of this section, –


(A) cash in each relevant currency at the central bank of issue or creditworthy commercial banks;


(B) assets that are readily available and convertible into cash, through committed arrangements without material adverse change conditions, such as collateralized lines of credit, foreign exchange swaps, and repurchase agreements; or


(C) subject to the determination of the Board, highly marketable collateral and investments that are readily available and convertible into cash with prearranged and highly reliable funding arrangements, even in extreme but plausible market conditions;


(iv) Evaluates and confirms, at least annually, whether each provider of the arrangements as described in paragraphs (a)(7)(iii)(B) and (C) of this section has sufficient information to understand and manage that provider’s associated liquidity risks, and whether the provider has the capacity to perform;


(v) Maintains and tests its procedures and operational capacity for accessing each type of liquid resource required under this paragraph at least annually;


(vi) Determines the amount and regularly tests the sufficiency of the liquid resources necessary to meet the minimum liquid resource requirement under this paragraph by –


(A) On a daily basis, conducting a stress test of its liquid resources using standard and predetermined stress scenarios, parameters, and assumptions;


(B) On at least a monthly basis, and more frequently when products cleared or markets served experience high volatility or become less liquid, or when the size or concentration of positions held by the designated financial market utility’s participants increases significantly, conducting a comprehensive and thorough analysis of the existing stress scenarios, models, and underlying parameters and assumptions such that the designated financial market utility meets its identified liquidity needs and resources in light of current and evolving market conditions; and


(C) Having clear procedures to report the results of its stress tests to decisionmakers at the designated financial market utility and using these results to evaluate the adequacy of and make adjustments to its liquidity risk-management framework;


(vii) At least annually, provides for a validation of its liquidity risk-management model by a qualified person who does not perform functions associated with the model (except as part of the annual model validation), does not report to such a person, and does not have a financial interest in whether the model is determined to be valid; and


(viii) Establishes rules and procedures that explicitly –


(A) Address potential liquidity shortfalls that would not be covered by the designated financial market utility’s liquid resources and avoid unwinding, revoking, or delaying the same-day settlement of payment obligations; and


(B) Describe the designated financial market utility’s process to replenish any liquid resources that it may employ during a stress event, including a participant default.


(8) Settlement finality. The designated financial market utility provides clear and certain final settlement intraday or in real time as appropriate, and at a minimum, by the end of the value date. The designated financial market utility clearly defines the point at which settlement is final and the point after which unsettled payments, transfer instructions, or other settlement instructions may not be revoked by a participant.


(9) Money settlements. The designated financial market utility conducts its money settlements in central bank money where practical and available. If central bank money is not used, the designated financial market utility minimizes and strictly controls the credit and liquidity risks arising from conducting its money settlements in commercial bank money, including settlement on its own books. If it conducts its money settlements at a commercial bank, the designated financial market utility –


(i) Establishes and monitors adherence to criteria based on high standards for its settlement banks that take account of, among other things, their applicable regulatory and supervisory frameworks, creditworthiness, capitalization, access to liquidity, and operational reliability;


(ii) Monitors and manages the concentration of credit and liquidity exposures to its commercial settlement banks; and


(iii) Ensures that its legal agreements with its settlement banks state clearly –


(A) When transfers on the books of individual settlement banks are expected to occur;


(B) That transfers are final when funds are credited to the recipient’s account; and


(C) That the funds credited to the recipient are available immediately for retransfer or withdrawal.


(10) Physical deliveries. A designated financial market utility that operates as a central counterparty, securities settlement system, or central securities depository clearly states its obligations with respect to the delivery of physical instruments or commodities and identifies, monitors, and manages the risks associated with such physical deliveries.


(11) Central securities depositories. A designated financial market utility that operates as a central securities depository has appropriate rules and procedures to help ensure the integrity of securities issues and minimizes and manages the risks associated with the safekeeping and transfer of securities. In this regard, the designated financial market utility maintains securities in an immobilized or dematerialized form for their transfer by book entry.


(12) Exchange-of-value settlement systems. If it settles transactions that involve the settlement of two linked obligations, such as a transfer of securities against payment or the exchange of one currency for another, the designated financial market utility eliminates principal risk by conditioning the final settlement of one obligation upon the final settlement of the other.


(13) Participant-default rules and procedures. The designated financial market utility has effective and clearly defined rules and procedures to manage a participant default that are designed to ensure that the designated financial market utility can take timely action to contain losses and liquidity pressures so that it can continue to meet its obligations. In this regard, the designated financial market utility tests and reviews its default procedures, including any closeout procedures, at least annually or following material changes to these rules and procedures.


(14) Segregation and portability. A designated financial market utility that operates as a central counterparty has rules and procedures that enable the segregation and portability of positions of a participant’s customers and the collateral provided to the designated financial market utility with respect to those positions.


(15) General business risk. The designated financial market utility identifies, monitors, and manages its general business risk, which is the risk of losses that may arise from its administration and operation as a business enterprise (including losses from execution of business strategy, negative cash flows, or unexpected and excessively large operating expenses) that are neither related to participant default nor separately covered by financial resources maintained for credit or liquidity risk. In this regard, in addition to holding financial resources required to manage credit risk (paragraph (a)(4) of this section) and liquidity risk (paragraph (a)(7) of this section), the designated financial market utility –


(i) Maintains liquid net assets funded by equity that are at all times sufficient to ensure a recovery or orderly wind-down of critical operations and services such that it –


(A) Holds unencumbered liquid financial assets, such as cash or highly liquid securities, that are sufficient to cover the greater of –


(1) The cost to implement the plans to address general business losses as required under paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section and


(2) Six months of current operating expenses or as otherwise determined by the Board; and


(B) Holds equity, such as common stock, disclosed reserves, and other retained earnings, that is at all times greater than or equal to the amount of unencumbered liquid financial assets that are required to be held under paragraph (a)(15)(i)(A) of this section; and


(ii) Maintains a viable plan, approved by the board of directors, for raising additional equity should the designated financial market utility’s equity fall below the amount required under paragraph (a)(15)(i) of this section, and updates the plan the earlier of every two years or following changes to the designated financial market utility or the environment in which it operates that would significantly affect the viability or execution of the plan.


(16) Custody and investment risks. The designated financial market utility –


(i) Safeguards its own and its participants’ assets and minimizes the risk of loss on and delay in access to these assets by –


(A) Holding its own and its participants’ assets at supervised and regulated entities that have accounting practices, safekeeping procedures, and internal controls that fully protect these assets; and


(B) Evaluating its exposures to its custodian banks, taking into account the full scope of its relationships with each; and


(ii) Invests its own and its participants’ assets –


(A) In instruments with minimal credit, market, and liquidity risks, such as investments that are secured by, or are claims on, high-quality obligors and investments that allow for timely liquidation with little, if any, adverse price effect; and


(B) Using an investment strategy that is consistent with its overall risk-management strategy and fully disclosed to its participants.


(17) Operational risk. The designated financial market utility manages its operational risks by establishing a robust operational risk-management framework that is approved by the board of directors. In this regard, the designated financial market utility –


(i) Identifies the plausible sources of operational risk, both internal and external, and mitigates their impact through the use of appropriate systems, policies, procedures, and controls that are reviewed, audited, and tested periodically and after major changes;


(ii) Identifies, monitors, and manages the risks its operations might pose to other financial market utilities and trade repositories, if any;


(iii) Has policies and systems that are designed to achieve clearly defined objectives to ensure a high degree of security and operational reliability;


(iv) Has systems that have adequate, scalable capacity to handle increasing stress volumes and achieve the designated financial market utility’s service-level objectives;


(v) Has comprehensive physical, information, and cyber security policies, procedures, and controls that address potential and evolving vulnerabilities and threats;


(vi) Has business continuity management that provides for rapid recovery and timely resumption of critical operations and fulfillment of its obligations, including in the event of a wide-scale disruption or a major disruption; and


(vii) Has a business continuity plan that –


(A) Incorporates the use of a secondary site that is located at a sufficient geographical distance from the primary site to have a distinct risk profile;


(B) Is designed to enable critical systems, including information technology systems, to recover and resume operations no later than two hours following disruptive events;


(C) Is designed to enable it to complete settlement by the end of the day of the disruption, even in case of extreme circumstances; and


(D) Is tested at least annually.


(18) Access and participation requirements. The designated financial market utility has objective, risk-based, and publicly disclosed criteria for participation, which permit fair and open access. The designated financial market utility –


(i) Monitors compliance with its participation requirements on an ongoing basis and has the authority to impose more-stringent restrictions or other risk controls on a participant in situations where the designated financial market utility determines the participant poses heightened risk to the designated financial market utility; and


(ii) Has clearly defined and publicly disclosed procedures for facilitating the suspension and orderly exit of a participant that fails to meet the participation requirements.


(19) Tiered participation arrangements. The designated financial market utility identifies, monitors, and manages the material risks arising from arrangements in which firms that are not direct participants in the designated financial market utility rely on the services provided by direct participants to access the designated financial market utility’s payment, clearing, or settlement facilities, whether the risks are borne by the designated financial market utility or by its participants as a result of their participation. The designated financial market utility –


(i) Conducts an analysis to determine whether material risks arise from tiered participation arrangements;


(ii) Where material risks are identified, mitigates or manages such risks; and


(iii) Reviews and updates the analysis conducted under paragraph (a)(19)(i) of this section the earlier of every two years or following material changes to the system design or operations or the environment in which the designated financial market utility operates if those changes could affect the analysis conducted under paragraph (a)(19)(i) of this section.


(20) Links. If it operates as a central counterparty, securities settlement system, or central securities depository and establishes a link with one or more of these types of financial market utilities or trade repositories, the designated financial market utility identifies, monitors, and manages risks related to this link. In this regard, each central counterparty in a link arrangement with another central counterparty covers, at least on a daily basis, its current and potential future exposures to the linked central counterparty and its participants, if any, fully with a high degree of confidence without reducing the central counterparty’s ability to fulfill its obligations to its own participants.


(21) Efficiency and effectiveness. The designated financial market utility –


(i) Is efficient and effective in meeting the requirements of its participants and the markets it serves, in particular, with regard to its –


(A) Clearing and settlement arrangement;


(B) Risk-management policies, procedures, and systems;


(C) Scope of products cleared and settled; and


(D) Use of technology and communication procedures;


(ii) Has clearly defined goals and objectives that are measurable and achievable, such as minimum service levels, risk-management expectations, and business priorities; and


(iii) Has policies and procedures for the regular review of its efficiency and effectiveness.


(22) Communication procedures and standards. The designated financial market utility uses, or at a minimum accommodates, relevant internationally accepted communication procedures and standards in order to facilitate efficient payment, clearing, and settlement.


(23) Disclosure of rules, key procedures, and market data. The designated financial market utility –


(i) Has clear and comprehensive rules and procedures;


(ii) Publicly discloses all rules and key procedures, including key aspects of its default rules and procedures;


(iii) Provides sufficient information to enable participants to have an accurate understanding of the risks, fees, and other material costs they incur by participating in the designated financial market utility;


(iv) Provides a comprehensive public disclosure of its legal, governance, risk management, and operating framework, that includes –


(A) Executive summary. An executive summary of the key points from paragraphs (a)(23)(iv)(B) through (D) of this section;


(B) Summary of major changes since the last update of the disclosure. A summary of the major changes since the last update of paragraph (a)(23)(iv)(C), (D), or (E) of this section;


(C) General background on the designated financial market utility. A description of –


(1) The designated financial market utility’s function and the markets it serves,


(2) Basic data and performance statistics on its services and operations, such as basic volume and value statistics by product type, average aggregate intraday exposures to its participants, and statistics on the designated financial market utility’s operational reliability, and


(3) The designated financial market utility’s general organization, legal and regulatory framework, and system design and operations;


(D) Standard-by-standard summary narrative. A comprehensive narrative disclosure for each applicable standard set forth in this paragraph (a) with sufficient detail and context to enable a reader to understand the designated financial market utility’s approach to controlling the risks and addressing the requirements in each standard; and


(E) List of publicly available resources. A list of publicly available resources, including those referenced in the disclosure, that may help a reader understand how the designated financial market utility controls its risks and addresses the requirements set forth in this paragraph (a); and


(v) Updates the public disclosure under paragraph (a)(23)(iv) of this section the earlier of every two years or following changes to its system or the environment in which it operates that would significantly change the accuracy of the statements provided under paragraph (a)(23)(iv) of this section.


(b) The Board, by order, may apply heightened risk-management standards to a particular designated financial market utility in accordance with the risks presented by that designated financial market utility. The Board, by order, may waive the application of a standard or standards to a particular designated financial market utility where the risks presented by or the design of that designated financial market utility would make the application of the standard or standards inappropriate.


[77 FR 45919, Aug. 2, 2012, as amended at 79 FR 65558, Nov. 5, 2014]


§ 234.4 Changes to rules, procedures, or operations.

(a) Advance notice. (1) A designated financial market utility shall provide at least 60-days advance notice to the Board of any proposed change to its rules, procedures, or operations that could materially affect the nature or level of risks presented by the designated financial market utility.


(2) The notice of the proposed change shall describe –


(i) The nature of the change and expected effects on risks to the designated financial market utility, its participants, or the market; and


(ii) How the designated financial market utility plans to manage any identified risks.


(3) The Board may require the designated financial market utility to provide additional information necessary to assess the effect the proposed change would have on the nature or level of risks associated with the utility’s payment, clearing, or settlement activities and the sufficiency of any proposed risk-management techniques.


(4) A designated financial market utility shall not implement a change to which the Board has an objection.


(5) The Board will notify the designated financial market utility of any objection before the end of 60 days after the later of –


(i) The date the Board receives the notice of proposed change; or


(ii) The date the Board receives any further information it requests for consideration of the notice.


(6) A designated financial market utility may implement a change if it has not received an objection to the proposed change before the end of 60 days after the later of –


(i) The date the Board receives the notice of proposed change; or


(ii) The date the Board receives any further information it requests for consideration of the notice.


(7) With respect to proposed changes that raise novel or complex issues, the Board may, by written notice during the 60-day review period, extend the review period for an additional 60 days. Any extension under this paragraph will extend the time periods under paragraphs (a)(5) and (a)(6) of this section to 120 days.


(8) A designated financial market utility may implement a proposed change before the expiration of the applicable review period if the Board notifies the designated financial market utility in writing that the Board does not object to the proposed change and authorizes the designated financial market utility to implement the change on an earlier date, subject to any conditions imposed by the Board.


(b) Emergency changes. (1) A designated financial market utility may implement a change that would otherwise require advance notice under this section if it determines that –


(i) An emergency exists; and


(ii) Immediate implementation of the change is necessary for the designated financial market utility to continue to provide its services in a safe and sound manner.


(2) The designated financial market utility shall provide notice of any such emergency change to the Board as soon as practicable and no later than 24 hours after implementation of the change.


(3) In addition to the information required for changes requiring advance notice in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the notice of an emergency change shall describe –


(i) The nature of the emergency; and


(ii) The reason the change was necessary for the designated financial market utility to continue to provide its services in a safe and sound manner.


(4) The Board may require modification or rescission of the change if it finds that the change is not consistent with the purposes of the Dodd-Frank Act or any applicable rules, order, or standards prescribed under section 805(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act.


(c) Materiality. (1) The term “materially affect the nature or level of risks presented” in paragraph (a)(1) of this section means matters as to which there is a reasonable possibility that the change would materially affect the overall nature or level of risk presented by the designated financial market utility, including risk arising in the performance of payment, clearing, or settlement functions.


(2) A change to rules, procedures, or operations that would materially affect the nature or level of risks presented includes, but is not limited to, changes that materially affect any one or more of the following:


(i) Participant eligibility or access criteria;


(ii) Product eligibility;


(iii) Risk management;


(iv) Settlement failure or default procedures;


(v) Financial resources;


(vi) Business continuity and disaster recovery plans;


(vii) Daily or intraday settlement procedures;


(viii) The scope of services, including the addition of a new service or discontinuation of an existing service;


(ix) Technical design or operating platform, which results in non-routine changes to the underlying technological framework for payment, clearing, or settlement functions; or


(x) Governance.


(3) A change to rules, procedures, or operations that does not meet the conditions of paragraph (c)(2) of this section and would not materially affect the nature or level of risks presented includes, but is not limited to the following:


(i) A routine technology systems upgrade;


(ii) A change in a fee, price, or other charge for services provided by the designated financial market utility;


(iii) A change related solely to the administration of the designated financial market utility or related to the routine, daily administration, direction, and control of employees; or


(iv) A clerical change and other non-substantive revisions to rules, procedures, or other documentation.


[77 FR 45919, Aug. 2, 2012. Redesignated at 79 FR 65562, Nov. 5, 2014]


§ 234.5 Access to Federal Reserve Bank accounts and services.

(a) This section applies to any designated financial market utility for which the Board may authorize a Federal Reserve Bank to open an account or provide services in accordance with section 806(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act. Upon receipt of Board authorization and subject to any limitations, restrictions, or other requirements established by the Board, a Federal Reserve Bank may enter into agreements governing the details of its accounts and services with a designated financial market utility, consistent with this section and any other applicable Board direction. The agreements may include, among other things, provisions regarding documentation to establish the account and receive services, conditions imposed on the account and services, service charges, reporting, accounting for activity in the account, liability and duty of care, and termination.


(b) A Federal Reserve Bank should ensure that its establishment and maintenance of an account for or provision of services to a designated financial market utility does not create undue credit, settlement, or other risk to the Reserve Bank. In order to establish and maintain an account with a Federal Reserve Bank or receive financial services from a Federal Reserve Bank, the designated financial market utility must be in compliance with the Supervisory Agency’s regulatory and supervisory requirements regarding financial resources, liquidity, participant default management, and other aspects of risk management, as determined by the Supervisory Agency. In addition, at a minimum, the designated financial market utility must, in the Federal Reserve Bank’s judgment –


(1) Be in generally sound financial condition, including maintenance of sufficient working capital and cash flow to permit the designated financial market utility to continue as a going concern and to meet its current and projected operating expenses under a range of scenarios;


(2) Be in compliance with Board orders and policies, Federal Reserve Bank account agreements and, as applicable, operating circulars, and other applicable Federal Reserve requirements regarding the establishment and maintenance of an account at a Federal Reserve Bank and the receipt of financial services from a Federal Reserve Bank; and


(3) Have an ongoing ability, including during periods of market stress or a participant default, to meet all of its obligations under its agreement for a Federal Reserve Bank account and services, including by maintaining –


(i) Sufficient liquid resources to meet its obligations under the account agreement;


(ii) The operational capacity to ensure that such liquid resources are available to satisfy the account obligations on a timely basis in accordance with the account agreement; and


(iii) Sound money settlement processes designed to adequately monitor its Federal Reserve Bank account on an intraday basis, process money transfers through its account in an orderly manner, and complete final money settlement no later than the value date.


(c) The Board will consult with the Supervisory Agency of a designated financial market utility prior to authorizing a Federal Reserve Bank to open an account, and periodically thereafter, to ascertain the views of the Supervisory Agency regarding the designated financial market utility’s compliance with the requirements in paragraph (b) of this section.


(d) In addition to any right that a Reserve Bank has to limit or terminate an account or the use of a service pursuant to its account agreement, the Board may direct the Federal Reserve Bank to impose limits, restrictions, or other conditions on the availability or use of a Federal Reserve Bank account or service by a designated financial market utility, including directing the Reserve Bank to terminate the use of a particular service or to close the account. If the Reserve Bank determines that a designated financial market utility no longer complies with one or more of the minimum conditions in subsection (b), the Reserve Bank will consult with the Board regarding continued maintenance of the account and provision of services.


[78 FR 76979, Dec. 20, 2013. Redesignated and amended at 79 FR 65562, Nov. 5, 2014]


§ 234.6 Interest on balances.

(a) A Federal Reserve Bank may pay interest on balances maintained by a designated financial market utility at the Federal Reserve Bank in accordance with this section and under such other terms and conditions as the Board may prescribe.


(b) Interest on balances paid under this section shall be at the rate paid on balances maintained by depository institutions or another rate determined by the Board from time to time, not to exceed the general level of short-term interest rates.


(c) For purposes of this section, “short-term interest rates” shall have the same meaning as the meaning provided for that term in § 204.10(b)(3) of this chapter.


[78 FR 76979, Dec. 20, 2013. Redesignated at 79 FR 65562, Nov. 5, 2014]


PART 235 – DEBIT CARD INTERCHANGE FEES AND ROUTING (REGULATION II)


Authority:15 U.S.C. 1693o-2.


Source:76 FR 43466, July 20, 2011, unless otherwise noted.

§ 235.1 Authority and purpose.

(a) Authority. This part is issued by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) under section 920 of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) (15 U.S.C. 1693o-2, as added by section 1075 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010)).


(b) Purpose. This part implements the provisions of section 920 of the EFTA, including standards for reasonable and proportional interchange transaction fees for electronic debit transactions, standards for receiving a fraud-prevention adjustment to interchange transaction fees, exemptions from the interchange transaction fee limitations, prohibitions on evasion and circumvention, prohibitions on payment card network exclusivity arrangements and routing restrictions for debit card transactions, and reporting requirements for debit card issuers and payment card networks.


§ 235.2 Definitions.

For purposes of this part:


(a) Account (1) Means a transaction, savings, or other asset account (other than an occasional or incidental credit balance in a credit plan) established for any purpose and that is located in the United States; and


(2) Does not include an account held under a bona fide trust agreement that is excluded by section 903(2) of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act and rules prescribed thereunder.


(b) Acquirer means a person that contracts directly or indirectly with a merchant to provide settlement for the merchant’s electronic debit transactions over a payment card network. An acquirer does not include a person that acts only as a processor for the services it provides to the merchant.


(c) Affiliate means any company that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with another company.


(d) Cardholder means the person to whom a debit card is issued.


(e) Control of a company means –


(1) Ownership, control, or power to vote 25 percent or more of the outstanding shares of any class of voting security of the company, directly or indirectly, or acting through one or more other persons;


(2) Control in any manner over the election of a majority of the directors, trustees, or general partners (or individuals exercising similar functions) of the company; or


(3) The power to exercise, directly or indirectly, a controlling influence over the management or policies of the company, as the Board determines.


(f) Debit card (1) Means any card, or other payment code or device, issued or approved for use through a payment card network to debit an account, regardless of whether authorization is based on signature, personal identification number (PIN), or other means, and regardless of whether the issuer holds the account, and


(2) Includes any general-use prepaid card; and


(3) Does not include –


(i) Any card, or other payment code or device, that is redeemable upon presentation at only a single merchant or an affiliated group of merchants for goods or services; or


(ii) A check, draft, or similar paper instrument, or an electronic representation thereof.


(g) Designated automated teller machine (ATM) network means either –


(1) All ATMs identified in the name of the issuer; or


(2) Any network of ATMs identified by the issuer that provides reasonable and convenient access to the issuer’s customers.


(h) Electronic debit transaction (1) Means the use of a debit card by a person as a form of payment in the United States to initiate a debit to an account, and


(2) Does not include transactions initiated at an ATM, including cash withdrawals and balance transfers initiated at an ATM.


(i) General-use prepaid card means a card, or other payment code or device, that is –


(1) Issued on a prepaid basis in a specified amount, whether or not that amount may be increased or reloaded, in exchange for payment; and


(2) Redeemable upon presentation at multiple, unaffiliated merchants for goods or services.


(j) Interchange transaction fee means any fee established, charged, or received by a payment card network and paid by a merchant or an acquirer for the purpose of compensating an issuer for its involvement in an electronic debit transaction.


(k) Issuer means any person that authorizes the use of a debit card to perform an electronic debit transaction.


(l) Merchant means any person that accepts debit cards as payment.


(m) Payment card network means an entity that –


(1) Directly or indirectly provides the proprietary services, infrastructure, and software that route information and data to an issuer from an acquirer to conduct the authorization, clearance, and settlement of electronic debit transactions; and


(2) A merchant uses in order to accept as a form of payment a brand of debit card or other device that may be used to carry out electronic debit transactions.


(n) Person means a natural person or an organization, including a corporation, government agency, estate, trust, partnership, proprietorship, cooperative, or association.


(o) Processor means a person that processes or routes electronic debit transactions for issuers, acquirers, or merchants.


(p) Route means to direct and send information and data to an unaffiliated entity or to an affiliated entity acting on behalf of an unaffiliated entity.


(q) United States means the States, territories, and possessions of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any political subdivision of any of the foregoing.


§ 235.3 Reasonable and proportional interchange transaction fees.

(a) In general. The amount of any interchange transaction fee that an issuer may receive or charge with respect to an electronic debit transaction shall be reasonable and proportional to the cost incurred by the issuer with respect to the electronic debit transaction.


(b) Determination of reasonable and proportional fees. An issuer complies with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section only if each interchange transaction fee received or charged by the issuer for an electronic debit transaction is no more than the sum of –


(1) 21 cents and;


(2) 5 basis points multiplied by the value of the transaction.


§ 235.4 Fraud-prevention adjustment.

(a) In general. Subject to paragraph (b) of this section, an issuer may receive or charge an amount of no more than 1 cent per transaction in addition to any interchange transaction fee it receives or charges in accordance with § 235.3.


(b) Issuer standards. (1) To be eligible to receive or charge the fraud-prevention adjustment in paragraph (a) of this section, an issuer must develop and implement policies and procedures reasonably designed to take effective steps to reduce the occurrence of, and costs to all parties from, fraudulent electronic debit transactions, including through the development and implementation of cost-effective fraud-prevention technology.


(2) An issuer’s policies and procedures must address –


(i) Methods to identify and prevent fraudulent electronic debit transactions;


(ii) Monitoring of the volume and value of its fraudulent electronic debit transactions;


(iii) Appropriate responses to suspicious electronic debit transactions in a manner designed to limit the costs to all parties from and prevent the occurrence of future fraudulent electronic debit transactions;


(iv) Methods to secure debit card and cardholder data; and


(v) Such other factors as the issuer considers appropriate.


(3) An issuer must review, at least annually, its fraud-prevention policies and procedures, and their implementation and update them as necessary in light of –


(i) Their effectiveness in reducing the occurrence of, and cost to all parties from, fraudulent electronic debit transactions involving the issuer;


(ii) Their cost-effectiveness; and


(iii) Changes in the types of fraud, methods used to commit fraud, and available methods for detecting and preventing fraudulent electronic debit transactions that the issuer identifies from –


(A) Its own experience or information;


(B) Information provided to the issuer by its payment card networks, law enforcement agencies, and fraud-monitoring groups in which the issuer participates; and


(C) Applicable supervisory guidance.


(c) Notification. To be eligible to receive or charge a fraud-prevention adjustment, an issuer must annually notify its payment card networks that it complies with the standards in paragraph (b) of this section.


(d) Change in status. An issuer is not eligible to receive or charge a fraud-prevention adjustment if the issuer is substantially non-compliant with the standards set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, as determined by the issuer or the appropriate agency under § 235.9. Such an issuer must notify its payment card networks that it is no longer eligible to receive or charge a fraud-prevention adjustment no later than 10 days after determining or receiving notification from the appropriate agency under § 235.9 that the issuer is substantially non-compliant with the standards set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. The issuer must stop receiving and charging the fraud-prevention adjustment no later than 30 days after notifying its payment card networks.


[77 FR 46280, Aug. 3, 2012]


§ 235.5 Exemptions.

(a) Exemption for small issuers – (1) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, §§ 235.3, 235.4, and 235.6 do not apply to an interchange transaction fee received or charged by an issuer with respect to an electronic debit transaction if –


(i) The issuer holds the account that is debited; and


(ii) The issuer, together with its affiliates, has assets of less than $10 billion as of the end of the calendar year preceding the date of the electronic debit transaction.


(2) Determination of issuer asset size. A person may rely on lists published by the Board to determine whether an issuer, together with its affiliates, has assets of less than $10 billion as of the end of the calendar year preceding the date of the electronic debit transaction.


(3) Change in status. If an issuer qualifies for the exemption in paragraph (a)(1) in a particular calendar year, but, as of the end of that calendar year no longer qualifies for the exemption because at that time it, together with its affiliates, has assets of $10 billion or more, the issuer must begin complying with §§ 235.3, 235.4, and 235.6 no later than July 1 of the succeeding calendar year.


(4)(i) Temporary relief for 2020 and 2021. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(4)(ii) of this section, for purposes of determining eligibility for the exemption for small issuers described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, issuer asset size that is calculated as of the end of the calendar year 2020 shall be determined based on the lesser of:


(A) The assets of the issuer, together with its affiliates, as of the end of the calendar year 2019; and


(B) The assets of the issuer, together with its affiliates, as of the end of the calendar year 2020.


(ii) The relief provided under this paragraph (a)(4) does not apply to an issuer if the Board determines that permitting the issuer to determine its assets in accordance with that paragraph would not be commensurate with the asset profile of the issuer. When making this determination, the Board will consider all relevant factors, including the extent of asset growth of the issuer since December 31, 2019; the causes of such growth, including whether growth occurred as a result of mergers or acquisitions; whether such growth is likely to be temporary or permanent; whether the issuer has become involved in any additional activities since December 31, 2019; the asset size of any parent companies; and the type of assets held by the issuer. In making a determination pursuant to this paragraph (a)(4)(ii), the Board will apply notice and response procedures in the same manner and to the same extent as the notice and response procedures in 12 CFR 263.202.


(b) Exemption for government-administered programs. Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, §§ 235.3, 235.4, and 235.6 do not apply to an interchange transaction fee received or charged by an issuer with respect to an electronic debit transaction if –


(1) The electronic debit transaction is made using a debit card that has been provided to a person pursuant to a Federal, State, or local government-administered payment program; and


(2) The cardholder may use the debit card only to transfer or debit funds, monetary value, or other assets that have been provided pursuant to such program.


(c) Exemption for certain reloadable prepaid cards – (1) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, §§ 235.3, 235.4, and 235.6 do not apply to an interchange transaction fee received or charged by an issuer with respect to an electronic debit transaction using a general-use prepaid card that is –


(i) Not issued or approved for use to access or debit any account held by or for the benefit of the cardholder (other than a subaccount or other method of recording or tracking funds purchased or loaded on the card on a prepaid basis);


(ii) Reloadable and not marketed or labeled as a gift card or gift certificate; and


(iii) The only means of access to the underlying funds, except when all remaining funds are provided to the cardholder in a single transaction.


(2) Temporary cards. For purposes of this paragraph (c), the term “reloadable” includes a temporary non-reloadable card issued solely in connection with a reloadable general-use prepaid card.


(d) Exception. The exemptions in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section do not apply to any interchange transaction fee received or charged by an issuer on or after July 21, 2012, with respect to an electronic debit transaction if any of the following fees may be charged to a cardholder with respect to the card:


(1) A fee or charge for an overdraft, including a shortage of funds or a transaction processed for an amount exceeding the account balance, unless the fee or charge is imposed for transferring funds from another asset account to cover a shortfall in the account accessed by the card; or


(2) A fee imposed by the issuer for the first withdrawal per calendar month from an ATM that is part of the issuer’s designated ATM network.


[76 FR 43466, July 20, 2011, as amended at 85 FR 77362, Dec. 2, 2020]


§ 235.6 Prohibition on circumvention, evasion, and net compensation.

(a) Prohibition of circumvention or evasion. No person shall circumvent or evade the interchange transaction fee restrictions in §§ 235.3 and 235.4.


(b) Prohibition of net compensation. An issuer may not receive net compensation from a payment card network with respect to electronic debit transactions or debit card-related activities within a calendar year. Net compensation occurs when the total amount of payments or incentives received by an issuer from a payment card network with respect to electronic debit transactions or debit card-related activities, other than interchange transaction fees passed through to the issuer by the network, during a calendar year exceeds the total amount of all fees paid by the issuer to the network with respect to electronic debit transactions or debit card-related activities during that calendar year. Payments and incentives paid by a network to an issuer, and fees paid by an issuer to a network, with respect to electronic debit transactions or debit card related activities are not limited to volume-based or transaction-specific payments, incentives, or fees, but also include other payments, incentives or fees related to an issuer’s provision of debit card services.


§ 235.7 Limitations on payment card restrictions.

(a) Prohibition on network exclusivity – (1) In general. An issuer or payment card network shall not directly or through any agent, processor, or licensed member of a payment card network, by contract, requirement, condition, penalty, or otherwise, restrict the number of payment card networks on which an electronic debit transaction may be processed to less than two unaffiliated networks.


(2) Permitted arrangements. An issuer satisfies the requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of this section only if the issuer allows an electronic debit transaction to be processed on at least two unaffiliated payment card networks, each of which does not, by rule or policy, restrict the operation of the network to a limited geographic area, specific merchant, or particular type of merchant or transaction, and each of which has taken steps reasonably designed to enable the network to process the electronic debit transactions that the network would reasonably expect will be routed to it, based on expected transaction volume.


(3) Prohibited exclusivity arrangements by networks. For purposes of paragraph (a)(1) of this section, a payment card network may not restrict or otherwise limit an issuer’s ability to contract with any other payment card network that may process an electronic debit transaction involving the issuer’s debit cards.


(4) Subsequent affiliation. If unaffiliated payment card networks become affiliated as a result of a merger or acquisition such that an issuer is no longer in compliance with paragraph (a) of this section, the issuer must add an unaffiliated payment card network through which electronic debit transactions on the relevant debit card may be processed no later than six months after the date on which the previously unaffiliated payment card networks consummate the affiliation.


(b) Prohibition on routing restrictions. An issuer or payment card network shall not, directly or through any agent, processor, or licensed member of the network, by contract, requirement, condition, penalty, or otherwise, inhibit the ability of any person that accepts or honors debit cards for payments to direct the routing of electronic debit transactions for processing over any payment card network that may process such transactions.


(c) Compliance dates – (1) General. Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (c)(2), (c)(3), and (c)(4) of this section, the compliance date of paragraph (a) of this section is April 1, 2012.


(2) Restrictions by payment card networks. The compliance date of paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(3) of this section for payment card networks is October 1, 2011.


(3) Debit cards that use transaction qualification or substantiation systems. Issuers shall comply with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section by April 1, 2013, for electronic debit transactions using debit cards that use point-of-sale transaction qualification or substantiation systems for verifying the eligibility of purchased goods or services.


(4) General-use prepaid cards. Issuers shall comply with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section with respect to general-use prepaid cards as set out below.


(i) With respect to non-reloadable general-use prepaid cards, the compliance date is April 1, 2013. Non-reloadable general-use prepaid cards sold prior to April 1, 2013 are not subject to paragraph (a) of this section.


(ii) With respect to reloadable general-use prepaid cards, the compliance date is April 1, 2013. Reloadable general-use prepaid cards sold prior to April 1, 2013 are not subject to paragraph (a) of this section unless and until they are reloaded, in which case the following compliance dates apply:


(A) With respect to reloadable general-use prepaid cards sold and reloaded prior to April 1, 2013, the compliance date is May 1, 2013.


(B) With respect to reloadable general-use prepaid cards sold prior to April 1, 2013, and reloaded on or after April 1, 2013, the compliance date is 30 days after the date of reloading.


§ 235.8 Reporting requirements and record retention.

(a) Entities required to report. Each issuer that is not otherwise exempt from the requirements of this part under § 235.5(a) and each payment card network shall file a report with the Board in accordance with this section.


(b) Report. Each entity required to file a report with the Board shall submit data in a form prescribed by the Board for that entity. Data required to be reported may include, but may not be limited to, data regarding costs incurred with respect to an electronic debit transaction, interchange transaction fees, network fees, fraud-prevention costs, fraud losses, and transaction value, volume, and type.


(c) Record retention. (1) An issuer subject to this part shall retain evidence of compliance with the requirements imposed by this part for a period of not less than five years after the end of the calendar year in which the electronic debit transaction occurred.


(2) Any person subject to this part having actual notice that it is the subject of an investigation or an enforcement proceeding by its enforcement agency shall retain the records that pertain to the investigation, action, or proceeding until final disposition of the matter unless an earlier time is allowed by court or agency order.


§ 235.9 Administrative enforcement.

(a) (1) Compliance with the requirements of this part shall be enforced under –


(i) Section 8 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, by the appropriate Federal banking agency, as defined in section 3(q) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813(q)), with respect to –


(A) National banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and federal agencies of foreign banks;


(B) Member banks of the Federal Reserve System (other than national banks), branches and agencies of foreign banks (other than federal branches, federal Agencies, and insured state branches of foreign banks), commercial lending companies owned or controlled by foreign banks, and organizations operating under section 25 or 25A of the Federal Reserve Act;


(C) Banks and state savings associations insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (other than members of the Federal Reserve System), and insured state branches of foreign banks;


(ii) The Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.), by the Administrator of the National Credit Union Administration (National Credit Union Administration Board) with respect to any federal credit union;


(iii) The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 (49 U.S.C. 40101 et seq.), by the Secretary of Transportation, with respect to any air carrier or foreign air carrier subject to that Act; and


(iv) The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.), by the Securities and Exchange Commission, with respect to any broker or dealer subject to that Act.


(2) The terms used in paragraph (a)(1) of this section that are not defined in this part or otherwise defined in section 3(s) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813(s)) shall have the meaning given to them in section 1(b) of the International Banking Act of 1978 (12 U.S.C. 3101).


(b) Additional powers. (1) For the purpose of the exercise by any agency referred to in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) through (a)(1)(iv) of this section of its power under any statute referred to in those paragraphs, a violation of this part is deemed to be a violation of a requirement imposed under that statute.


(2) In addition to its powers under any provision of law specifically referred to in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) through (a)(1)(iv) of this section, each of the agencies referred to in those paragraphs may exercise, for the purpose of enforcing compliance under this part, any other authority conferred on it by law.


(c) Enforcement authority of Federal Trade Commission. Except to the extent that enforcement of the requirements imposed under this title is specifically granted to another government agency under paragraphs (a)(1)(i) through (a)(1)(iv) of this section, and subject to subtitle B of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, the Federal Trade Commission has the authority to enforce such requirements. For the purpose of the exercise by the Federal Trade Commission of its functions and powers under the Federal Trade Commission Act, a violation of this part shall be deemed a violation of a requirement imposed under the Federal Trade Commission Act. All of the functions and powers of the Federal Trade Commission under the Federal Trade Commission Act are available to the Federal Trade Commission to enforce compliance by any person subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission with the requirements of this part, regardless of whether that person is engaged in commerce or meets any other jurisdictional tests under the Federal Trade Commission Act.


§ 235.10 Effective and compliance dates.

Except as provided in § 235.7, this part becomes effective and compliance is mandatory on October 1, 2011.


Appendix A to Part 235 – Official Board Commentary on Regulation II

Introduction

The following commentary to Regulation II (12 CFR part 235) provides background material to explain the Board’s intent in adopting a particular part of the regulation. The commentary also provides examples to aid in understanding how a particular requirement is to work.


Section 235.2 Definitions

2(a) Account

1. Types of accounts. The term “account” includes accounts held by any person, including consumer accounts (i.e., those established primarily for personal, family or household purposes) and business accounts. Therefore, the limitations on interchange transaction fees and the prohibitions on network exclusivity arrangements and routing restrictions apply to all electronic debit transactions, regardless of whether the transaction involves a debit card issued primarily for personal, family, or household purposes or for business purposes. For example, an issuer of a business-purpose debit card is subject to the restrictions on interchange transaction fees and is also prohibited from restricting the number of payment card networks on which an electronic debit transaction may be processed under § 235.7.


2. Bona fide trusts. This part does not define the term bona fide trust agreement; therefore, institutions must look to state or other applicable law for interpretation. An account held under a custodial agreement that qualifies as a trust under the Internal Revenue Code, such as an individual retirement account, is considered to be held under a trust agreement for purposes of this part.


3. Account located in the United States. This part applies only to electronic debit transactions that are initiated to debit (or credit, for example, in the case of returned goods or cancelled services) an account located in the United States. If a cardholder uses a debit card to debit an account held outside the United States, then the electronic debit transaction is not subject to this part.


2(b) Acquirer

1. In general. The term “acquirer” includes only the institution that contracts, directly or indirectly, with a merchant to provide settlement for the merchant’s electronic debit transactions over a payment card network (referred to as acquiring the merchant’s electronic debit transactions). In some acquiring relationships, an institution provides processing services to the merchant and is a licensed member of the payment card network, but does not settle the transactions with the merchant (by crediting the merchant’s account) or with the issuer. These institutions are not “acquirers” because they do not provide credit to the merchant for the transactions or settle the merchant’s transactions with the issuer. These institutions are considered processors and in some circumstances may be considered payment card networks for purposes of this part (See §§ 235.2(m), 235.2(o), and commentary thereto).


2(c) Affiliate

1. Types of entities. The term “affiliate” includes any bank and nonbank affiliates located in the United States or a foreign country.


2. Other affiliates. For commentary on whether merchants are affiliated, see comment 2(f)-7.


2(d) Cardholder

1. Scope. In the case of debit cards that access funds in transaction, savings, or other similar asset accounts, “the person to whom a card is issued” generally will be the named person or persons holding the account. If the account is a business account, multiple employees (or other persons associated with the business) may have debit cards that can access the account. Each employee that has a debit card that can access the account is a cardholder. In the case of a prepaid card, the cardholder generally is either the purchaser of the card or a person to whom the purchaser gave the card, such as a gift recipient.


2(e) Control [Reserved]

2(f) Debit Card

1. Card, or other payment code or device. The term “debit card” as defined in § 235.2(f) applies to any card, or other payment code or device, even if it is not issued in a physical form. Debit cards include, for example, an account number or code that can be used to access funds in an account to make Internet purchases. Similarly, the term “debit card” includes a device with a chip or other embedded mechanism, such as a mobile phone or sticker containing a contactless chip that links the device to funds stored in an account, and enables an account to be debited. The term “debit card,” however, does not include a one-time password or other code if such password or code is used for the purposes of authenticating the cardholder and is used in addition to another card, or other payment code or device, rather than as the payment code or device.


2. Deferred debit cards. The term “debit card” includes a card, or other payment code or device, that is used in connection with deferred debit card arrangements in which transactions are not immediately posted to and funds are not debited from the underlying transaction, savings, or other asset account upon settlement of the transaction. Instead, the funds in the account typically are held and made unavailable for other transactions for a period of time specified in the issuer-cardholder agreement. After the expiration of the time period, the cardholder’s account is debited for the value of all transactions made using the card that have been submitted to the issuer for settlement during that time period. For example, under some deferred debit card arrangements, the issuer may debit the consumer’s account for all debit card transactions that occurred during a particular month at the end of the month. Regardless of the time period between the transaction and account posting, a card, or other payment code or device, that is used in connection with a deferred debit arrangement is considered a debit card for purposes of the requirements of this part.


3. Decoupled debit cards. Decoupled debit cards are issued by an entity other than the financial institution holding the cardholder’s account. In a decoupled debit arrangement, transactions that are authorized by the card issuer settle against the cardholder’s account held by an entity other than the issuer, generally via a subsequent ACH debit to that account. The term “debit card” includes any card, or other payment code or device, issued or approved for use through a payment card network to debit an account, regardless of whether the issuer holds the account. Therefore, decoupled debit cards are debit cards for purposes of this part.


4. Hybrid cards.


i. Some cards, or other payment codes or devices, may have both credit- and debit-like features (“hybrid cards”). For example, these cards may enable a cardholder to access a line of credit, but select certain transactions for immediate repayment (i.e., prior to the end of a billing cycle) via a debit to the cardholder’s account, as the term is defined in § 235.2(a), held either with the issuer or at another institution. If a card permits a cardholder to initiate transactions that debit an account or funds underlying a prepaid card, the card is considered a debit card for purposes of this part. Not all transactions initiated by such a hybrid card, however, are electronic debit transactions. Rather, only those transactions that debit an account as defined in this part or funds underlying a prepaid card are electronic debit transactions. If the transaction posts to a line of credit, then the transaction is a credit transaction.


ii. If an issuer conditions the availability of a credit or charge card that permits pre-authorized repayment of some or all transactions on the cardholder maintaining an account at the issuer, such a card is considered a debit card for purposes of this part.


5. Virtual wallets. A virtual wallet is a device (e.g., a mobile phone) that stores several different payment codes or devices (“virtual cards”) that access different accounts, funds underlying the card, or lines of credit. At the point of sale, the cardholder may select from the virtual wallet the virtual card he or she wishes to use for payment. The virtual card that the cardholder uses for payment is considered a debit card under this part if the virtual card that initiates a transaction meets the definition of debit card, notwithstanding the fact that other cards in the wallet may not be debit cards.


6. General-use prepaid card. The term “debit card” includes general-use prepaid cards. See § 235.2(i) and related commentary for information on general-use prepaid cards.


7. Store cards. The term “debit card” does not include prepaid cards that may be used at a single merchant or affiliated merchants. Two or more merchants are affiliated if they are related by either common ownership or by common corporate control. For purposes of the “debit card” definition, franchisees are considered to be under common corporate control if they are subject to a common set of corporate policies or practices under the terms of their franchise licenses.


8. Checks, drafts, and similar instruments. The term “debit card” does not include a check, draft, or similar paper instrument or a transaction in which the check is used as a source of information to initiate an electronic payment. For example, if an account holder provides a check to buy goods or services and the merchant takes the account number and routing number information from the MICR line at the bottom of a check to initiate an ACH debit transfer from the cardholder’s account, the check is not a debit card, and such a transaction is not considered an electronic debit transaction. Likewise, the term “debit card” does not include an electronic representation of a check, draft, or similar paper instrument.


9. ACH transactions. The term “debit card” does not include an account number when it is used by a person to initiate an ACH transaction that debits that person’s account. For example, if an account holder buys goods or services over the Internet using an account number and routing number to initiate an ACH debit, the account number is not a debit card, and such a transaction is not considered an electronic debit transaction. However, the use of a card to purchase goods or services that debits the cardholder’s account that is settled by means of a subsequent ACH debit initiated by the card issuer to the cardholder’s account, as in the case of a decoupled debit card arrangement, involves the use of a debit card for purposes of this part.


2(g) Designated Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Network

1. Reasonable and convenient access clarified. Under § 235.2(g)(2), a designated ATM network includes any network of ATMs identified by the issuer that provides reasonable and convenient access to the issuer’s cardholders. Whether a network provides reasonable and convenient access depends on the facts and circumstances, including the distance between ATMs in the designated network and each cardholder’s last known home or work address, or if a home or work address is not known, where the card was first issued.


2(h) Electronic Debit Transaction

1. Debit an account. The term “electronic debit transaction” includes the use of a card to debit an account. The account debited could be, for example, the cardholder’s asset account or the account that holds the funds used to settle prepaid card transactions.


2. Form of payment. The term “electronic debit transaction” includes the use of a card as a form of payment that may be made in exchange for goods or services, as a charitable contribution, to satisfy an obligation (e.g., tax liability), or for other purposes.


3. Subsequent transactions. The term “electronic debit transaction” includes both the cardholder’s use of a debit card for the initial payment and any subsequent use by the cardholder of the debit card in connection with the initial payment. For example, the term “electronic debit transaction” includes using the debit card to return merchandise or cancel a service that then results in a debit to the merchant’s account and a credit to the cardholder’s account.


4. Cash withdrawal at the point of sale. The term “electronic debit transaction” includes a transaction in which a cardholder uses the debit card both to make a purchase and to withdraw cash (known as a “cash-back transaction”).


5. Geographic limitation. This regulation applies only to electronic debit transactions that are initiated at a merchant located in the United States. If a cardholder uses a debit card at a merchant located outside the United States to debit an account held in the United States, the electronic debit transaction is not subject to this part.


2(i) General-Use Prepaid Card

1. Redeemable upon presentation at multiple, unaffiliated merchants. A prepaid card is redeemable upon presentation at multiple, unaffiliated merchants if such merchants agree to honor the card.


2. Selective authorization cards. Selective authorization cards, (e.g., mall cards) are generally intended to be used or redeemed for goods or services at participating retailers within a shopping mall or other limited geographic area. Selective authorization cards are considered general-use prepaid cards, regardless of whether they carry the mark, logo, or brand of a payment card network, if they are redeemable at multiple, unaffiliated merchants.


2(j) Interchange Transaction fee

1. In general. Generally, the payment card network is the entity that establishes and charges the interchange transaction fee to the acquirers or merchants. The acquirers then pay to the issuers any interchange transaction fee established and charged by the network. Acquirers typically pass the interchange transaction fee through to merchant-customers.


2. Compensating an issuer. The term “interchange transaction fee” is limited to those fees that a payment card network establishes, charges, or receives to compensate the issuer for its role in the electronic debit transaction. By contrast, payment card networks generally charge issuers and acquirers fees for services the network performs. Such fees are not interchange transaction fees because the payment card network is charging and receiving the fee as compensation for services it provides.


3. Established, charged, or received. Interchange transaction fees are not limited to those fees for which a payment card network sets the value. A fee that compensates an issuer is an interchange transaction fee if the fee is set by the issuer but charged to acquirers by virtue of the network determining each participant’s net settlement position.


2(k) Issuer

1. In general. A person issues a debit card by authorizing the use of debit card by a cardholder to perform electronic debit transactions. That person may provide the card directly to the cardholder or indirectly by using a third party (such as a processor, or a telephone network or manufacturer) to provide the card, or other payment code or device, to the cardholder. The following examples illustrate the entity that is the issuer under various card program arrangements. For purposes of determining whether an issuer is exempted under § 235.5(a), however, the term issuer is limited to the entity that holds the account being debited.


2. Traditional debit card arrangements. In a traditional debit card arrangement, the bank or other entity holds the cardholder’s funds and authorizes the cardholder to use the debit card to access those funds through electronic debit transactions, and the cardholder receives the card directly or indirectly (e.g., through an agent) from the bank or other entity that holds the funds (except for decoupled debit cards, discussed below). In this system, the bank or entity holding the cardholder’s funds is the issuer.


3. BIN-sponsor arrangements. Payment card networks assign Bank Identification Numbers (BINs) to member-institutions for purposes of issuing cards, authorizing, clearing, settling, and other processes. In exchange for a fee or other financial considerations, some members of payment card networks permit other entities to issue debit cards using the member’s BIN. The entity permitting the use of its BIN is referred to as the “BIN sponsor” and the entity that uses the BIN to issue cards is often referred to as the “affiliate member.” BIN sponsor arrangements can follow at least two different models:


i. Sponsored debit card model. In some cases, a community bank or credit union may provide debit cards to its account holders through a BIN sponsor arrangement with a member institution. In general, the bank or credit union will authorize its account holders to use debit cards to perform electronic debit transactions that access funds in accounts at the bank or credit union. The bank or credit union’s name typically will appear on the debit card. The bank or credit union may directly or indirectly provide the cards to cardholders. Under these circumstances, the bank or credit union is the issuer for purposes of this part. If that bank or credit union, together with its affiliates, has assets of less than $10 billion, then that bank or credit union is exempt from the interchange transaction fee restrictions. Although the bank or credit union may distribute cards through the BIN sponsors, the BIN sponsor does not enter into the agreement with the cardholder that authorizes the cardholder to use the card to perform electronic debit transactions that access funds in the account at the bank or credit union, and therefore the BIN sponsor is not the issuer.


ii. Prepaid card model. A member institution may also serve as the BIN sponsor for a prepaid card program. Under these arrangements, a program manager distributes prepaid cards to the cardholders and the BIN-sponsoring institution generally holds the funds for the prepaid card program in an omnibus or pooled account. Either the BIN sponsor or the prepaid card program manager may keep track of the underlying funds for each individual prepaid card through subaccounts. While the cardholder may receive the card directly from the program manager or at a retailer, the BIN sponsor authorizes the cardholder to use the card to perform electronic debit transactions that access the funds in the pooled account and the cardholder’s relationship generally is with the BIN sponsor. Accordingly, under these circumstances, the BIN sponsor, or the bank holding the pooled account, is the issuer.


4. Decoupled debit cards. In the case of decoupled debit cards, an entity other than the bank holding the cardholder’s account enters into a relationship with the cardholder authorizing the use of the card to perform electronic debit transactions. The entity authorizing the use of the card to perform electronic debit transaction typically arranges for the card to be provided directly or indirectly to the cardholder and has a direct relationship with the cardholder with respect to the card. The bank holding the cardholder’s account has agreed generally to permit ACH debits to the account, but has not authorized the use of the debit card to access the funds through electronic debit transactions. Under these circumstances, the entity authorizing the use of the debit card, and not the account-holding institution, is considered the issuer. An issuer of a decoupled debit card is not exempt under § 235.5(a), even if, together with its affiliates, it has assets of less than $10 billion, because it is not the entity holding the account to be debited.


2(l) Merchant [Reserved]

2(m) Payment Card Network

1. In general. An entity is a considered a payment card network with respect to an electronic debit transaction for purposes of this rule if it routes information and data to the issuer from the acquirer to conduct authorization, clearance, and settlement of the electronic debit transaction. By contrast, if an entity receives transaction information and data from a merchant and authorizes and settles the transaction without routing the information and data to another entity (i.e., the issuer or the issuer’s processor) for authorization, clearance, or settlement, that entity is not considered a payment card network with respect to the electronic debit transaction.


2. Three-party systems. In the case of a three-party system, electronic debit transactions are processed by an entity that acts as system operator and issuer, and may also act as the acquirer. The entity acting as system operator and issuer that receives the transaction information from the merchant or acquirer also holds the cardholder’s funds. Therefore, rather than directing the transaction information to a separate issuer, the entity authorizes and settles the transaction based on the information received from the merchant. As these entities do not connect (or “network”) multiple issuers and do not route information to conduct the transaction, they are not “payment card networks” with respect to these transactions.


3. Processors as payment card networks. A processor is considered a payment card network if, in addition to acting as processor for an acquirer and issuer, the processor routes transaction information and data received from a merchant or the merchant’s acquirer to an issuer. For example, if a merchant uses a processor in order to accept any, some, or all brands of debit cards and the processor routes transaction information and data to the issuer or issuer’s processor, the merchant’s processor is considered a payment card network with respect to the electronic debit transaction. If the processor establishes, charges, or receives a fee for the purpose of compensating an issuer, that fee is considered an interchange transaction fee for purposes of this part.


4. Automated clearing house (ACH) operators. An ACH operator is not considered a payment card network for purposes of this part. While an ACH operator processes transactions that debit an account and provides for interbank clearing and settlement of such transactions, a person does not use the ACH system to accept as a form of payment a brand of debit card.


5. ATM networks. An ATM network is not considered a payment card network for purposes of this part. While ATM networks process transactions that debit an account and provide for interbank clearing and settlement of such transactions, a cash withdrawal from an ATM is not a payment because there is no exchange of money for goods or services, or payment made as a charitable contribution, to satisfy an obligation (e.g., tax liability), or for other purposes.


2(n) Person [Reserved]

2(o) Processor

1. Distinction from acquirers. A processor may perform all transaction-processing functions for a merchant or acquirer, but if it does not acquire (that is, settle with the merchant for the transactions), it is not an acquirer. The entity that acquirers electronic debit transactions is the entity that is responsible to other parties to the electronic debit transaction for the amount of the transaction.


2. Issuers. A processor may perform services related to authorization, clearance, and settlement of transactions for an issuer without being considered to be an issuer for purposes of this part.


2(p) Route

1. An entity routes information if it both directs and sends the information to an unaffiliated entity (or affiliated entity acting on behalf of the unaffiliated entity). This other entity may be a payment card network or processor (if the entity directing and sending the information is a merchant or an acquirer) or an issuer or processor (if the entity directing and sending the information is a payment card network).


2(q) United States [Reserved]

Section 235.3 Reasonable and Proportional Interchange Transaction Fees

3(a) [Reserved]

3(b) Determining Reasonable and Proportional Fees

1. Two components. The standard for the maximum permissible interchange transaction fee that an issuer may receive consists of two components: a base component that does not vary with a transaction’s value and an ad valorem component. The amount of any interchange transaction fee received or charged by an issuer may not exceed the sum of the maximum permissible amounts of each component and any fraud-prevention adjustment the issuer is permitted to receive under § 235.4 of this part.


2. Variation in interchange fees. An issuer is permitted to charge or receive, and a network is permitted to establish, interchange transaction fees that vary in their base component and ad valorem component based on, for example, the type of transaction or merchant, provided the amount of any interchange transaction fee for any transaction does not exceed the sum of the maximum permissible base component of 21 cents and 5 basis points of the value of the transaction.


3. Example. For a $39 transaction, the maximum permissible interchange transaction fee is 22.95 cents (21 cents plus 5 basis points of $39). A payment card network may, for example, establish an interchange transaction fee of 22 cents without any ad valorem component.


Section 235.4 Fraud-Prevention Adjustment

4(b) Issuer Standards

Section 235.4 Fraud-prevention adjustment

4(a) [Reserved]

4(b)(1) Issuer standards

1. An issuer’s policies and procedures should address fraud related to debit card use by unauthorized persons. Examples of use by unauthorized persons include, but are not limited to, the following:


i. A thief steals a cardholder’s wallet and uses the debit card to purchase goods, without the authority of the cardholder.


ii. A cardholder makes a purchase at a merchant. Subsequently, the merchant’s employee uses information from the debit card to initiate a subsequent transaction, without the authority of the cardholder.


iii. A hacker steals cardholder account information from the issuer or a merchant processor and uses the stolen information to make unauthorized card-not-present purchases or to create a counterfeit card to make unauthorized card-present purchases.


2. An issuer’s policies and procedures must be designed to reduce fraud, where cost effective, across all types of electronic debit transactions in which its cardholders engage. Therefore, an issuer should consider whether its policies and procedures are effective for each method used to authenticate the card (e.g., a chip or a code embedded in the magnetic stripe) and the cardholder (e.g., a signature or a PIN), and for different sales channels (e.g., card-present and card-not-present).


3. An issuer’s policies and procedures must be designed to take effective steps to reduce both the occurrence of and costs to all parties from fraudulent electronic debit transactions. An issuer should take steps reasonably designed to reduce the number and value of its fraudulent electronic debit transactions relative to its non-fraudulent electronic debit transactions. These steps should reduce the costs from fraudulent transactions to all parties, not merely the issuer. For example, an issuer should take steps to reduce the number and value of its fraudulent electronic debit transactions relative to its non-fraudulent transactions whether or not it bears the fraud losses as a result of regulations or network rules.


4. For any given issuer, the number and value of fraudulent electronic debit transactions relative to non-fraudulent transactions may vary materially from year to year. Therefore, in certain circumstances, an issuer’s policies and procedures may be effective notwithstanding a relative increase in the transactions that are fraudulent in a particular year. However, continuing increases in the share of fraudulent transactions would warrant further scrutiny.


5. In determining which fraud-prevention technologies to implement or retain, an issuer must consider the cost-effectiveness of the technology, that is, the expected cost of the technology relative to its expected effectiveness in controlling fraud. In evaluating the cost of a particular technology, an issuer should consider whether and to what extent other parties will incur costs to implement the technology, even though an issuer may not have complete information about the costs that may be incurred by other parties, such as the cost of new merchant terminals. In evaluating the costs, an issuer should consider both initial implementation costs and ongoing costs of using the fraud-prevention method.


6. An issuer need not develop fraud-prevention technologies itself to satisfy the standards in § 235.4(b). An issuer may implement fraud-prevention technologies that have been developed by a third party that the issuer has determined are appropriate under its own policies and procedures.


Paragraph 4(b)(2) Elements of fraud-prevention policies and procedures.

1. In general. An issuer may tailor its policies and procedures to address its particular debit card program, including the size of the program, the types of transactions in which its cardholders commonly engage, fraud types and methods experienced by the issuer, and the cost of implementing new fraud-prevention methods in light of the expected fraud reduction.


Paragraph 4(b)(2)(i). Methods to identify and prevent fraudulent debit card transactions.

1. In general. Examples of policies and procedures reasonably designed to identify and prevent fraudulent electronic debit transactions include the following:


i. Practices to help determine whether a card is authentic and whether the user is authorized to use the card at the time of a transaction. For example, an issuer may specify the use of particular authentication technologies or methods, such as dynamic data, to better authenticate a card and cardholder at the time of the transaction, to the extent doing so does not inhibit the ability of a merchant to direct the routing of electronic debit transactions for processing over any payment card network that may process such transactions. (See § 235.7 and commentary thereto.)


ii. An automated mechanism to assess the risk that a particular electronic debit transaction is fraudulent during the authorization process (i.e., before the issuer approves or declines an authorization request). For example, an issuer may use neural networks to identify transactions that present increased risk of fraud. As a result of this analysis, the issuer may decide to decline to authorize these transactions. An issuer may not be able to determine whether a given transaction in isolation is fraudulent at the time of authorization, and therefore may have implemented policies and procedures that monitor sets of transactions initiated with a cardholder’s debit card. For example, an issuer could compare a set of transactions initiated with the card to a customer’s typical transactions in order to determine whether a transaction is likely to be fraudulent. Similarly, an issuer could compare a set of transactions initiated with a debit card and common fraud patterns in order to determine whether a transaction or future transaction is likely to be fraudulent.


iii. Practices to support reporting of lost and stolen cards or suspected incidences of fraud by cardholders or other parties to a transaction. As an example, an issuer may promote customer awareness by providing text alerts of transactions in order to detect fraudulent transactions in a timely manner. An issuer may also report debit cards suspected of being fraudulent to their networks for inclusion in a database of potentially compromised cards.


Paragraph 4(b)(2)(ii). Monitoring of the issuer’s volume and value of fraudulent electronic debit transactions.

1. Tracking its fraudulent electronic debit transactions over time enables an issuer to assess whether its policies and procedures are effective. Accordingly, an issuer must include policies and procedures designed to monitor trends in the number and value of its fraudulent electronic debit transactions. An effective monitoring program would include tracking issuer losses from fraudulent electronic debit transactions, fraud-related chargebacks to acquirers, losses passed on to cardholders, and any other reimbursements from other parties. Other reimbursements could include payments made to issuers as a result of fines assessed to merchants for noncompliance with Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards or other industry standards. An issuer should also establish procedures to track fraud-related information necessary to perform its reviews under § 235.4(b)(3) and to retain and report information as required under § 235.8.


Paragraph 4(b)(2)(iii). Appropriate responses to suspicious electronic debit transactions.

1. An issuer may identify transactions that it suspects to be fraudulent after it has authorized or settled the transaction. For example, a cardholder may inform the issuer that the cardholder did not initiate a transaction or transactions, or the issuer may learn of a fraudulent transaction or possibly compromised debit cards from the network, the acquirer, or other parties. An issuer must implement policies and procedures designed to provide an appropriate response once an issuer has identified suspicious transactions to reduce the occurrence of future fraudulent electronic debit transactions and the costs associated with such transactions. The appropriate response may differ depending on the facts and circumstances, including the issuer’s assessment of the risk of future fraudulent electronic debit transactions. For example, in some circumstances, it may be sufficient for an issuer to monitor more closely the account with the suspicious transactions. In other circumstances, it may be necessary to contact the cardholder to verify a transaction, reissue a card, or close an account. An appropriate response may also require coordination with industry organizations, law enforcement agencies, and other parties, such as payment card networks, merchants, and issuer or merchant processors.


Paragraph 4(b)(2)(iv). Methods to secure debit card and cardholder data.

1. An issuer must implement policies and procedures designed to secure debit card and cardholder data. These policies and procedures should apply to data that are transmitted by the issuer (or its service provider) during transaction processing, that are stored by the issuer (or its service provider), and that are carried on media (e.g., laptops, transportable data storage devices) by employees or agents of the issuer. This standard may be incorporated into an issuer’s information security program, as required by Section 501(b) of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.


Paragraph 4(b)(3) Review of and updates to policies and procedures.

1. i. An issuer’s assessment of the effectiveness of its policies and procedures should consider whether they are reasonably designed to reduce the number and value of fraudulent electronic debit transactions relative to non-fraudulent electronic debit transactions and are cost effective. (See comment 4(b)(1)-3 and comment 4(b)(1)-5).


ii. An issuer must also assess its policies and procedures in light of changes in fraud types (e.g., the use of counterfeit cards, lost or stolen cards) and methods (e.g., common purchase patterns indicating possible fraudulent behavior), as well as changes in the available methods of detecting and preventing fraudulent electronic debit transactions (e.g., transaction monitoring, authentication methods) as part of its periodic review of its policies and procedures. An issuer’s review of its policies and procedures must consider information from the issuer’s own experience and that the issuer otherwise identified itself; information from payment card networks, law enforcement agencies, and fraud-monitoring groups in which the issuer participates; and supervisory guidance. For example, an issuer should consider warnings and alerts it receives from payment card networks regarding compromised cards and data breaches.


2. An issuer should review its policies and procedures and their implementation more frequently than annually if the issuer determines that more frequent review is appropriate based on information obtained from monitoring its fraudulent electronic debit transactions, changes in the types or methods of fraud, or available methods of detecting and preventing fraudulent electronic debit transactions. (See § 235.4(b)(1)(ii) and commentary thereto.)


3. In light of an issuer’s review of its policies and procedures, and their implementation, the issuer may determine that updates to its policies and procedures, and their implementation, are necessary. Merely determining that updates are necessary does not render an issuer ineligible to receive or charge the fraud-prevention adjustment. To remain eligible to receive or charge a fraud-prevention adjustment, however, an issuer should develop and implement such updates as soon as reasonably practicable, in light of the facts and circumstances.


4(c) Notification.

1. Payment card networks that plan to allow issuers to receive or charge a fraud-prevention adjustment can develop processes for identifying issuers eligible for this adjustment. Each issuer that wants to be eligible to receive or charge a fraud-prevention adjustment must notify annually the payment card networks in which it participates of its compliance through the networks’ processes.


Section 235.5 Exemptions for Certain Electronic Debit Transactions

1. Eligibility for multiple exemptions. An electronic debit transaction may qualify for one or more exemptions. For example, a debit card that has been provided to a person pursuant to a Federal, State, or local government-administered payment program may be issued by an entity that, together with its affiliates, has assets of less than $10 billion as of the end of the preceding calendar year. In this case, an electronic debit transaction made using that card may qualify for the exemption under § 235.5(a) for small issuers or for the exemption under § 235.5(b) for government-administered payment programs. A payment card network establishing interchange fees for transactions that qualify for more than one exemption need only satisfy itself that the issuer’s transactions qualify for at least one of the exemptions in order to exempt the electronic debit transaction from the interchange fee restrictions.


2. Certification process. Payment card networks that plan to allow issuers to receive higher interchange fees than permitted under §§ 235.3 and 235.4 pursuant to one of the exemptions in § 235.5 could develop their own processes for identifying issuers and products eligible for such exemptions. Section 235.5(a)(2) permits payment card networks to rely on lists published by the Board to help determine eligibility for the small issuer exemption set forth in § 235.5(a)(1).


5(a) Exemption for Small Issuers

1. Asset size determination. An issuer would qualify for the small-issuer exemption if its total worldwide banking and nonbanking assets, including assets of affiliates, other than trust assets under management, are less than $10 billion, as of December 31 of the preceding calendar year.


2. Change in status. If an exempt issuer becomes covered based on its and its affiliates assets at the end of a calendar year, that issuer must begin complying with the interchange fee standards (§ 235.3), the fraud-prevention adjustment standards (to the extent the issuer wishes to receive a fraud-prevention adjustment) (§ 235.4), and the provisions prohibiting circumvention, evasion, and net compensation (§ 235.6) no later than July 1.


5(b) Exemption for Government-Administered Payment Programs

1. Government-administered payment program. A program is considered government-administered regardless of whether a Federal, State, or local government agency operates the program or outsources some or all functions to third parties so long as the program is operated on behalf of the government agency. In addition, a program may be government-administered even if a Federal, State, or local government agency is not the source of funds for the program it administers. For example, child support programs are government-administered programs even though a Federal, State, or local government agency is not the source of funds. A tribal government is considered a local government for purposes of this exemption.


5(c) Exemption for Certain Reloadable Prepaid Cards

1. Subaccount clarified. A subaccount is an account within an account, opened in the name of an agent, nominee, or custodian for the benefit of two or more cardholders, where the transactions and balances of individual cardholders are tracked in such subaccounts. An account that is opened solely in the name of a single cardholder is not a subaccount.


2. Reloadable. A general-use prepaid card is “reloadable” if the terms and conditions of the agreement permit funds to be added to the general-use prepaid card at any time after the initial purchase or issuance. A general-use prepaid card is not “reloadable” merely because the issuer or processor is technically able to add functionality that would otherwise enable the general-use prepaid card to be reloaded.


3. Marketed or labeled as a gift card or gift certificate. i. Electronic debit transactions made using a reloadable general-use prepaid card are not exempt from the interchange fee restrictions if the card is marketed or labeled as a gift card or gift certificate. The term “marketed or labeled as a gift card or gift certificate” means directly or indirectly offering, advertising or otherwise suggesting the potential use of a general-use prepaid card as a gift for another person. Whether the exclusion applies generally does not depend on the type of entity that makes the promotional message. For example, a card may be marketed or labeled as a gift card or gift certificate if anyone (other than the purchaser of the card), including the issuer, the retailer, the program manager that may distribute the card, or the payment network on which a card is used, promotes the use of the card as a gift card or gift certificate. A general-use prepaid card is marketed or labeled as a gift card or gift certificate even if it is only occasionally marketed as a gift card or gift certificate. For example, a network-branded general purpose reloadable card would be marketed or labeled as a gift card or gift certificate if the issuer principally advertises the card as a less costly alternative to a bank account but promotes the card in a television, radio, newspaper, or Internet advertisement, or on signage as “the perfect gift” during the holiday season.


ii. The mere mention of the availability of gift cards or gift certificates in an advertisement or on a sign that also indicates the availability of exempted general-use prepaid cards does not by itself cause the general-use prepaid card to be marketed as a gift card or a gift certificate. For example, the posting of a sign in a store that refers to the availability of gift cards does not by itself constitute the marketing of otherwise exempted general-use prepaid cards that may also be sold in the store along with gift cards or gift certificates, provided that a person acting reasonably under the circumstances would not be led to believe that the sign applies to all cards sold in the store. (See, however, comment 5(c)-4.ii.)


4. Examples of marketed or labeled as a gift card or gift certificate.


i. The following are examples of marketed or labeled as a gift card or gift certificate:


A. Using the word “gift” or “present” on a card or accompanying material, including documentation, packaging and promotional displays;


B. Representing or suggesting that a card can be given to another person, for example, as a “token of appreciation” or a “stocking stuffer,” or displaying a congratulatory message on the card or accompanying material;


C. Incorporating gift-giving or celebratory imagery or motifs, such as a bow, ribbon, wrapped present, candle, or a holiday or congratulatory message, on a card, accompanying documentation, or promotional material;


ii. The term does not include the following:


A. Representing that a card can be used as a substitute for a checking, savings, or deposit account;


B. Representing that a card can be used to pay for a consumer’s health-related expenses – for example, a card tied to a health savings account;


C. Representing that a card can be used as a substitute for travelers checks or cash;


D. Representing that a card can be used as a budgetary tool, for example, by teenagers, or to cover emergency expenses.


5. Reasonable policies and procedures to avoid marketing as a gift card. The exemption for a general-use prepaid card that is reloadable and not marketed or labeled as a gift card or gift certificate in § 235.5(c) applies if a reloadable general-use prepaid card is not marketed or labeled as a gift card or gift certificate and if persons involved in the distribution or sale of the card, including issuers, program managers, and retailers, maintain policies and procedures reasonably designed to avoid such marketing. Such policies and procedures may include contractual provisions prohibiting a reloadable general-use prepaid card from being marketed or labeled as a gift card or gift certificate, merchandising guidelines or plans regarding how the product must be displayed in a retail outlet, and controls to regularly monitor or otherwise verify that the general-use prepaid card is not being marketed as a gift card. Whether a general-use prepaid card has been marketed as a gift card or gift certificate will depend on the facts and circumstances, including whether a reasonable person would be led to believe that the general-use prepaid card is a gift card or gift certificate. The following examples illustrate the application of § 235.5(c):


i. An issuer or program manager of prepaid cards agrees to sell general-purpose reloadable cards through a retailer. The contract between the issuer or program manager and the retailer establishes the terms and conditions under which the cards may be sold and marketed at the retailer. The terms and conditions prohibit the general-purpose reloadable cards from being marketed as a gift card or gift certificate, and require policies and procedures to regularly monitor or otherwise verify that the cards are not being marketed as such. The issuer or program manager sets up one promotional display at the retailer for gift cards and another physically separated display for exempted products under § 235.5(c), including general-purpose reloadable cards, such that a reasonable person would not believe that the exempted cards are gift cards. The exemption in § 235.5(c) applies because policies and procedures reasonably designed to avoid the marketing of the general-purpose reloadable cards as gift cards or gift certificates are maintained, even if a retail clerk inadvertently stocks or a consumer inadvertently places a general-purpose reloadable card on the gift card display.


ii. Same facts as in comment 5(c)-5.i, except that the issuer or program manager sets up a single promotional display at the retailer on which a variety of prepaid cards are sold, including store gift cards and general-purpose reloadable cards. A sign stating “Gift Cards” appears prominently at the top of the display. The exemption in § 235.5(c) does not apply with respect to the general-purpose reloadable cards because policies and procedures reasonably designed to avoid the marketing of exempted cards as gift cards or gift certificates are not maintained.


iii. Same facts as in comment 5(c)-5.i, except that the issuer or program manager sets up a single promotional multi-sided display at the retailer on which a variety of prepaid card products, including store gift cards and general-purpose reloadable cards are sold. Gift cards are segregated from exempted cards, with gift cards on one side of the display and exempted cards on a different side of a display. Signs of equal prominence at the top of each side of the display clearly differentiate between gift cards and the other types of prepaid cards that are available for sale. The retailer does not use any more conspicuous signage suggesting the general availability of gift cards, such as a large sign stating “Gift Cards” at the top of the display or located near the display. The exemption in § 235.5(c) applies because policies and procedures reasonably designed to avoid the marketing of the general-purpose reloadable cards as gift cards or gift certificates are maintained, even if a retail clerk inadvertently stocks or a consumer inadvertently places a general-purpose reloadable card on the gift card display.


iv. Same facts as in comment 5(c)-5.i, except that the retailer sells a variety of prepaid card products, including store gift cards and general-purpose reloadable cards, arranged side-by-side in the same checkout lane. The retailer does not affirmatively indicate or represent that gift cards are available, such as by displaying any signage or other indicia at the checkout lane suggesting the general availability of gift cards. The exemption in § 235.5(c) applies because policies and procedures reasonably designed to avoid marketing the general-purpose reloadable cards as gift cards or gift certificates are maintained.


6. On-line sales of prepaid cards. Some web sites may prominently advertise or promote the availability of gift cards or gift certificates in a manner that suggests to a consumer that the web site exclusively sells gift cards or gift certificates. For example, a web site may display a banner advertisement or a graphic on the home page that prominently states “Gift Cards,” “Gift Giving,” or similar language without mention of other available products, or use a web address that includes only a reference to gift cards or gift certificates in the address. In such a case, a consumer acting reasonably under the circumstances could be led to believe that all prepaid products sold on the web site are gift cards or gift certificates. Under these facts, the web site has marketed all such products as gift cards or gift certificates, and the exemption in § 235.5(c) does not apply to any products sold on the web site.


7. Temporary non-reloadable cards issued in connection with a general-use reloadable card. Certain general-purpose prepaid cards that are typically marketed as an account substitute initially may be sold or issued in the form of a temporary non-reloadable card. After the card is purchased, the cardholder is typically required to call the issuer to register the card and to provide identifying information in order to obtain a reloadable replacement card. In most cases, the temporary non-reloadable card can be used for purchases until the replacement reloadable card arrives and is activated by the cardholder. Because the temporary non-reloadable card may only be obtained in connection with the reloadable card, the exemption in § 235.5(c) applies so long as the card is not marketed as a gift card or gift certificate.


5(d) Exception

1. Additional ATM access. Some debit cards may be used to withdraw cash from ATMs that are not part of the issuer’s designated ATM network. An electronic debit card transaction may still qualify for the exemption under §§ 235.5(b) or (c) with a respect to a card for which a fee may be imposed for a withdrawal from an ATM that is outside of the issuer’s designated ATM network as long as the card complies with the condition set forth in § 235.5(d)(2) for withdrawals within the issuer’s designated ATM network. The condition with respect to ATM fees does not apply to cards that do not provide ATM access.


Section 235.6 Prohibition on Circumvention, Evasion, and Net Compensation

1. No applicability to exempt issuers or electronic debit transactions. The prohibition against circumventing or evading the interchange transaction fee restrictions or against net compensation does not apply to issuers or electronic debit transactions that qualify for an exemption under § 235.5 from the interchange transaction fee restrictions.


6(a) Prohibition of Circumvention or Evasion

1. Finding of circumvention or evasion. A finding of evasion or circumvention will depend on all relevant facts and circumstances. Although net compensation may be one form of circumvention or evasion prohibited under § 235.6(a), it is not the only form.


2. Examples of circumstances that may constitute circumvention or evasion.


The following examples do not constitute per se circumvention or evasion, but may warrant additional supervisory scrutiny to determine whether the totality of the facts and circumstances constitute circumvention or evasion:


i. A payment card network decreases network processing fees paid by issuers for electronic debit transactions by 50 percent and increases the network processing fees charged to merchants or acquirers with respect to electronic debit transactions by a similar amount. Because the requirements of this subpart do not restrict or otherwise establish the amount of fees that a network may charge for its services, the increase in network fees charged to merchants or acquirers and decrease in fees charged to issuers is not a per se circumvention or evasion of the interchange transaction fee standards, but may warrant additional supervisory scrutiny to determine whether the facts and circumstances constitute circumvention or evasion.


ii. An issuer replaces its debit cards with prepaid cards that are exempt from the interchange limits of §§ 235.3 and 235.4. The exempt prepaid cards are linked to its customers’ transaction accounts and funds are swept from the transaction accounts to the prepaid accounts as needed to cover transactions made. Again, this arrangement is not per se circumvention or evasion, but may warrant additional supervisory scrutiny to determine whether the facts and circumstances constitute circumvention or evasion.


6(b) Prohibition of Net Compensation

1. Net compensation. Net compensation to an issuer through the use of network fees is prohibited.


2. Consideration of payments or incentives provided by the network in net compensation determination.


i. For purposes of the net compensation determination, payments or incentives paid by a payment card network to an issuer with respect to electronic debit transactions or debit card related activities could include, but are not limited to, marketing incentives; payments or rebates for meeting or exceeding a specific transaction volume, percentage share, or dollar amount of transactions processed; or other payments for debit card related activities. For example, signing bonuses paid by a network to an issuer for the issuer’s debit card portfolio would also be included in the total amount of payments or incentives received by an issuer from a payment card network with respect to electronic debit transactions. A signing bonus for an entire card portfolio, including credit cards, may be allocated to the issuer’s debit card business based on the proportion of the cards or transactions that are debit cards or electronic debit transactions, as appropriate to the situation, for purposes of the net compensation determination.


ii. Incentives paid by the network with respect to multiple-year contracts may be allocated over the life of the contract.


iii. For purposes of the net compensation determination, payments or incentives paid by a payment card network with respect to electronic debit transactions or debit card-related activities do not include interchange transaction fees that are passed through to the issuer by the network, or discounts or rebates provided by the network or an affiliate of the network for issuer-processor services. In addition, funds received by an issuer from a payment card network as a result of chargebacks, fines paid by merchants or acquirers for violations of network rules, or settlements or recoveries from merchants or acquirers to offset the costs of fraudulent transactions or a data security breach do not constitute incentives or payments made by a payment card network.


3. Consideration of fees paid by an issuer in net compensation determination.


i. For purposes of the net compensation determination, fees paid by an issuer to a payment card network with respect to electronic debit transactions or debit card related activities include, but are not limited to, membership or licensing fees, network administration fees, and fees for optional network services, such as risk management services.


ii. For purposes of the net compensation determination, fees paid by an issuer to a payment card network with respect to electronic debit transactions or debit card-related activities do not include network processing fees (such as switch fees and network connectivity fees) or fees paid to an issuer processor affiliated with the network for authorizing, clearing, or settling an electronic debit transaction.


4. Example of circumstances not involving net compensation to the issuer. The following example illustrates circumstances that would not indicate net compensation by the payment card network to the issuer:


i. Because of an increase in debit card transactions that are processed through a payment card network during a calendar year, an issuer receives an additional volume-based incentive payment from the network for that period. Over the same period, however, the total network fees (other than processing fees) the issuer pays the payment card network with respect to debit card transactions also increase so that the total amount of fees paid by the issuer to the network continue to exceed incentive payments by the network to the issuer. Under these circumstances, the issuer does not receive net compensation from the network for electronic debit transactions or debit card related activities.


Section 235.7 Limitations on Payment Card Restrictions

1. Application of small issuer, government-administered payment program, and reloadable card exemptions to payment card network restrictions. The exemptions under § 235.5 for small issuers, cards issued pursuant to government-administered payment programs, and certain reloadable prepaid cards do not apply to the limitations on payment card network restrictions. For example, debit cards for government-administered payment programs, although exempt from the restrictions on interchange transaction fees, are subject to the requirement that electronic debit transactions made using such cards must be capable of being processed on at least two unaffiliated payment card networks and to the prohibition on inhibiting a merchant’s ability to determine the routing for electronic debit transactions.


7(a) Prohibition on Network Exclusivity

1. Scope of restriction. Section 235.7(a) requires a debit card subject to the regulation to be enabled on at least two unaffiliated payment card networks. This paragraph does not, however, require an issuer to have two or more unaffiliated networks available for each method of cardholder authentication. For example, it is sufficient for an issuer to issue a debit card that operates on one signature-based card network and on one PIN-based card network, as long as the two card networks are not affiliated. Alternatively, an issuer may issue a debit card that is accepted on two unaffiliated signature-based card networks or on two unaffiliated PIN-based card networks. See also, comment 7(a)-7.


2. Permitted networks. i. A smaller payment card network could be used to help satisfy the requirement that an issuer enable two unaffiliated networks if the network was willing to expand its coverage in response to increased merchant demand for access to its network and it meets the other requirements for a permitted arrangement, including taking steps reasonably designed to enable it to process the electronic debit transactions that it would reasonably expect to be routed to it. If, however, the network’s policy or practice is to limit such expansion, it would not qualify as one of the two unaffiliated networks.


ii. A payment card network that is accepted only at a limited category of merchants (such as a particular grocery store chain, merchants located in a particular shopping mall, or a single class of merchants, such as grocery stores or gas stations) would not satisfy the rule.


iii. One of the steps a network can take to form a reasonable expectation of transaction volume is to consider factors such as the number of cards expected to be issued that are enabled on the network and expected card usage patterns.


3. Examples of prohibited network restrictions on an issuer’s ability to contract. The following are examples of prohibited network restrictions on an issuer’s ability to contract with other payment card networks:


i. Network rules or contract provisions limiting or otherwise restricting the other payment card networks that may be enabled on a particular debit card, or network rules or contract provisions that specify the other networks that may be enabled on a particular debit card.


ii. Network rules or guidelines that allow only that network’s (or its affiliated network’s) brand, mark, or logo to be displayed on a particular debit card, or that otherwise limit the ability of brands, marks, or logos of other payment card networks to appear on the debit card.


4. Network logos or symbols on card not required. Section 235.7(a) does not require that a debit card display the brand, mark, or logo of each payment card network over which an electronic debit transaction may be processed. For example, this rule does not require a debit card that is enabled for two or more unaffiliated payment card networks to bear the brand, mark, or logo for each card network.


5. Voluntary exclusivity arrangements prohibited. Section 235.7(a) requires the issuance of debit cards that are enabled on at least two unaffiliated payment card networks, even if the issuer is not subject to any rule of, or contract or other agreement with, a payment card network requiring that all or a specified minimum percentage of electronic debit transactions be processed on the network or its affiliated networks.


6. Affiliated payment card networks. Section 235.7(a) does not prohibit an issuer from including an affiliated payment card network among the networks that may process an electronic debit transaction with respect to a particular debit card, as long as at least two of the networks that are enabled on the card are unaffiliated. For example, an issuer may offer debit cards that are accepted on a payment card network for signature debit transactions and on an affiliated payment card network for PIN debit transactions as long as those debit cards may also be accepted on another unaffiliated payment card network.


7. Application of rule regardless of form factor. The network exclusivity provisions in § 235.7(a) require that all debit cards be enabled on at least two unaffiliated payment card networks for electronic debit transactions, regardless of whether the debit card is issued in card form. This applies to any supplemental device, such as a fob or token, or chip or application in a mobile phone, that is issued in connection with a plastic card, even if that plastic card fully complies with the rule.


7(b) Prohibition on Routing Restrictions

1. Relationship to the network exclusivity restrictions. An issuer or payment card network is prohibited from inhibiting a merchant’s ability to route or direct an electronic debit transaction over any of the payment card networks that the issuer has enabled to process an electronic debit transaction for that particular debit card. This rule does not permit a merchant to route the transaction over a network that the issuer did not enable to process transactions using that debit card.


2. Examples of prohibited merchant restrictions. The following are examples of issuer or network practices that would inhibit a merchant’s ability to direct the routing of an electronic debit transaction that are prohibited under § 235.7(b):


i. Prohibiting a merchant from encouraging or discouraging a cardholder’s use of a particular method of debit card authorization, such as rules prohibiting merchants from favoring a cardholder’s use of PIN debit over signature debit, or from discouraging the cardholder’s use of signature debit.


ii. Establishing network rules or designating issuer priorities directing the processing of an electronic debit transaction on a specified payment card network or its affiliated networks, or directing the processing of the transaction away from a specified network or its affiliates, except as a default rule in the event the merchant, or its acquirer or processor, does not designate a routing preference, or if required by state law.


iii. Requiring a specific payment card network based on the type of access device provided to the cardholder by the issuer.


3. Merchant payments not prohibited. A payment card network does not restrict a merchant’s ability to route transactions over available payment card networks in violation of § 235.7(b) by offering payments or other incentives to encourage the merchant to route electronic debit card transactions to the network for processing.


4. Real-time routing decision not required. A merchant need not make network routing decisions on a transaction-by-transaction basis. A merchant and its acquirer or processor may agree to a pre-determined set of routing choices that apply to all electronic debit transactions that are processed by the acquirer or processor on behalf of the merchant.


5. No effect on network rules governing the routing of subsequent transactions. Section 235.7 does not supersede a network rule that requires a chargeback or return of an electronic debit transaction to be processed on the same network that processed the original transaction.


7(c) Effective Date

1. Health care and employee benefit cards. Section 235.7(c)(1) delays the effective date of the network exclusivity provisions for certain debit cards issued in connection with a health care or employee benefit account to the extent such cards use (even if not required) transaction substantiation or qualification authorization systems at point of sale to verify that the card is only used for eligible goods and services for purposes of qualifying for favorable tax treatment under Internal Revenue Code requirements. Debit cards that may qualify for the delayed effective date include, but may not be limited to, cards issued in connection with flexible spending accounts established under section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code for health care related expenses and health reimbursement accounts established under section 105 of the Internal Revenue Code.


Section 235.8 Reporting Requirements and Record Retention

[Reserved]


Section 235.9 Administrative Enforcement

[Reserved]


Section 235.10 Effective and Compliance Dates

[Reserved]


[76 FR 43466, July 20, 2011, as amended at 76 FR 43467, July 20, 2011; 77 FR 46280, Aug. 3, 2012]


PART 237 – SWAPS MARGIN AND SWAPS PUSH-OUT (REGULATION KK)


Authority:7 U.S.C. 6s(e), 15 U.S.C. 78o-10(e), 15 U.S.C. 8305, 12 U.S.C. 221 et seq., 12 U.S.C. 343-350, 12 U.S.C. 1818, 12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq., 12 U.S.C. 3101 et seq., and 12 U.S.C. 1461 et seq.


Source:78 FR 34549, June 10, 2013, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A – Margin and Capital Requirements for Covered Swap Entities (Regulation KK)


Authority:7 U.S.C. 6s(e), 15 U.S.C. 78o-10(e), 12 U.S.C. 221 et seq., 12 U.S.C. 1818, 12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq., 12 U.S.C. 3101 et seq. and 12 U.S.C. 1461 et seq.



Source:80 FR 74898, 74911, Nov. 30, 2015, unless otherwise noted.



Editorial Note:Nomenclature changes to subpart A of part 237 appear at 80 FR 74898, 74910, Nov. 30, 2015.

§ 237.1 Authority, purpose, scope, exemptions and compliance dates.

(a) Authority. This subpart (Regulation KK) is issued by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) under section 4s(e) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936, as amended (7 U.S.C. 6s(e)), and section 15F(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (15 U.S.C. 78o-10(e)), as well as under the Federal Reserve Act, as amended (12 U.S.C. 221 et seq.); section 8 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, as amended (12 U.S.C. 1818); the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.); the International Banking Act of 1978, as amended (12 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.), and the Home Owners’ Loan Act, as amended (1461 et seq.).


(b) Purpose. Section 4s of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 6s) and section 15F of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78o-10) require the Board to establish capital and margin requirements for any state member bank (as defined in 12 CFR 208.2(g)), bank holding company (as defined in 12 U.S.C. 1841), savings and loan holding company (as defined in 12 U.S.C. 1467a (on or after the transfer established under Section 311 of the Dodd-Frank Act) (12 U.S.C. 5411)), foreign banking organization (as defined in 12 CFR 211.21(o)), foreign bank that does not operate an insured branch, state branch or state agency of a foreign bank (as defined in 12 U.S.C. 3101(b)(11) and (12)), or Edge or agreement corporation (as defined in 12 CFR 211.1(c)(2) and (3)) that is registered as a swap dealer, major swap participant, security-based swap dealer, or major security-based swap participant with respect to all non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps. This subpart implements section 4s of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 and section 15F of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by defining terms used in the statute and related terms, establishing capital and margin requirements, and explaining the statutes’ requirements.


(c) Scope. This subpart establishes minimum capital and margin requirements for each covered swap entity subject to this subpart with respect to all non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps. This subpart applies to any non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap entered into by a covered swap entity on or after the relevant compliance date set forth in paragraph (e) of this section. Nothing in this subpart is intended to prevent a covered swap entity from collecting margin in amounts greater than are required under this subpart.


(d) Exemptions – (1) Swaps. The requirements of this subpart (except for § 237.12) shall not apply to a non-cleared swap if the counterparty:


(i) Qualifies for an exception from clearing under section 2(h)(7)(A) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 2(h)(7)(A)) and implementing regulations;


(ii) Qualifies for an exemption from clearing under a rule, regulation, or order that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued pursuant to its authority under section 4(c)(1) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 6(c)(1)) concerning cooperative entities that would otherwise be subject to the requirements of section 2(h)(1)(A) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 2(h)(1)(A)); or


(iii) Satisfies the criteria in section 2(h)(7)(D) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 2(h)(7)(D)) and implementing regulations.


(2) Security-based swaps. The requirements of this subpart (except for § 237.12) shall not apply to a non-cleared security-based swap if the counterparty:


(i) Qualifies for an exception from clearing under section 3C(g)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c-3(g)(1)) and implementing regulations; or


(ii) Satisfies the criteria in section 3C(g)(4) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c-3(g)(4)) and implementing regulations.


(e) Compliance dates. Covered swap entities shall comply with the minimum margin requirements of this subpart on or before the following dates for non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps entered into on or after the following dates:


(1) September 1, 2016 with respect to the requirements in § 237.3 for initial margin and § 237.4 for variation margin for any non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps, where both:


(i) The covered swap entity combined with all its affiliates; and


(ii) Its counterparty combined with all its affiliates, have an average daily aggregate notional amount of non-cleared swaps, non-cleared security-based swaps, foreign exchange forwards and foreign exchange swaps for March, April and May 2016 that exceeds $3 trillion, where such amounts are calculated only for business days; and


(iii) In calculating the amounts in paragraphs (e)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section, an entity shall count the average daily aggregate notional amount of a non-cleared swap, a non-cleared security-based swap, a foreign exchange forward or a foreign exchange swap between the entity and an affiliate only one time, and shall not count a swap or security-based swap that is exempt pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section.


(2) March 1, 2017 with respect to the requirements in § 237.4 for variation margin for any other covered swap entity with respect to non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps entered into with any other counterparty.


(3) September 1, 2017 with respect to the requirements in § 237.3 for initial margin for any non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps, where both:


(i) The covered swap entity combined with all its affiliates; and


(ii) Its counterparty combined with all its affiliates, have an average daily aggregate notional amount of non-cleared swaps, non-cleared security-based swaps, foreign exchange forwards and foreign exchange swaps for March, April and May 2017 that exceeds $2.25 trillion, where such amounts are calculated only for business days; and


(iii) In calculating the amounts in paragraphs (e)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section, an entity shall count the average daily aggregate notional amount of a non-cleared swap, a non-cleared security-based swap, a foreign exchange forward or a foreign exchange swap between the entity and an affiliate only one time, and shall not count a swap or security-based swap that is exempt pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section.


(4) September 1, 2018 with respect to the requirements in § 237.3 for initial margin for any non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps, where both:


(i) The covered swap entity combined with all its affiliates; and


(ii) Its counterparty combined with all its affiliates, have an average daily aggregate notional amount of non-cleared swaps, non-cleared security-based swaps, foreign exchange forwards and foreign exchange swaps for March, April and May 2018 that exceeds $1.5 trillion, where such amounts are calculated only for business days; and


(iii) In calculating the amounts in paragraphs (e)(4)(i) and (ii) of this section, an entity shall count the average daily aggregate notional amount of a non-cleared swap, a non-cleared security-based swap, a foreign exchange forward or a foreign exchange swap between the entity and an affiliate only one time, and shall not count a swap or security-based swap that is exempt pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section.


(5) September 1, 2019 with respect to the requirements in § 237.3 for initial margin for any non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps, where both:


(i) The covered swap entity combined with all its affiliates; and


(ii) Its counterparty combined with all its affiliates, have an average daily aggregate notional amount of non-cleared swaps, non-cleared security-based swaps, foreign exchange forwards and foreign exchange swaps for March, April and May 2019 that exceeds $0.75 trillion, where such amounts are calculated only for business days; and


(iii) In calculating the amounts in paragraphs (e)(5)(i) and (ii) of this section, an entity shall count the average daily aggregate notional amount of a non-cleared swap, a non-cleared security-based swap, a foreign exchange forward or a foreign exchange swap between the entity and an affiliate only one time, and shall not count a swap or security-based swap that is exempt pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section.


(6) September 1, 2021 with respect to requirements in § 237.3 for initial margin for any non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps, where both:


(i) The covered swap entity combined with all its affiliates; and


(ii) Its counterparty combined with all its affiliates, have an average daily aggregate notional amount of non-cleared swaps, foreign exchange forwards and foreign exchange swaps for March, April and May 2021 that exceeds $50 billion, where such amounts are calculated only for business days; and


(iii) In calculating the amounts in paragraphs (e)(6)(i) and (ii) of this section, an entity shall count the average daily aggregate notional amount of a non-cleared swap, a non-cleared security-based swap, a foreign exchange forward or a foreign exchange swap between the entity and an affiliate only one time, and shall not count a swap or security-based swap that is exempt pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section.


(7) September 1, 2022 with respect to requirements in § 237.3 for initial margin for any other covered swap entity with respect to non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps entered into with any other counterparty.


(f) Once a covered swap entity must comply with the margin requirements for non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps with respect to a particular counterparty based on the compliance dates in paragraph (e) of this section, the covered swap entity shall remain subject to the requirements of this subpart with respect to that counterparty.


(g)(1) If a covered swap entity’s counterparty changes its status such that a non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap with that counterparty becomes subject to stricter margin requirements under this subpart (such as if the counterparty’s status changes from a financial end user without material swaps exposure to a financial end user with material swaps exposure), then the covered swap entity shall comply with the stricter margin requirements for any non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap entered into with that counterparty after the counterparty changes its status.


(2) If a covered swap entity’s counterparty changes its status such that a non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap with that counterparty becomes subject to less strict margin requirements under this subpart (such as if the counterparty’s status changes from a financial end user with material swaps exposure to a financial end user without material swaps exposure), then the covered swap entity may comply with the less strict margin requirements for any non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap entered into with that counterparty after the counterparty changes its status as well as for any outstanding non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap entered into after the applicable compliance date in paragraph (e) of this section and before the counterparty changed its status.


(h) Legacy swaps. Covered swaps entities are required to comply with the requirements of this subpart for non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps entered into on or after the relevant compliance dates for variation margin and for initial margin established in paragraph (e) of this section. Any non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap entered into before such relevant date shall remain outside the scope of this subpart if amendments are made to the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap by method of adherence to a protocol, other amendment of a contract or confirmation, or execution of a new contract or confirmation in replacement of and immediately upon termination of an existing contract or confirmation, as follows:


(1) Amendments to the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap solely to comply with the requirements of 12 CFR part 47, 12 CFR part 252 subpart I, or 12 CFR part 382, as applicable;


(2) The non-cleared swap or non-cleared security based swap was amended under the following conditions:


(i) The swap was originally entered into before the relevant compliance date established in paragraph (e) of this section and one party to the swap booked it at, or otherwise held it at, an entity (including a branch or other authorized form of establishment) located in the United Kingdom;


(ii) The entity in the United Kingdom subsequently arranged to amend the swap, solely for the purpose of transferring it to an affiliate, or a branch or other authorized form of establishment, located in any European Union member state or the United States, in connection with the entity’s planning for or response to the event described in paragraph (h)(2)(iii) of this section, and the transferee is:


(A) A covered swap entity, or


(B) A covered swap entity’s counterparty to the swap, and the counterparty represents to the covered swap entity that the counterparty performed the transfer in compliance with the requirements of paragraphs (h)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section;


(iii) The law of the European Union ceases to apply to the United Kingdom pursuant to Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union, without conclusion of a Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union pursuant to Article 50(2);


(iv) The amendments do not modify any of the following: The payment amount calculation methods, the maturity date, or the notional amount of the swap;


(v) The amendments cause the transfer to take effect on or after the date of the event described in paragraph (h)(2)(iii) of this section transpires; and


(vi) The amendments cause the transfer to take effect by the later of:


(A) The date that is one year after the date of the event described in paragraph (h)(2)(iii) of this section; or


(B) Such other date permitted by transitional provisions under Article 35 of Commission Delegated Regulation (E.U.) No. 2016/2251, as amended.


(3)(i) Amendments to the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap that are made solely to accommodate the replacement of:


(A) An interbank offered rate (IBOR) including, but not limited to, the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), the Tokyo Interbank Offered Rate (TIBOR), the Bank Bill Swap Rate (BBSW), the Singapore Interbank Offered Rate (SIBOR), the Canadian Dollar Offered Rate (CDOR), Euro Interbank Offered Rate (EURIBOR), and the Hong Kong Interbank Offered Rate (HIBOR);


(B) Any other interest rate that a covered swap entity reasonably expects to be replaced or discontinued or reasonably determines has lost its relevance as a reliable benchmark due to a significant impairment; or


(C) Any other interest rate that succeeds a rate referenced in paragraph (h)(3)(i)(A) or (B) of this section. An amendment made under this paragraph (h)(3)(i)(C) could be one of multiple amendments made under this paragraph (h)(3)(i)(C). For example, an amendment could replace an IBOR with a temporary interest rate and later replace the temporary interest rate with a permanent interest rate.


(ii) Amendments to accommodate replacement of an interest rate described in paragraph (h)(3)(i) of this section may also incorporate spreads or other adjustments to the replacement interest rate and make other necessary technical changes to operationalize the determination of payments or other exchanges of economic value using the replacement interest rate, including changes to determination dates, calculation agents, and payment dates. The changes may not extend the maturity or increase the total effective notional amount of the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap beyond what is necessary to accommodate the differences between market conventions for an outgoing interest rate and its replacement.


(iii) Amendments to accommodate replacement of an interest rate described in paragraph (h)(3)(i) of this section may also be effectuated through portfolio compression between or among covered swap entities and their counterparties. Portfolio compression under this paragraph is not subject to the limitations in paragraph (h)(4) of this section, but any non-cleared swaps or non-cleared security-based swaps resulting from the portfolio compression may not have a longer maturity or increase the total effective notional amount more than what is necessary to accommodate the differences between market conventions for an outgoing interest rate and its replacement.


(4) Amendments solely to reduce risk or remain risk-neutral through portfolio compression between or among covered swap entities and their counterparties, as long as any non-cleared swaps or non-cleared security-based swaps resulting from the portfolio compression do not:


(i) Exceed the sum of the total effective notional amounts of all of the swaps that were submitted to the compression exercise that had the same or longer remaining maturity as the resulting swap; or


(ii) Exceed the longest remaining maturity of all the swaps submitted to the compression exercise.


(5) The non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap was amended solely for one of the following reasons:


(i) To reflect technical changes, such as addresses, identities of parties for delivery of formal notices, and other administrative or operational provisions as long as they do not alter the non-cleared swap’s or non-cleared security-based swap’s underlying asset or reference, the remaining maturity, or the total effective notional amount; or


(ii) To reduce the notional amount, so long as:


(A) All payment obligations attached to the total effective notional amount being eliminated as a result of the amendment are fully terminated; or


(B) All payment obligations attached to the total effective notional amount being eliminated as a result of the amendment are fully novated to a third party, who complies with applicable margin rules for the novated portion upon the transfer.


[80 FR 74898, 74911, Nov. 30, 2015, as amended at 80 FR 74911, 74923, Nov. 30, 2015; 83 FR 50811, Oct. 10, 2018; 84 FR 9948, Mar. 19, 2019; 85 FR 39773, 39469, July 1, 2020]


§ 237.2 Definitions.

Affiliate. A company is an affiliate of another company if:


(1) Either company consolidates the other on financial statements prepared in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, the International Financial Reporting Standards, or other similar standards;


(2) Both companies are consolidated with a third company on a financial statement prepared in accordance with such principles or standards;


(3) For a company that is not subject to such principles or standards, if consolidation as described in paragraph (1) or (2) of this definition would have occurred if such principles or standards had applied; or


(4) The Board has determined that a company is an affiliate of another company, based on Board’s conclusion that either company provides significant support to, or is materially subject to the risks or losses of, the other company.


Bank holding company has the meaning specified in section 2 of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841).


Broker has the meaning specified in section 3(a)(4) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(4)).


Business day means any day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.


Clearing agency has the meaning specified in section 3(a)(23) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(23)).


Company means a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, business trust, special purpose entity, association, or similar organization.


Counterparty means, with respect to any non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap to which a person is a party, each other party to such non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap.


Covered swap entity means any swap entity that is a:


(1) State member bank (as defined in 12 CFR 208.2(g));


(2) Bank holding company (as defined in 12 U.S.C. 1841);


(3) Savings and loan holding company (as defined in 12 U.S.C. 1467a);


(4) Foreign banking organization (as defined in 12 CFR 211.21(o));


(5) Foreign bank that does not operate an insured branch;


(6) State branch or state agency of a foreign bank (as defined in 12 U.S.C. 3101(b)(11) and (12));


(7) Edge or agreement corporation (as defined in 12 CFR 211.1(c)(2) and (3)); or


(8) Covered swap entity as determined by the Board. Covered swap entity would not include an affiliate of an entity listed in paragraphs (1) through (7) of this definition for which the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is the prudential regulator or that is required to be registered with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission as a swap dealer or major swap participant or with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a security-based swap dealer or major security-based swap participant.


Cross-currency swap means a swap in which one party exchanges with another party principal and interest rate payments in one currency for principal and interest rate payments in another currency, and the exchange of principal occurs on the date the swap is entered into, with a reversal of the exchange of principal at a later date that is agreed upon when the swap is entered into.


Currency of settlement means a currency in which a party has agreed to discharge payment obligations related to a non-cleared swap, a non-cleared security-based swap, a group of non-cleared swaps, or a group of non-cleared security-based swaps subject to a master agreement at the regularly occurring dates on which such payments are due in the ordinary course.


Day of execution means the calendar day at the time the parties enter into a non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap, provided:


(1) If each party is in a different calendar day at the time the parties enter into the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap, the day of execution is deemed the latter of the two dates; and


(2) If a non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap is:


(i) Entered into after 4:00 p.m. in the location of a party; or


(ii) Entered into on a day that is not a business day in the location of a party, then the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap is deemed to have been entered into on the immediately succeeding day that is a business day for both parties, and both parties shall determine the day of execution with reference to that business day.


Dealer has the meaning specified in section 3(a)(5) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(5)).


Depository institution has the meaning specified in section 3(c) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813(c)).


Derivatives clearing organization has the meaning specified in section 1a(15) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 1a(15)).


Eligible collateral means collateral described in § 237.6.


Eligible master netting agreement means a written, legally enforceable agreement provided that:


(1) The agreement creates a single legal obligation for all individual transactions covered by the agreement upon an event of default following any stay permitted by paragraph (2) of this definition, including upon an event of receivership, conservatorship, insolvency, liquidation, or similar proceeding, of the counterparty;


(2) The agreement provides the covered swap entity the right to accelerate, terminate, and close-out on a net basis all transactions under the agreement and to liquidate or set-off collateral promptly upon an event of default, including upon an event of receivership, conservatorship, insolvency, liquidation, or similar proceeding, of the counterparty, provided that, in any such case,


(i) Any exercise of rights under the agreement will not be stayed or avoided under applicable law in the relevant jurisdictions, other than:


(A) In receivership, conservatorship, or resolution under the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1811 et seq.), Title II of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (12 U.S.C. 5381 et seq.), the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992, as amended (12 U.S.C. 4617), or the Farm Credit Act of 1971, as amended (12 U.S.C. 2183 and 2279cc), or laws of foreign jurisdictions that are substantially similar to the U.S. laws referenced in this paragraph (2)(i)(A) in order to facilitate the orderly resolution of the defaulting counterparty; or


(B) Where the agreement is subject by its terms to, or incorporates, any of the laws referenced in paragraph (2)(i)(A) of this definition; and


(ii) The agreement may limit the right to accelerate, terminate, and close-out on a net basis all transactions under the agreement and to liquidate or set-off collateral promptly upon an event of default of the counterparty to the extent necessary for the counterparty to comply with the requirements of part 47, subpart I of part 252 or part 382 of title 12, as applicable;


(3) The agreement does not contain a walkaway clause (that is, a provision that permits a non-defaulting counterparty to make a lower payment than it otherwise would make under the agreement, or no payment at all, to a defaulter or the estate of a defaulter, even if the defaulter or the estate of the defaulter is a net creditor under the agreement); and


(4) A covered swap entity that relies on the agreement for purposes of calculating the margin required by this part must:


(i) Conduct sufficient legal review to conclude with a well-founded basis (and maintain sufficient written documentation of that legal review) that:


(A) The agreement meets the requirements of paragraph (2) of this definition; and


(B) In the event of a legal challenge (including one resulting from default or from receivership, conservatorship, insolvency, liquidation, or similar proceeding), the relevant court and administrative authorities would find the agreement to be legal, valid, binding, and enforceable under the law of the relevant jurisdictions; and


(ii) Establish and maintain written procedures to monitor possible changes in relevant law and to ensure that the agreement continues to satisfy the requirements of this definition.


Financial end user means:


(1) Any counterparty that is not a swap entity and that is:


(i) A bank holding company or an affiliate thereof; a savings and loan holding company; a U.S. intermediate holding company established or designated for purposes of compliance with 12 CFR 252.153; or a nonbank financial institution supervised by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System under Title I of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (12 U.S.C. 5323);


(ii) A depository institution; a foreign bank; a Federal credit union or State credit union as defined in section 2 of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. 1752(1) & (6)); an institution that functions solely in a trust or fiduciary capacity as described in section 2(c)(2)(D) of the Bank Holding Company Act (12 U.S.C. 1841(c)(2)(D)); an industrial loan company, an industrial bank, or other similar institution described in section 2(c)(2)(H) of the Bank Holding Company Act (12 U.S.C. 1841(c)(2)(H));


(iii) An entity that is state-licensed or registered as:


(A) A credit or lending entity, including a finance company; money lender; installment lender; consumer lender or lending company; mortgage lender, broker, or bank; motor vehicle title pledge lender; payday or deferred deposit lender; premium finance company; commercial finance or lending company; or commercial mortgage company; except entities registered or licensed solely on account of financing the entity’s direct sales of goods or services to customers;


(B) A money services business, including a check casher; money transmitter; currency dealer or exchange; or money order or traveler’s check issuer;


(iv) A regulated entity as defined in section 1303(20) of the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992, as amended (12 U.S.C. 4502(20)) or any entity for which the Federal Housing Finance Agency or its successor is the primary federal regulator;


(v) Any institution chartered in accordance with the Farm Credit Act of 1971, as amended, 12 U.S.C. 2001 et seq., that is regulated by the Farm Credit Administration;


(vi) A securities holding company; a broker or dealer; an investment adviser as defined in section 202(a) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80b-2(a)); an investment company registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-1 et seq.); or a company that has elected to be regulated as a business development company pursuant to section 54(a) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-53(a));


(vii) A private fund as defined in section 202(a) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80-b-2(a)); an entity that would be an investment company under section 3 of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-3) but for section 3(c)(5)(C); or an entity that is deemed not to be an investment company under section 3 of the Investment Company Act of 1940 pursuant to Investment Company Act Rule 3a-7 (17 CFR 270.3a-7) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission;


(viii) A commodity pool, a commodity pool operator, or a commodity trading advisor as defined, respectively, in section 1a(10), 1a(11), and 1a(12) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 1a(10), 1a(11), and 1a(12)); a floor broker, a floor trader, or introducing broker as defined, respectively, in 1a(22), 1a(23) and 1a(31) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 1a(22), 1a(23), and 1a(31)); or a futures commission merchant as defined in 1a(28) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 1a(28));


(ix) An employee benefit plan as defined in paragraphs (3) and (32) of section 3 of the Employee Retirement Income and Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1002);


(x) An entity that is organized as an insurance company, primarily engaged in writing insurance or reinsuring risks underwritten by insurance companies, or is subject to supervision as such by a State insurance regulator or foreign insurance regulator;


(xi) An entity, person or arrangement that is, or holds itself out as being, an entity, person, or arrangement that raises money from investors, accepts money from clients, or uses its own money primarily for the purpose of investing or trading or facilitating the investing or trading in loans, securities, swaps, funds or other assets for resale or other disposition or otherwise trading in loans, securities, swaps, funds or other assets; or


(xii) An entity that would be a financial end user described in paragraph (1) of this definition or a swap entity, if it were organized under the laws of the United States or any State thereof.


(2) The term “financial end user” does not include any counterparty that is:


(i) A sovereign entity;


(ii) A multilateral development bank;


(iii) The Bank for International Settlements;


(iv) An entity that is exempt from the definition of financial entity pursuant to section 2(h)(7)(C)(iii) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 2(h)(7)(C)(iii)) and implementing regulations; or


(v) An affiliate that qualifies for the exemption from clearing pursuant to section 2(h)(7)(D) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 2(h)(7)(D)) or section 3C(g)(4) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c-3(g)(4)) and implementing regulations.


Foreign bank means an organization that is organized under the laws of a foreign country and that engages directly in the business of banking outside the United States.


Foreign exchange forward has the meaning specified in section 1a(24) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 1a(24)).


Foreign exchange swap has the meaning specified in section 1a(25) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 1a(25)).


Initial margin means the collateral as calculated in accordance with § 237.8 that is posted or collected in connection with a non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap.


Initial margin collection amount means:


(1) In the case of a covered swap entity that does not use an initial margin model, the amount of initial margin with respect to a non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap that is required under appendix A of this subpart; and


(2) In the case of a covered swap entity that uses an initial margin model pursuant to § 237.8, the amount of initial margin with respect to a non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap that is required under the initial margin model.


Initial margin model means an internal risk management model that:


(1) Has been developed and designed to identify an appropriate, risk-based amount of initial margin that the covered swap entity must collect with respect to one or more non-cleared swaps or non-cleared security-based swaps to which the covered swap entity is a party; and


(2) Has been approved by the Board pursuant to § 237.8.


Initial margin threshold amount means an aggregate credit exposure of $50 million resulting from all non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps between a covered swap entity and its affiliates, and a counterparty and its affiliates. For purposes of this calculation, an entity shall not count a swap or security-based swap that is exempt pursuant to § 237.1(d).


Major currency means:


(1) United States Dollar (USD);


(2) Canadian Dollar (CAD);


(3) Euro (EUR);


(4) United Kingdom Pound (GBP);


(5) Japanese Yen (JPY);


(6) Swiss Franc (CHF);


(7) New Zealand Dollar (NZD);


(8) Australian Dollar (AUD);


(9) Swedish Kronor (SEK);


(10) Danish Kroner (DKK);


(11) Norwegian Krone (NOK); or


(12) Any other currency as determined by the Board.


Margin means initial margin and variation margin.


Market intermediary means a securities holding company; a broker or dealer; a futures commission merchant as defined in 1a(28) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 1a(28)); a swap dealer as defined in section 1a(49) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 1a(49)); or a security-based swap dealer as defined in section 3(a)(71) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(71)).


Material swaps exposure for an entity means that an entity and its affiliates have an average daily aggregate notional amount of non-cleared swaps, non-cleared security-based swaps, foreign exchange forwards, and foreign exchange swaps with all counterparties for June, July, and August of the previous calendar year that exceeds $8 billion, where such amount is calculated only for business days. An entity shall count the average daily aggregate notional amount of a non-cleared swap, a non-cleared security-based swap, a foreign exchange forward or a foreign exchange swap between the entity and an affiliate only one time. For purposes of this calculation, an entity shall not count a swap or security-based swap that is exempt pursuant to § 237.1(d).


Multilateral development bank means the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, the International Finance Corporation, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund, the Nordic Investment Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the Council of Europe Development Bank, and any other entity that provides financing for national or regional development in which the U.S. government is a shareholder or contributing member or which the Board determines poses comparable credit risk.


Non-cleared security-based swap means a security-based swap that is not, directly or indirectly, submitted to and cleared by a clearing agency registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to section 17A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78q-1) or by a clearing agency that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has exempted from registration by rule or order pursuant to section 17A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78q-1).


Non-cleared swap means a swap that is not cleared by a derivatives clearing organization registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission pursuant to section 5b(a) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 7a-1(a)) or by a clearing organization that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has exempted from registration by rule or order pursuant to section 5b(h) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 7a-1(h)).


Prudential regulator has the meaning specified in section 1a(39) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 1a(39)).


Savings and loan holding company has the meaning specified in section 10(n) of the Home Owners’ Loan Act (12 U.S.C. 1467a(n)).


Securities holding company has the meaning specified in section 618 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (12 U.S.C. 1850a).


Security-based swap has the meaning specified in section 3(a)(68) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(68)).


Sovereign entity means a central government (including the U.S. government) or an agency, department, ministry, or central bank of a central government.


State means any State, commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam, or the United States Virgin Islands.


Subsidiary. A company is a subsidiary of another company if:


(1) The company is consolidated by the other company on financial statements prepared in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, the International Financial Reporting Standards, or other similar standards;


(2) For a company that is not subject to such principles or standards, if consolidation as described in paragraph (1) of this definition would have occurred if such principles or standards had applied; or


(3) The Board has determined that the company is a subsidiary of another company, based on Board’s conclusion that either company provides significant support to, or is materially subject to the risks of loss of, the other company.


Swap has the meaning specified in section 1a(47) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 1a(47)).


Swap entity means a person that is registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as a swap dealer or major swap participant pursuant to the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 1 et seq.), or a person that is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a security-based swap dealer or a major security-based swap participant pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.).


U.S. Government-sponsored enterprise means an entity established or chartered by the U.S. government to serve public purposes specified by federal statute but whose debt obligations are not explicitly guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.


Variation margin means collateral provided by one party to its counterparty to meet the performance of its obligations under one or more non-cleared swaps or non-cleared security-based swaps between the parties as a result of a change in value of such obligations since the last time such collateral was provided.


Variation margin amount means the cumulative mark-to-market change in value to a covered swap entity of a non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap, as measured from the date it is entered into (or, in the case of a non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap that has a positive or negative value to a covered swap entity on the date it is entered into, such positive or negative value plus any cumulative mark-to-market change in value to the covered swap entity of a non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap after such date), less the value of all variation margin previously collected, plus the value of all variation margin previously posted with respect to such non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap.


[80 FR 74898, 74911, Nov. 30, 2015, as amended at 80 FR 74911, Nov. 30, 2015; 83 FR 50812, Oct. 10, 2018]


§ 237.3 Initial margin.

(a) Collection of margin. A covered swap entity shall collect initial margin with respect to any non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap from a counterparty that is a financial end user with material swaps exposure or that is a swap entity in an amount that is no less than the greater of:


(1) Zero; or


(2) The initial margin collection amount for such non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap less the initial margin threshold amount (not including any portion of the initial margin threshold amount already applied by the covered swap entity or its affiliates to other non-cleared swaps or non-cleared security-based swaps with the counterparty or its affiliates), as applicable.


(b) Posting of margin. A covered swap entity shall post initial margin with respect to any non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap to a counterparty that is a financial end user with material swaps exposure. Such initial margin shall be in an amount at least as large as the covered swap entity would be required to collect under paragraph (a) of this section if it were in the place of the counterparty.


(c) Timing. A covered swap entity shall comply with the initial margin requirements described in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section on each business day, for a period beginning on or before the business day following the day of execution and ending on the date the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap terminates or expires.


(d) Other counterparties. A covered swap entity is not required to collect or post initial margin with respect to any non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap described in § 237.1(d). For any other non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap between a covered swap entity and a counterparty that is neither a financial end user with a material swaps exposure nor a swap entity, the covered swap entity shall collect initial margin at such times and in such forms and such amounts (if any), that the covered swap entity determines appropriately addresses the credit risk posed by the counterparty and the risks of such non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap.


§ 237.4 Variation margin.

(a) General. After the date on which a covered swap entity enters into a non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap with a swap entity or financial end user, the covered swap entity shall collect variation margin equal to the variation margin amount from the counterparty to such non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap when the amount is positive and post variation margin equal to the variation margin amount to the counterparty to such non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap when the amount is negative.


(b) Timing. A covered swap entity shall comply with the variation margin requirements described in paragraph (a) of this section on each business day, for a period beginning on or before the business day following the day of execution and ending on the date the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security based swap terminates or expires.


(c) Other counterparties. A covered swap entity is not required to collect or post variation margin with respect to any non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap described in § 237.1(d). For any other non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap between a covered swap entity and a counterparty that is neither a financial end user nor a swap entity, the covered swap entity shall collect variation margin at such times and in such forms and such amounts (if any), that the covered swap entity determines appropriately addresses the credit risk posed by the counterparty and the risks of such non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap.


§ 237.5 Netting arrangements, minimum transfer amount, and satisfaction of collecting and posting requirements.

(a) Netting arrangements. (1) For purposes of calculating and complying with the initial margin requirements of § 237.3 using an initial margin model as described in § 237.8, or with the variation margin requirements of § 237.4, a covered swap entity may net non-cleared swaps or non-cleared security-based swaps in accordance with this subsection.


(2) To the extent that one or more non-cleared swaps or non-cleared security-based swaps are executed pursuant to an eligible master netting agreement between a covered swap entity and its counterparty that is a swap entity or financial end user, a covered swap entity may calculate and comply with the applicable requirements of this subpart on an aggregate net basis with respect to all non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps governed by such agreement, subject to paragraph (a)(3) of this section.


(3)(i) Except as permitted in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section, if an eligible master netting agreement covers non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps entered into on or after the applicable compliance date set forth in § 237.1(e) or (g), all the non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps covered by that agreement are subject to the requirements of this subpart and included in the aggregate netting portfolio for the purposes of calculating and complying with the margin requirements of this subpart.


(ii) An eligible master netting agreement may identify one or more separate netting portfolios that independently meet the requirements in paragraph (1) of the definition of “Eligible master netting agreement” in § 237.2 and to which collection and posting of margin applies on an aggregate net basis separate from and exclusive of any other non-cleared swaps or non-cleared security-based swaps covered by the eligible master netting agreement. Any such netting portfolio that contains any non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap entered into on or after the applicable compliance date set forth in § 237.1(e) or (g) is subject to the requirements of this subpart. Any such netting portfolio that contains only non-cleared swaps or non-cleared security-based swaps entered into before the applicable compliance date is not subject to the requirements of this subpart.


(4) If a covered swap entity cannot conclude after sufficient legal review with a well-founded basis that the netting agreement described in this section meets the definition of eligible master netting agreement set forth in § 237.2, the covered swap entity must treat the non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security based swaps covered by the agreement on a gross basis for the purposes of calculating and complying with the requirements of this subpart to collect margin, but the covered swap entity may net those non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps in accordance with paragraphs (a)(1) through (3) of this section for the purposes of calculating and complying with the requirements of this subpart to post margin.


(b) Minimum transfer amount. Notwithstanding § 237.3 or § 237.4, a covered swap entity is not required to collect or post margin pursuant to this subpart with respect to a particular counterparty unless and until the combined amount of initial margin and variation margin that is required pursuant to this subpart to be collected or posted and that has not yet been collected or posted with respect to the counterparty is greater than $500,000.


(c) Satisfaction of collecting and posting requirements. A covered swap entity shall not be deemed to have violated its obligation to collect or post margin from or to a counterparty under § 237.3, § 237.4, or § 237.6(e) if:


(1) The counterparty has refused or otherwise failed to provide or accept the required margin to or from the covered swap entity; and


(2) The covered swap entity has:


(i) Made the necessary efforts to collect or post the required margin, including the timely initiation and continued pursuit of formal dispute resolution mechanisms, or has otherwise demonstrated upon request to the satisfaction of the Board that it has made appropriate efforts to collect or post the required margin; or


(ii) Commenced termination of the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap with the counterparty promptly following the applicable cure period and notification requirements.


§ 237.6 Eligible collateral.

(a) Non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps with a swap entity. For a non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap with a swap entity, a covered swap entity shall collect initial margin and variation margin required pursuant to this subpart solely in the form of the following types of collateral:


(1) Immediately available cash funds that are denominated in:


(i) U.S. dollars or another major currency; or


(ii) The currency of settlement for the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap;


(2) With respect to initial margin only:


(i) A security that is issued by, or unconditionally guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by, the U.S. Department of the Treasury;


(ii) A security that is issued by, or unconditionally guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by, a U.S. government agency (other than the U.S. Department of Treasury) whose obligations are fully guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the United States government;


(iii) A security that is issued by, or fully guaranteed as to the payment of principal and interest by, the European Central Bank or a sovereign entity that is assigned no higher than a 20 percent risk weight under the capital rules applicable to the covered swap entity as set forth in § 237.12;


(iv) A publicly traded debt security issued by, or an asset-backed security fully guaranteed as to the payment of principal and interest by, a U.S. Government-sponsored enterprise that is operating with capital support or another form of direct financial assistance received from the U.S. government that enables the repayments of the U.S. Government-sponsored enterprise’s eligible securities;


(v) A publicly traded debt security that meets the terms of 12 CFR 1.2(d) and is issued by a U.S. Government-sponsored enterprise not operating with capital support or another form of direct financial assistance from the U.S. government, and is not an asset-backed security;


(vi) A security that is issued by, or fully guaranteed as to the payment of principal and interest by, the Bank for International Settlements, the International Monetary Fund, or a multilateral development bank;


(vii) A security solely in the form of:


(A) Publicly traded debt not otherwise described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section that meets the terms of 12 CFR 1.2(d) and is not an asset-backed security;


(B) Publicly traded common equity that is included in:


(1) The Standard & Poor’s Composite 1500 Index or any other similar index of liquid and readily marketable equity securities as determined by the Board; or


(2) An index that a covered swap entity’s supervisor in a foreign jurisdiction recognizes for purposes of including publicly traded common equity as initial margin under applicable regulatory policy, if held in that foreign jurisdiction;


(viii) Securities in the form of redeemable securities in a pooled investment fund representing the security-holder’s proportional interest in the fund’s net assets and that are issued and redeemed only on the basis of the market value of the fund’s net assets prepared each business day after the security-holder makes its investment commitment or redemption request to the fund, if:


(A) The fund’s investments are limited to the following:


(1) Securities that are issued by, or unconditionally guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and immediately-available cash funds denominated in U.S. dollars; or


(2) Securities denominated in a common currency and issued by, or fully guaranteed as to the payment of principal and interest by, the European Central Bank or a sovereign entity that is assigned no higher than a 20 percent risk weight under the capital rules applicable to the covered swap entity as set forth in § 237.12, and immediately-available cash funds denominated in the same currency; and


(B) Assets of the fund may not be transferred through securities lending, securities borrowing, repurchase agreements, reverse repurchase agreements, or other means that involve the fund having rights to acquire the same or similar assets from the transferee; or


(ix) Gold.


(b) Non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps with a financial end user. For a non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap with a financial end user, a covered swap entity shall collect and post initial margin and variation margin required pursuant to this subpart solely in the form of the following types of collateral:


(1) Immediately available cash funds that are denominated in:


(i) U.S. dollars or another major currency; or


(ii) The currency of settlement for the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap;


(2) A security that is issued by, or unconditionally guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by, the U.S. Department of the Treasury;


(3) A security that is issued by, or unconditionally guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by, a U.S. government agency (other than the U.S. Department of Treasury) whose obligations are fully guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the United States government;


(4) A security that is issued by, or fully guaranteed as to the payment of principal and interest by, the European Central Bank or a sovereign entity that is assigned no higher than a 20 percent risk weight under the capital rules applicable to the covered swap entity as set forth in § 237.12;


(5) A publicly traded debt security issued by, or an asset-backed security fully guaranteed as to the payment of principal and interest by, a U.S. Government-sponsored enterprise that is operating with capital support or another form of direct financial assistance received from the U.S. government that enables the repayments of the U.S. Government-sponsored enterprise’s eligible securities;


(6) A publicly traded debt security that meets the terms of 12 CFR 1.2(d) and is issued by a U.S. Government-sponsored enterprise not operating with capital support or another form of direct financial assistance from the U.S. government, and is not an asset-backed security;


(7) A security that is issued by, or fully guaranteed as to the payment of principal and interest by, the Bank for International Settlements, the International Monetary Fund, or a multilateral development bank;


(8) A security solely in the form of:


(i) Publicly traded debt not otherwise described in this paragraph (b) that meets the terms of 12 CFR 1.2(d) and is not an asset-backed security;


(ii) Publicly traded common equity that is included in:


(A) The Standard & Poor’s Composite 1500 Index or any other similar index of liquid and readily marketable equity securities as determined by the Board; or


(B) An index that a covered swap entity’s supervisor in a foreign jurisdiction recognizes for purposes of including publicly traded common equity as initial margin under applicable regulatory policy, if held in that foreign jurisdiction;


(9) Securities in the form of redeemable securities in a pooled investment fund representing the security-holder’s proportional interest in the fund’s net assets and that are issued and redeemed only on the basis of the market value of the fund’s net assets prepared each business day after the security-holder makes its investment commitment or redemption request to the fund, if:


(i) The fund’s investments are limited to the following:


(A) Securities that are issued by, or unconditionally guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and immediately-available cash funds denominated in U.S. dollars; or


(B) Securities denominated in a common currency and issued by, or fully guaranteed as to the payment of principal and interest by, the European Central Bank or a sovereign entity that is assigned no higher than a 20 percent risk weight under the capital rules applicable to the covered swap entity as set forth in § 237.12, and immediately-available cash funds denominated in the same currency; and


(ii) Assets of the fund may not be transferred through securities lending, securities borrowing, repurchase agreements, reverse repurchase agreements, or other means that involve the fund having rights to acquire the same or similar assets from the transferee; or


(10) Gold.


(c)(1) The value of any eligible collateral collected or posted to satisfy margin requirements pursuant to this subpart is subject to the sum of the following discounts, as applicable:


(i) An 8 percent discount for variation margin collateral denominated in a currency that is not the currency of settlement for the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap, except for immediately available cash funds denominated in U.S. dollars or another major currency;


(ii) An 8 percent discount for initial margin collateral denominated in a currency that is not the currency of settlement for the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap, except for eligible types of collateral denominated in a single termination currency designated as payable to the non-posting counterparty as part of the eligible master netting agreement; and


(iii) For variation and initial margin non-cash collateral, the discounts described in appendix B of this subpart.


(2) The value of variation margin or initial margin collateral is computed as the product of the cash or market value of the eligible collateral asset times one minus the applicable discounts pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this section expressed in percentage terms. The total value of all variation margin or initial margin collateral is calculated as the sum of those values for each eligible collateral asset.


(d) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, eligible collateral for initial margin and variation margin required by this subpart does not include a security issued by:


(1) The party or an affiliate of the party pledging such collateral;


(2) A bank holding company, a savings and loan holding company, a U.S. intermediate holding company established or designated for purposes of compliance with 12 CFR 252.153, a foreign bank, a depository institution, a market intermediary, a company that would be any of the foregoing if it were organized under the laws of the United States or any State, or an affiliate of any of the foregoing institutions; or


(3) A nonbank financial institution supervised by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System under Title I of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (12 U.S.C. 5323).


(e) A covered swap entity shall monitor the market value and eligibility of all collateral collected and posted to satisfy the minimum initial margin and minimum variation margin requirements of this subpart. To the extent that the market value of such collateral has declined, the covered swap entity shall promptly collect or post such additional eligible collateral as is necessary to maintain compliance with the margin requirements of this subpart. To the extent that the collateral is no longer eligible, the covered swap entity shall promptly collect or post sufficient eligible replacement collateral to comply with the margin requirements of this subpart.


(f) A covered swap entity may collect or post initial margin and variation margin that is required by § 237.3(d) or § 237.4(c) or that is not required pursuant to this subpart in any form of collateral.


[80 FR 74898, 74911, Nov. 30, 2015, as amended at 80 FR 74912, Nov. 30, 2015]


§ 237.7 Segregation of collateral.

(a) A covered swap entity that posts any collateral other than for variation margin with respect to a non-cleared swap or a non-cleared security-based swap shall require that all funds or other property other than variation margin provided by the covered swap entity be held by one or more custodians that are not the covered swap entity or counterparty and not affiliates of the covered swap entity or the counterparty.


(b) A covered swap entity that collects initial margin required by § 237.3(a) with respect to a non-cleared swap or a non-cleared security-based swap shall require that such initial margin be held by one or more custodians that are not the covered swap entity or counterparty and not affiliates of the covered swap entity or the counterparty.


(c) For purposes of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, the custodian must act pursuant to a custody agreement that:


(1) Prohibits the custodian from rehypothecating, repledging, reusing, or otherwise transferring (through securities lending, securities borrowing, repurchase agreement, reverse repurchase agreement or other means) the collateral held by the custodian, except that cash collateral may be held in a general deposit account with the custodian if the funds in the account are used to purchase an asset described in § 237.6(a)(2) or (b), such asset is held in compliance with this § 237.7, and such purchase takes place within a time period reasonably necessary to consummate such purchase after the cash collateral is posted as initial margin; and


(2) Is a legal, valid, binding, and enforceable agreement under the laws of all relevant jurisdictions, including in the event of bankruptcy, insolvency, or a similar proceeding.


(d) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(1) of this section, a custody agreement may permit the posting party to substitute or direct any reinvestment of posted collateral held by the custodian, provided that, with respect to collateral collected by a covered swap entity pursuant to § 237.3(a) or posted by a covered swap entity pursuant to § 237.3(b), the agreement requires the posting party to:


(1) Substitute only funds or other property that would qualify as eligible collateral under § 237.6, and for which the amount net of applicable discounts described in appendix B of this subpart would be sufficient to meet the requirements of § 237.3; and


(2) Direct reinvestment of funds only in assets that would qualify as eligible collateral under § 237.6, and for which the amount net of applicable discounts described in appendix B of this subpart would be sufficient to meet the requirements of § 237.3.


§ 237.8 Initial margin models and standardized amounts.

(a) Standardized amounts. Unless a covered swap entity’s initial margin model conforms to the requirements of this section, the covered swap entity shall calculate the amount of initial margin required to be collected or posted for one or more non-cleared swaps or non-cleared security-based swaps with a given counterparty pursuant to § 237.3 on a daily basis pursuant to appendix A of this subpart.


(b) Use of initial margin models. A covered swap entity may calculate the amount of initial margin required to be collected or posted for one or more non-cleared swaps or non-cleared security-based swaps with a given counterparty pursuant to § 237.3 on a daily basis using an initial margin model only if the initial margin model meets the requirements of this section.


(c) Requirements for initial margin model. (1) A covered swap entity must obtain the prior written approval of the Board before using any initial margin model to calculate the initial margin required in this subpart.


(2) A covered swap entity must demonstrate that the initial margin model satisfies all of the requirements of this section on an ongoing basis.


(3) A covered swap entity must notify the Board in writing 60 days prior to:


(i) Extending the use of an initial margin model that the Board has approved under this section to an additional product type;


(ii) Making any change to any initial margin model approved by the Board under this section that would result in a material change in the covered swap entity’s assessment of initial margin requirements; or


(iii) Making any material change to modeling assumptions used by the initial margin model.


(4) The Board may rescind its approval of the use of any initial margin model, in whole or in part, or may impose additional conditions or requirements if the Board determines, in its sole discretion, that the initial margin model no longer complies with this section.


(d) Quantitative requirements. (1) The covered swap entity’s initial margin model must calculate an amount of initial margin that is equal to the potential future exposure of the non-cleared swap, non-cleared security-based swap or netting portfolio of non-cleared swaps or non-cleared security-based swaps covered by an eligible master netting agreement. Potential future exposure is an estimate of the one-tailed 99 percent confidence interval for an increase in the value of the non-cleared swap, non-cleared security-based swap or netting portfolio of non-cleared swaps or non-cleared security-based swaps due to an instantaneous price shock that is equivalent to a movement in all material underlying risk factors, including prices, rates, and spreads, over a holding period equal to the shorter of ten business days or the maturity of the non-cleared swap, non-cleared security-based swap or netting portfolio.


(2) All data used to calibrate the initial margin model must be based on an equally weighted historical observation period of at least one year and not more than five years and must incorporate a period of significant financial stress for each broad asset class that is appropriate to the non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps to which the initial margin model is applied.


(3) The covered swap entity’s initial margin model must use risk factors sufficient to measure all material price risks inherent in the transactions for which initial margin is being calculated. The risk categories must include, but should not be limited to, foreign exchange or interest rate risk, credit risk, equity risk, and commodity risk, as appropriate. For material exposures in significant currencies and markets, modeling techniques must capture spread and basis risk and must incorporate a sufficient number of segments of the yield curve to capture differences in volatility and imperfect correlation of rates along the yield curve.


(4) In the case of a non-cleared cross-currency swap, the covered swap entity’s initial margin model need not recognize any risks or risk factors associated with the fixed, physically-settled foreign exchange transaction associated with the exchange of principal embedded in the non-cleared cross-currency swap. The initial margin model must recognize all material risks and risk factors associated with all other payments and cash flows that occur during the life of the non-cleared cross-currency swap.


(5) The initial margin model may calculate initial margin for a non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap or a netting portfolio of non-cleared swaps or non-cleared security-based swaps covered by an eligible master netting agreement. It may reflect offsetting exposures, diversification, and other hedging benefits for non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps that are governed by the same eligible master netting agreement by incorporating empirical correlations within the following broad risk categories, provided the covered swap entity validates and demonstrates the reasonableness of its process for modeling and measuring hedging benefits: Commodity, credit, equity, and foreign exchange or interest rate. Empirical correlations under an eligible master netting agreement may be recognized by the initial margin model within each broad risk category, but not across broad risk categories.


(6) If the initial margin model does not explicitly reflect offsetting exposures, diversification, and hedging benefits between subsets of non-cleared swaps or non-cleared security-based swaps within a broad risk category, the covered swap entity must calculate an amount of initial margin separately for each subset within which such relationships are explicitly recognized by the initial margin model. The sum of the initial margin amounts calculated for each subset of non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps within a broad risk category will be used to determine the aggregate initial margin due from the counterparty for the portfolio of non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps within the broad risk category.


(7) The sum of the initial margin amounts calculated for each broad risk category will be used to determine the aggregate initial margin due from the counterparty.


(8) The initial margin model may not permit the calculation of any initial margin collection amount to be offset by, or otherwise take into account, any initial margin that may be owed or otherwise payable by the covered swap entity to the counterparty.


(9) The initial margin model must include all material risks arising from the nonlinear price characteristics of option positions or positions with embedded optionality and the sensitivity of the market value of the positions to changes in the volatility of the underlying rates, prices, or other material risk factors.


(10) The covered swap entity may not omit any risk factor from the calculation of its initial margin that the covered swap entity uses in its initial margin model unless it has first demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Board that such omission is appropriate.


(11) The covered swap entity may not incorporate any proxy or approximation used to capture the risks of the covered swap entity’s non-cleared swaps or non-cleared security-based swaps unless it has first demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Board that such proxy or approximation is appropriate.


(12) The covered swap entity must have a rigorous and well-defined process for re-estimating, re-evaluating, and updating its internal margin model to ensure continued applicability and relevance.


(13) The covered swap entity must review and, as necessary, revise the data used to calibrate the initial margin model at least annually, and more frequently as market conditions warrant, to ensure that the data incorporate a period of significant financial stress appropriate to the non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps to which the initial margin model is applied.


(14) The level of sophistication of the initial margin model must be commensurate with the complexity of the non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps to which it is applied. In calculating an initial margin collection amount, the initial margin model may make use of any of the generally accepted approaches for modeling the risk of a single instrument or portfolio of instruments.


(15) The Board may in its sole discretion require a covered swap entity using an initial margin model to collect a greater amount of initial margin than that determined by the covered swap entity’s initial margin model if the Board determines that the additional collateral is appropriate due to the nature, structure, or characteristics of the covered swap entity’s transaction(s), or is commensurate with the risks associated with the transaction(s).


(e) Periodic review. A covered swap entity must periodically, but no less frequently than annually, review its initial margin model in light of developments in financial markets and modeling technologies, and enhance the initial margin model as appropriate to ensure that the initial margin model continues to meet the requirements for approval in this section.


(f) Control, oversight, and validation mechanisms. (1) The covered swap entity must maintain a risk control unit that reports directly to senior management and is independent from the business trading units.


(2) The covered swap entity’s risk control unit must validate its initial margin model prior to implementation and on an ongoing basis. The covered swap entity’s validation process must be independent of the development, implementation, and operation of the initial margin model, or the validation process must be subject to an independent review of its adequacy and effectiveness. The validation process must include:


(i) An evaluation of the conceptual soundness of (including developmental evidence supporting) the initial margin model;


(ii) An ongoing monitoring process that includes verification of processes and benchmarking by comparing the covered swap entity’s initial margin model outputs (estimation of initial margin) with relevant alternative internal and external data sources or estimation techniques. The benchmark(s) must address the chosen model’s limitations. When applicable, the covered swap entity should consider benchmarks that allow for non-normal distributions such as historical and Monte Carlo simulations. When applicable, validation shall include benchmarking against observable margin standards to ensure that the initial margin required is not less than what a derivatives clearing organization or a clearing agency would require for similar cleared transactions; and


(iii) An outcomes analysis process that includes backtesting the initial margin model. This analysis must recognize and compensate for the challenges inherent in back-testing over periods that do not contain significant financial stress.


(3) If the validation process reveals any material problems with the initial margin model, the covered swap entity must promptly notify the Board of the problems, describe to the Board any remedial actions being taken, and adjust the initial margin model to ensure an appropriately conservative amount of required initial margin is being calculated.


(4) The covered swap entity must have an internal audit function independent of business-line management and the risk control unit that at least annually assesses the effectiveness of the controls supporting the covered swap entity’s initial margin model measurement systems, including the activities of the business trading units and risk control unit, compliance with policies and procedures, and calculation of the covered swap entity’s initial margin requirements under this subpart. At least annually, the internal audit function must report its findings to the covered swap entity’s board of directors or a committee thereof.


(g) Documentation. The covered swap entity must adequately document all material aspects of its initial margin model, including the management and valuation of the non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps to which it applies, the control, oversight, and validation of the initial margin model, any review processes and the results of such processes.


(h) Escalation procedures. The covered swap entity must adequately document internal authorization procedures, including escalation procedures, that require review and approval of any change to the initial margin calculation under the initial margin model, demonstrable analysis that any basis for any such change is consistent with the requirements of this section, and independent review of such demonstrable analysis and approval.


§ 237.9 Cross-border application of margin requirements.

(a) Transactions to which this rule does not apply. The requirements of §§ 237.3 through 237.8 and §§ 237.10 through 237.12 shall not apply to any foreign non-cleared swap or foreign non-cleared security-based swap of a foreign covered swap entity.


(b) For purposes of this section, a foreign non-cleared swap or foreign non-cleared security-based swap is any non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap with respect to which neither the counterparty to the foreign covered swap entity nor any party that provides a guarantee of either party’s obligations under the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap is:


(1) An entity organized under the laws of the United States or any State (including a U.S. branch, agency, or subsidiary of a foreign bank) or a natural person who is a resident of the United States;


(2) A branch or office of an entity organized under the laws of the United States or any State; or


(3) A swap entity that is a subsidiary of an entity that is organized under the laws of the United States or any State.


(c) For purposes of this section, a foreign covered swap entity is any covered swap entity that is not:


(1) An entity organized under the laws of the United States or any State, including a U.S. branch, agency, or subsidiary of a foreign bank;


(2) A branch or office of an entity organized under the laws of the United States or any State; or


(3) An entity that is a subsidiary of an entity that is organized under the laws of the United States or any State.


(d) Transactions for which substituted compliance determination may apply – (1) Determinations and reliance. For non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps entered into by covered swap entities described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, a covered swap entity may satisfy the provisions of this subpart by complying with the foreign regulatory framework for non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps that the prudential regulators jointly, conditionally or unconditionally, determine by public order satisfy the corresponding requirements of §§ 237.3 through 237.8 and §§ 237.10 through 237.12.


(2) Standard. In determining whether to make a determination under paragraph (d)(1) of this section, the prudential regulators will consider whether the requirements of such foreign regulatory framework for non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps applicable to such covered swap entities are comparable to the otherwise applicable requirements of this subpart and appropriate for the safe and sound operation of the covered swap entity, taking into account the risks associated with non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps.


(3) Covered swap entities eligible for substituted compliance. A covered swap entity may rely on a determination under paragraph (d)(1) of this section only if:


(i) The covered swap entity’s obligations under the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap do not have a guarantee from:


(A) An entity organized under the laws of the United States or any State (other than a U.S. branch or agency of a foreign bank) or a natural person who is a resident of the United States; or


(B) A branch or office of an entity organized under the laws of the United States or any State; and


(ii) The covered swap entity is:


(A) A foreign covered swap entity;


(B) A U.S. branch or agency of a foreign bank; or


(C) An entity that is not organized under the laws of the United States or any State and is a subsidiary of a depository institution, Edge corporation, or agreement corporation.


(4) Compliance with foreign margin collection requirement. A covered swap entity satisfies its requirement to post initial margin under § 237.3(b) by posting to its counterparty initial margin in the form and amount, and at such times, that its counterparty is required to collect pursuant to a foreign regulatory framework, provided that the counterparty is subject to the foreign regulatory framework and the prudential regulators have made a determination under paragraph (d)(1) of this section, unless otherwise stated in that determination, and the counterparty’s obligations under the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap do not have a guarantee from:


(i) An entity organized under the laws of the United States or any State (including a U.S. branch, agency, or subsidiary of a foreign bank) or a natural person who is a resident of the United States; or


(ii) A branch or office of an entity organized under the laws of the United States or any State.


(e) Requests for determinations. (1) A covered swap entity described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section may request that the prudential regulators make a determination pursuant to this section. A request for a determination must include a description of:


(i) The scope and objectives of the foreign regulatory framework for non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps;


(ii) The specific provisions of the foreign regulatory framework for non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps that govern:


(A) The scope of transactions covered;


(B) The determination of the amount of initial margin and variation margin required and how that amount is calculated;


(C) The timing of margin requirements;


(D) Any documentation requirements;


(E) The forms of eligible collateral;


(F) Any segregation and rehypothecation requirements; and


(G) The approval process and standards for models used in calculating initial margin and variation margin;


(iii) The supervisory compliance program and enforcement authority exercised by a foreign financial regulatory authority or authorities in such system to support its oversight of the application of the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap regulatory framework and how that framework applies to the non-cleared swaps or non-cleared security-based swaps of the covered swap entity; and


(iv) Any other descriptions and documentation that the prudential regulators determine are appropriate.


(2) A covered swap entity described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section may make a request under this section only if the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap activities of the covered swap entity are directly supervised by the authorities administering the foreign regulatory framework for non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps.


(f) Segregation unavailable. Sections 237.3(b) and 237.7 do not apply to a non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap entered into by:


(1) A foreign branch of a covered swap entity that is a depository institution; or


(2) A covered swap entity that is not organized under the laws of the United States or any State and is a subsidiary of a depository institution, Edge corporation, or agreement corporation, if:


(i) Inherent limitations in the legal or operational infrastructure in the foreign jurisdiction make it impracticable for the covered swap entity and the counterparty to post any form of eligible initial margin collateral recognized pursuant to § 237.6(b) in compliance with the segregation requirements of § 237.7;


(ii) The covered swap entity is subject to foreign regulatory restrictions that require the covered swap entity to transact in the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap with the counterparty through an establishment within the foreign jurisdiction and do not accommodate the posting of collateral for the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap outside the jurisdiction;


(iii) The counterparty to the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap is not, and the counterparty’s obligations under the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap do not have a guarantee from:


(A) An entity organized under the laws of the United States or any State (including a U.S. branch, agency, or subsidiary of a foreign bank) or a natural person who is a resident of the United States; or


(B) A branch or office of an entity organized under the laws of the United States or any State;


(iv) The covered swap entity collects initial margin for the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap in accordance with § 237.3(a) in the form of cash pursuant to § 237.6(b)(1), and posts and collects variation margin in accordance with § 237.4(a) in the form of cash pursuant to § 237.6(b)(1); and


(v) The Board provides the covered swap entity with prior written approval for the covered swap entity’s reliance on this paragraph (f) for the foreign jurisdiction.


(g) Guarantee means an arrangement pursuant to which one party to a non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap has rights of recourse against a third-party guarantor, with respect to its counterparty’s obligations under the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap. For these purposes, a party to a non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap has rights of recourse against a guarantor if the party has a conditional or unconditional legally enforceable right to receive or otherwise collect, in whole or in part, payments from the guarantor with respect to its counterparty’s obligations under the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap. In addition, any arrangement pursuant to which the guarantor has a conditional or unconditional legally enforceable right to receive or otherwise collect, in whole or in part, payments from any other third party guarantor with respect to the counterparty’s obligations under the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap, such arrangement will be deemed a guarantee of the counterparty’s obligations under the non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap by the other guarantor.


(h)(1) A covered swap entity described in paragraphs (d)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section is not subject to the requirements of § 237.3(a) or § 237.11(a) for any non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap executed with an affiliate of the covered swap entity; and


(2) For purposes of paragraph (h)(1) of this section, “affiliate” has the same meaning provided in 12 CFR 237.11(d).


[80 FR 74898, 74911, Nov. 30, 2015, as amended at 85 FR 39774, July 1, 2020]


§ 237.10 Documentation of margin matters.

A covered swap entity shall execute trading documentation with each counterparty that is either a swap entity or financial end user regarding credit support arrangements that:


(a) Provides the covered swap entity and its counterparty with the contractual right to collect and post initial margin and variation margin in such amounts, in such form, and under such circumstances as are required by this subpart, and at such time as initial margin or variation margin is required to be collected or posted under § 237.3 or § 237.4, as applicable; and


(b) Specifies:


(1) The methods, procedures, rules, and inputs for determining the value of each non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap for purposes of calculating variation margin requirements; and


(2) The procedures by which any disputes concerning the valuation of non-cleared swaps or non-cleared security-based swaps, or the valuation of assets collected or posted as initial margin or variation margin, may be resolved; and


(c) Describes the methods, procedures, rules, and inputs used to calculate initial margin for non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security based swaps entered into between the covered swap entity and the counterparty.


[80 FR 74898, 74911, Nov. 30, 2015, as amended at 85 FR 39774, July 1, 2020]


§ 237.11 Special rules for affiliates.

(a)(1) A covered swap entity shall calculate on each business day an initial margin collection amount for each counterparty that is a swap entity or financial end user with a material swaps exposure and an affiliate of the covered swap entity.


(2) If the aggregate of all initial margin collection amounts calculated under paragraph (a)(1) of this section does not exceed 15 percent of the covered swap entity’s tier 1 capital, the requirements for a covered swap entity to collect initial margin under § 237.3(a) do not apply with respect to any non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap with a counterparty that is an affiliate.


(3) On each business day that the aggregate of all initial margin collection amounts calculated under paragraph (a)(1) of this section exceeds 15 percent of the covered swap entity’s tier 1 capital:


(i) The covered swap entity shall collect initial margin under § 237.3(a) for each additional non-cleared swap and non-cleared security-based swap executed that business day with a counterparty that is a swap entity or financial end user with a material swaps exposure and an affiliate of the covered swap entity, commencing on the day after execution and continuing on a daily basis as required under § 237.3(c), until the earlier of:


(A) The termination date of such non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap, or


(B) The business day on which the aggregate of all initial margin collection amounts calculated under paragraph (a)(1) of this section falls below 15 percent of the covered swap entity’s tier 1 capital;


(ii) Notwithstanding § 237.7(b), to the extent the covered swap entity collects initial margin pursuant to paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section in the form of collateral other than cash collateral, the custodian for such collateral may be the covered swap entity or an affiliate of the covered swap entity; and


(4) For purposes of this paragraph (a), “tier 1 capital” means the sum of common equity tier 1 capital as defined in 12 CFR 217.20(b) and additional tier 1 capital as defined in 12 CFR 217.20(c), as reported in the institution’s most recent Consolidated Reports of Income and Condition (Call Report).


(5) If any subsidiary of the covered swap entity (including a subsidiary described in § 237.9(h)) executes any non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap with any counterparty that is a swap entity or financial end user with a material swaps exposure and an affiliate of the covered swap entity:


(i) The covered swap entity shall treat such non-cleared swap or security-based swap as its own for purposes of this paragraph (a); and


(ii) If the subsidiary is itself a covered swap entity, the compliance by its parent affiliated covered swap entity with this paragraph (a)(5) shall be deemed to establish the subsidiary’s compliance with the requirements of this paragraph (a) and to exempt the subsidiary from the requirements for a covered swap entity to collect initial margin under § 237.3(a) from an affiliate.


(b) The requirement for a covered swap entity to post initial margin under § 237.3(b) does not apply with respect to any non-cleared swap or non-cleared security-based swap with a counterparty that is an affiliate.


(c) Section 237.3(d) shall apply to a counterparty that is an affiliate in the same manner as it applies to any counterparty that is neither a financial end user without a material swap exposure nor a swap entity.


(d) For purposes of this section,


(1) An affiliate means:


(i) An affiliate as defined in § 237.2; or


(ii) Any company that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with the covered swap entity through the direct or indirect exercise of controlling influence over the management or policies of the controlled company.


(2) A subsidiary means:


(i) A subsidiary as defined in § 237.2; or


(ii) Any company that is controlled by the covered swap entity through the direct or indirect exercise of controlling influence over the management or policies of the controlled company.


[85 FR 39774, July 1, 2020]


§ 237.12 Capital.

A covered swap entity shall comply with:


(a) In the case of a covered swap entity that is a state member bank (as defined in 12 CFR 208.2(g)), the provisions of the Board’s Regulation Q (12 CFR part 217) applicable to the state member bank;


(b) In the case of a covered swap entity that is a bank holding company (as defined in 12 U.S.C. 1842) or a savings and loan holding company (as defined in 12 U.S.C. 1467a), the provisions of the Board’s Regulation Q (12 CFR part 217) applicable to the covered swap entity;


(c) In the case of a covered swap entity that is a foreign banking organization (as defined in 12 CFR 211.21(o)), a U.S. intermediate holding company subsidiary of a foreign banking organization (as defined in 12 CFR 252.3(y)) or any state branch or state agency of a foreign bank (as defined in 12 U.S.C. 3101(b)(11) and (12)), the capital standards that are applicable to such covered swap entity under § 225.2(r)(3) of the Board’s Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.2(r)(3)) or the Board’s Regulation YY (12 CFR part 252); and


(d) In the case of a covered swap entity that is an Edge or agreement corporation (as defined in 12 CFR 211.1(c)(2) and (3)), the capital standards applicable to an Edge corporation under § 211.12(c) of the Board’s Regulation K (12 CFR 211.12(c)) and to an agreement corporation under §§ 211.5(g) and 211.12(c) of the Board’s Regulation K (12 CFR 211.5(g) and 211.12(c)).


[80 FR 74912, Nov. 30, 2015]


Appendix A to Subpart A to Part 237 – Standardized Minimum Initial Margin Requirements for Non-Cleared Swaps and Non – Cleared Security-Based Swaps

Table A – Standardized Minimum Gross Initial Margin Requirements for Non-Cleared Swaps and Non-Cleared Security-Based Swaps
1

Asset Class
Gross initial margin

(% of notional exposure)
Credit: 0-2 year duration2
Credit: 2-5 year duration5
Credit: 5+ year duration10
Commodity15
Equity15
Foreign Exchange/Currency6
Cross Currency Swaps: 0-2 year duration1
Cross-Currency Swaps: 2-5 year duration2
Cross-Currency Swaps: 5+ year duration4
Interest Rate: 0-2 year duration1
Interest Rate: 2-5 year duration2
Interest Rate: 5+ year duration4
Other15


1 The initial margin amount applicable to multiple non-cleared swaps or non-cleared security-based swaps subject to an eligible master netting agreement that is calculated according to Appendix A will be computed as follows:

Initial Margin=0.4xGross Initial Margin +0.6x NGRxGross Initial Margin

where;

Gross Initial Margin = the sum of the product of each non-cleared swap’s or non-cleared security-based swap’s effective notional amount and the gross initial margin requirement for all non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps subject to the eligible master netting agreement;

and

NGR = the net-to-gross ratio (that is, the ratio of the net current replacement cost to the gross current replacement cost). In calculating NGR, the gross current replacement cost equals the sum of the replacement cost for each non-cleared swap and non-cleared security-based swap subject to the eligible master netting agreement for which the cost is positive. The net current replacement cost equals the total replacement cost for all non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps subject to the eligible master netting agreement. In cases where the gross replacement cost is zero, the NGR should be set to 1.0.


Appendix B to Subpart A to Part 237 – Margin Values for Eligible Noncash Margin Collateral

Table B – Margin Values for Eligible Noncash Margin Collateral

Asset class
Discount (%)
Eligible government and related (e.g., central bank, multilateral development bank, GSE securities identified in § 237.6(a)(2)(iv) or (b)(5) debt: residual maturity less than one-year0.5
Eligible government and related (e.g., central bank, multilateral development bank, GSE securities identified in § 237.6(a)(2)(iv) or (b)(5) debt: residual maturity between one and five years2.0
Eligible government and related (e.g., central bank, multilateral development bank, GSE securities identified in § 237.6(a)(2)(iv) or (b)(5) debt: residual maturity greater than five years4.0
Eligible GSE debt securities not identified in § 237.6(a)(2)(iv) or (b)(5): residual maturity less than one-year1.0
Eligible GSE debt securities not identified in § 237.6(a)(2)(iv) or (b)(5): residual maturity between one and five years:4.0
Eligible GSE debt securities not identified in § 237.6(a)(2)(iv) or (b)(5): residual maturity greater than five years:8.0
Other eligible publicly traded debt: residual maturity less than one-year1.0
Other eligible publicly traded debt: residual maturity between one and five years4.0
Other eligible publicly traded debt: residual maturity greater than five years8.0
Equities included in S&P 500 or related index15.0
Equities included in S&P 1500 Composite or related index but not S&P 500 or related index25.0
Gold15.0


1 The discount to be applied to an eligible investment fund is the weighted average discount on all assets within the eligible investment fund at the end of the prior month. The weights to be applied in the weighted average should be calculated as a fraction of the fund’s total market value that is invested in each asset with a given discount amount. As an example, an eligible investment fund that is comprised solely of $100 of 91 day Treasury bills and $100 of 3 year US Treasury bonds would receive a discount of (100/200)*0.5+(100/200)*2.0=(0.5)*0.5+(0.5)*2.0=1.25 percent.


Subpart B – Prohibition Against Federal Assistance to Swaps Entities


Source:79 FR 343, Jan. 3, 2014, unless otherwise noted.

§ 237.20 Definitions.

Unless otherwise specified, for purposes of this subpart:


(a) Board means the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.


(b) Dodd-Frank Act means the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.


(c) Foreign bank has the same meaning as in § 211.21(n) of the Board’s Regulation K (12 CFR 211.21(n)).


(d) Major security-based swap participant has the same meaning as in section 3(a)(67) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(67)) and as implemented in rules and orders issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission.


(e) Major swap participant has the same meaning as in section 1a(33) of the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 1a(33)) and as implemented in rules and orders issued by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.


(f) Security-based swap has the same meaning as in section 3(a)(68) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(68)) and as implemented in rules and orders issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission.


(g) Security-based swap dealer has the same meaning as in section 3(a)(71) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(71)) and as implemented in rules and orders issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission.


(h) Swap dealer has the same meaning as in section 1a(49) of the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 1a(49)) and as implemented in rules and orders issued by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.


(i) Swaps entity means a person that is registered as a swap dealer, security-based swap dealer, major swap participant, or major security-based swap participant under the Commodity Exchange Act or Securities Exchange Act of 1934, other than an insured depository institution that is registered as a major swap participant or major security-based swap participant.


§ 237.21 Definition of insured depository institution for purposes of section 716 of the Dodd-Frank Act.

For purposes of section 716 of the Dodd-Frank Act (15 U.S.C. 8305) and this rule, the term “insured depository institution” includes any insured depository institution as defined in section 3 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813) and any uninsured U.S. branch or agency of a foreign bank. The terms branch, agency, and foreign bank are defined in section 1 of the International Banking Act of 1978 (12 U.S.C. 3101).


§ 237.22 Transition period for insured depository institutions.

(a) Approval of transition period. (1) To the extent an insured depository institution for which the Board is the appropriate Federal banking agency qualifies as a “swaps entity” and would be subject to the Federal assistance prohibition in section 716(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act (15 U.S.C. 8305(a)), the insured depository institution may request a transition period of up to 24 months from the later of July 16, 2013, or the date on which it becomes a swaps entity, during which to conform its swaps activities to the requirements of section 716 of the Dodd-Frank Act (15 U.S.C. 8305) by submitting a request in writing to the Board.


(2) Any request submitted pursuant to this paragraph (a) of this section shall, at a minimum, include the following information:


(i) The length of the transition period requested;


(ii) A description of the quantitative and qualitative impacts of divestiture or cessation of swap or security-based swaps activities on the insured depository institution, including information that addresses the factors in paragraph (c) of this section; and


(iii) A detailed explanation of the insured depository institution’s plan for conforming its activities to the requirements of section 716 of the Dodd-Frank Act (15 U.S.C. 8305) and this part.


(3) The Board may, at any time, request additional information that it believes is necessary for its decision.


(b) Transition period for insured depository institutions. Following review of a written request submitted under paragraph (a) of this section, the Board shall permit an insured depository institution for which it is the appropriate Federal banking agency up to 24 months after the later of July 16, 2013, or the date on which the insured depository institution becomes a swaps entity, to comply with the requirements of section 716 of the Dodd-Frank Act (15 U.S.C. 8305) and this subpart based on its consideration of the factors in paragraph (c).


(c) Factors governing Board determinations. In establishing an appropriate transition period pursuant to any request under this section, the Board will take into account and make written findings regarding:


(1) The potential impact of divestiture or cessation of swap or security-based swaps activities on the insured depository institution’s:


(i) Mortgage lending;


(ii) Small business lending;


(iii) Job creation; and


(iv) Capital formation versus the potential negative impact on insured depositors and the Deposit Insurance Fund of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; and


(2) Any other factor that the Board believes appropriate.


(d) Timing of Board review. The Board will seek to act on a request under paragraph (a) of this section expeditiously after the receipt of a complete request.


(e) Extension of transition period. The Board may extend a transition period provided under this section for a period of up to one additional year. To request an extension of the transition period, an insured depository institution must submit a written request containing the information set forth in paragraph (a) of this section no later than 60 days before the end of the transition period.


(f) Authority to impose restrictions during any transition period. The Board may impose such conditions on any transition period granted under this section as the Board determines are necessary or appropriate.


(g) Consultation. The Board shall consult with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission or the Securities and Exchange Commission, as appropriate, prior to the approval of a request by an insured depository institution for a transition period under this section.


PART 238 – SAVINGS AND LOAN HOLDING COMPANIES (REGULATION LL)


Authority:5 U.S.C. 552, 559; 12 U.S.C. 1462, 1462a, 1463, 1464, 1467, 1467a, 1468, 5365; 1813, 1817, 1829e, 1831i, 1972, 15 U.S.C. 78 l.



Source:Reg. LL, 76 FR 56532, Sept. 13, 2011, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A – General Provisions

§ 238.1 Authority, purpose and scope.

(a) Authority. This part is issued by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) under section 10(g) of the Home Owners’ Loan Act (HOLA); section 7(j)(13) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, as amended by the Change in Bank Control Act of 1978 (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(13)) (Bank Control Act); sections 8(b), 19 and 32 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1818(b), 1829, and 1831i); and section 914 of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (12 U.S.C. 1831i) and the Depository Institution Management Interlocks Act (12 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.).


(b) Purpose. The principal purposes of this part are to:


(1) Regulate the acquisition of control of savings associations by companies and individuals;


(2) Define and regulate the activities in which savings and loan holding companies may engage;


(3) Set forth the procedures for securing approval for these transactions and activities; and


(4) Set forth the procedures under which directors and executive officers may be appointed or employed by savings and loan holding companies in certain circumstances.


§ 238.2 Definitions.

As used in this part and in the forms under this part, the following definitions apply, unless the context otherwise requires:


(a) Affiliate means any person or company which controls, is controlled by or is under common control with a person, savings association or company.


(b) Bank means any national bank, state bank, state-chartered savings bank, cooperative bank, or industrial bank, the deposits of which are insured by the Deposit Insurance Fund.


(c) Bank holding company has the meaning found in the Board’s Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.2(c)).


(d) Company means any corporation, partnership, trust, association, joint venture, pool, syndicate, unincorporated organization, joint-stock company or similar organization, as defined in paragraph (o) of this section; but a company does not include:


(1) The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Resolution Trust Corporation, or any Federal Home Loan Bank, or


(2) Any company the majority of shares of which is owned by:


(i) The United States or any State,


(ii) An officer of the United States or any State in his or her official capacity, or


(iii) An instrumentality of the United States or any State.


(e) A person shall be deemed to have control of:


(1) A savings association if the person directly or indirectly or acting in concert with one or more other persons, or through one or more subsidiaries, owns, controls, or holds with power to vote, or holds proxies representing, more than 25 percent of the voting shares of such savings association, or controls in any manner the election of a majority of the directors of such association;


(2) Any other company if the person directly or indirectly or acting in concert with one or more other persons, or through one or more subsidiaries, owns, controls, or holds with power to vote, or holds proxies representing, more than 25 percent of the voting shares or rights of such other company, or controls in any manner the election or appointment of a majority of the directors or trustees of such other company, or is a general partner in or has contributed more than 25 percent of the capital of such other company;


(3) A trust if the person is a trustee thereof;


(4) A company if the Board determines, after reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing, that such person directly or indirectly exercises a controlling influence over the management or policies of such association or other company; or


(5) Voting securities or assets owned, controlled, or held, directly or indirectly:


(i) By the company, or by any subsidiary of the company;


(ii) That the company has power to vote or to dispose of;


(iii) In a fiduciary capacity for the benefit of the company or any of its subsidiaries;


(iv) In a fiduciary capacity (including by pension and profit-sharing trusts) for the benefit of the shareholders, members, or employees (or individuals serving in similar capacities) of the company or any of its subsidiaries; or


(v) According to the standards under § 238.9 of this part.


(f) Director means any director of a corporation or any individual who performs similar functions in respect of any company, including a trustee under a trust.


(g) Management official means any president, chief executive officer, chief operating officer, vice president, director, partner, or trustee, or any other person who performs or has a representative or nominee performing similar policymaking functions, including executive officers of principal business units or divisions or subsidiaries who perform policymaking functions, for a savings association or a company, whether or not incorporated.


(h) Multiple savings and loan holding company means any savings and loan holding company which directly or indirectly controls two or more savings associations.


(i) Officer means the chairman of the board, president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, or comptroller of any company, or any other person who participates in its major policy decisions.


(j) Person includes an individual, bank, corporation, partnership, trust, association, joint venture, pool, syndicate, sole proprietorship, unincorporated organization, or any other form of entity.


(k) Qualified thrift lender means a financial institution that meets the appropriate qualified thrift lender test set forth in 12 U.S.C. 1467a(m).


(l) Savings Association means a Federal savings and loan association or a Federal savings bank chartered under section 5 of the Home Owners’ Loan Act, a building and loan, savings and loan or homestead association or a cooperative bank (other than a cooperative bank described in 12 U.S.C. 1813(a)(2)) the deposits of which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and any corporation (other than a bank) the deposits of which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation jointly determine to be operating in substantially the same manner as a savings association, and shall include any savings bank or any cooperative bank which is deemed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to be a savings association under 12 U.S.C. 1467a(1).


(m) Savings and loan holding company means any company (including a savings association) that directly or indirectly controls a savings association, but does not include:


(1) Any company by virtue of its ownership or control of voting stock of a savings association acquired in connection with the underwriting of securities if such stock is held only for such period of time (not exceeding 120 days unless extended by the Board) as will permit the sale thereof on a reasonable basis;


(2) Any trust (other than a pension, profit-sharing, stockholders’, voting, or business trust) which controls a savings association if such trust by its terms must terminate within 25 years or not later than 21 years and 10 months after the death of individuals living on the effective date of the trust, and:


(i) Was in existence and in control of a savings association on June 26, 1967, or


(ii) Is a testamentary trust;


(3) A bank holding company that is registered under, and subject to, the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, or any company directly or indirectly controlled by such company (other than a savings association);


(4) A company that controls a savings association that functions solely in a trust or fiduciary capacity as provided in section 2(c)(2)(D) of the Bank Holding Company Act; or


(5) A company described in section 10(c)(9)(C) of HOLA solely by virtue of such company’s control of an intermediate holding company established under section 10A of the Home Owners’ Loan Act.


(n) Shareholder – (1) Controlling shareholder means a person that owns or control, directly or indirectly, more than 25 percent of any class of voting securities of a savings association or other company.


(2) Principal shareholder means a person that owns or controls, directly or indirectly, 10 percent or more of any class of voting securities of a savings association or other company, or any person that the Board determines has the power, directly or indirectly, to exercise a controlling influence over the management or policies of a savings association or other company.


(o) Stock means common or preferred stock, general or limited partnership shares or interests, or similar interests.


(p) Subsidiary means any company which is owned or controlled directly or indirectly by a person, and includes any service corporation owned in whole or in part by a savings association, or a subsidiary of such service corporation.


(q) Uninsured institution means any financial institution the deposits of which are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.


(r)(1) Voting securities means shares of common or preferred stock, general or limited partnership shares or interests, or similar interests if the shares or interest, by statute, charter, or in any manner, entitle the holder:


(i) To vote for or to select directors, trustees, or partners (or persons exercising similar functions of the issuing company); or


(ii) To vote on or to direct the conduct of the operations or other significant policies of the issuing company.


(2) Nonvoting securities. Common shares, preferred shares, limited partnership interests, limited liability company interests, or similar interests are not voting securities if:


(i) Any voting rights associated with the securities are limited solely to the type customarily provided by statute with regard to matters that would significantly and adversely affect the rights or preference of the security, such as the issuance of additional amounts or classes of senior securities, the modification of the terms of the security, the dissolution of the issuing company, or the payment of dividends by the issuing company when preferred dividends are in arrears;


(ii) The securities represent an essentially passive investment or financing device and do not otherwise provide the holder with control over the issuing company; and


(iii) The securities do not entitle the holder, by statute, charter, or in any manner, to select or to vote for the selection of directors, trustees, or partners (or persons exercising similar functions) of the issuing company; except that limited partnership interests or membership interests in limited liability companies are not voting securities due to voting rights that are limited solely to voting for the removal of a general partner or managing member (or persons exercising similar functions at the company) for cause, to replace a general partner or managing member (or persons exercising similar functions at the company) due to incapacitation or following the removal of such person, or to continue or dissolve the company after removal of the general partner or managing member (or persons exercising similar functions at the company).


(3) Class of voting shares. Shares of stock issued by a single issuer are deemed to be the same class of voting shares, regardless of differences in dividend rights or liquidation preference, if the shares are voted together as a single class on all matters for which the shares have voting rights other than matters described in paragraph (r)(2)(i) of this section that affect solely the rights or preferences of the shares.


(s) Well capitalized. (1) A savings and loan holding company is well capitalized if:


(i) Each of the savings and loan holding company’s depository institutions is well capitalized; and


(ii) The savings and loan holding company is not subject to any written agreement, order, capital directive, or prompt corrective action directive issued by the Board to meet and maintain a specific capital level for any capital measure.


(2) In the case of a savings association, “well capitalized” takes the meaning provided in § 225.2(r)(2) of this chapter.


(t) Well managed. The term “well managed” takes the meaning provided in § 225.2(s) of this chapter except that a “satisfactory rating for management” refers to a management rating, if such rating is given, or otherwise a risk-management rating, if such rating is given.


(u) Depository institution. For purposes of this part, the term “depository institution” has the same meaning as in section 3(c) of Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813(c)).


(v) Applicable accounting standards means GAAP, international financial reporting standards, or such other accounting standards that a company uses in the ordinary course of its business in preparing its consolidated financial statements.


(w) Average cross-jurisdictional activity means the average of cross-jurisdictional activity for the four most recent calendar quarters or, if the banking organization has not reported cross-jurisdictional activity for each of the four most recent calendar quarters, the cross-jurisdictional activity for the most recent calendar quarter or average of the most recent calendar quarters, as applicable.


(x) Average off-balance sheet exposure means the average of off-balance sheet exposure for the four most recent calendar quarters or, if the banking organization has not reported total exposure and total consolidated assets for each of the four most recent calendar quarters, the off-balance sheet exposure for the most recent calendar quarter or average of the most recent quarters, as applicable.


(y) Average total consolidated assets means the average of total consolidated assets for the four most recent calendar quarters or, if the banking organization has not reported total consolidated assets for each of the four most recent calendar quarters, the total consolidated assets for the most recent calendar quarter or average of the most recent calendar quarters, as applicable.


(z) Average total nonbank assets means the average of total nonbank assets for the four most recent calendar quarters or, if the banking organization has not reported total nonbank assets for each of the four most recent calendar quarters, the total nonbank assets for the most recent calendar quarter or average of the most recent calendar quarters, as applicable.


(aa) Average weighted short-term wholesale funding means the average of weighted short-term wholesale funding for each of the four most recent calendar quarters or, if the banking organization has not reported weighted short-term wholesale funding for each of the four most recent calendar quarters, the weighted short-term wholesale funding for the most recent quarter or average of the most recent calendar quarters, as applicable.


(bb) Banking organization. Banking organization means a covered savings and loan holding company that is:


(1) Incorporated in or organized under the laws of the United States or any State; and


(2) Not a consolidated subsidiary of a covered savings and loan holding company that is incorporated in or organized under the laws of the United States or any State.


(cc) Category II savings and loan holding company means a covered savings and loan holding company identified as a Category II banking organization pursuant to § 238.10.


(dd) Category III savings and loan holding company means a covered savings and loan holding company identified as a Category III banking organization pursuant to § 238.10.


(ee) Category IV savings and loan holding company means a covered savings and loan holding company identified as a Category IV banking organization pursuant to § 238.10.


(ff) Covered savings and loan holding company means a savings and loan holding company other than:


(1) A top-tier savings and loan holding company that is:


(i) A grandfathered unitary savings and loan holding company as defined in section 10(c)(9)(C) of the Home Owners’ Loan Act (12 U.S.C. 1461 et seq.); and


(ii) As of June 30 of the previous calendar year, derived 50 percent or more of its total consolidated assets or 50 percent of its total revenues on an enterprise-wide basis (as calculated under GAAP) from activities that are not financial in nature under section 4(k) of the Bank Holding Company Act (12 U.S.C. 1843(k));


(2) A top-tier depository institution holding company that is an insurance underwriting company; or


(3)(i) A top-tier depository institution holding company that, as of June 30 of the previous calendar year, held 25 percent or more of its total consolidated assets in subsidiaries that are insurance underwriting companies (other than assets associated with insurance for credit risk); and


(ii) For purposes of paragraph (ff)(3)(i) of this section, the company must calculate its total consolidated assets in accordance with GAAP, or if the company does not calculate its total consolidated assets under GAAP for any regulatory purpose (including compliance with applicable securities laws), the company may estimate its total consolidated assets, subject to review and adjustment by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.


(gg) Cross-jurisdictional activity. The cross-jurisdictional activity of a banking organization is equal to the cross-jurisdictional activity of the banking organization as reported on the FR Y-15.


(hh) Foreign banking organization has the same meaning as in § 211.21(o) of this chapter.


(ii) FR Y-9C means the Consolidated Financial Statements for Holding Companies reporting form.


(jj) FR Y-9LP means the Parent Company Only Financial Statements of Large Holding Companies.


(kk) FR Y-15 means the Systemic Risk Report.


(ll) GAAP means generally accepted accounting principles as used in the United States.


(mm) Off-balance sheet exposure. The off-balance sheet exposure of a banking organization is equal to:


(1) The total exposure of the banking organization, as reported by the banking organization on the FR Y-15; minus


(2) The total consolidated assets of the banking organization for the same calendar quarter.


(nn) State means any state, commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam, or the United States Virgin Islands.


(oo) Total consolidated assets. Total consolidated assets of a banking organization are equal to its total consolidated assets calculated based on the average of the balances as of the close of business for each day for the calendar quarter or an average of the balances as of the close of business on each Wednesday during the calendar quarter, as reported on the FR Y-9C.


(pp) Total nonbank assets. Total nonbank assets of a banking organization is equal to the total nonbank assets of such banking organization, as reported on the FR Y-9LP.


(qq) U.S. government agency means an agency or instrumentality of the United States whose obligations are fully and explicitly guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by the full faith and credit of the United States.


(rr) U.S. government-sponsored enterprise means an entity originally established or chartered by the U.S. government to serve public purposes specified by the U.S. Congress, but whose obligations are not explicitly guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the United States.


(ss) Weighted short-term wholesale funding is equal to the weighted short-term wholesale funding of a banking organization, as reported on the FR Y-15.


(tt) Voting percentage. For purposes of this part, the percentage of a class of a company’s voting securities controlled by a person is the greater of:


(1) The quotient, expressed as a percentage, of the number of shares of the class of voting securities controlled by the person, divided by the number of shares of the class of voting securities that are issued and outstanding, both as adjusted by § 238.9 of this part; and


(2) The quotient, expressed as a percentage, of the number of votes that may be cast by the person on the voting securities controlled by the person, divided by the total votes that are legally entitled to be cast by the issued and outstanding shares of the class of voting securities, both as adjusted by § 238.9 of this part.


[Reg. LL, 76 FR 56532, Sept. 13, 2011, as amended at 84 FR 59076, Nov. 1, 2019; 85 FR 12426, Mar. 2, 2020]


§ 238.3 Administration.

(a) Delegation of authority. Designated Board members and officers and the Federal Reserve Banks are authorized by the Board to exercise various functions prescribed in this regulation, in the Board’s Rules Regarding Delegation of Authority (12 CFR part 265), the Board’s Rules of Procedure (12 CFR part 262), and in Board orders.


(b) Appropriate Federal Reserve Bank. In administering this regulation, unless a different Federal Reserve Bank is designated by the Board, the appropriate Federal Reserve Bank is as follows:


(1) For a savings and loan holding company (or a company applying to become a savings and loan holding company): the Reserve Bank of the Federal Reserve district in which the company’s banking operations are principally conducted, as measured by total domestic deposits in its subsidiary savings association on the date it became (or will become) a savings and loan holding company;


(2) For an individual or company submitting a notice under subpart D of this part: The Reserve Bank of the Federal Reserve district in which the banking operations of the savings and loan holding company to be acquired are principally conducted, as measured by total domestic deposits on the date the notice is filed.


§ 238.4 Records, reports, and inspections.

(a) Records. Each savings and loan holding company shall maintain such books and records as may be prescribed by the Board. Each savings and loan holding company and its non-depository affiliates shall maintain accurate and complete records of all business transactions. Such records shall support and be readily reconcilable to any regulatory reports submitted to the Board and financial reports prepared in accordance with GAAP.


The records shall be maintained in the United States and be readily accessible for examination and other supervisory purposes within 5 business days upon request by the Board, at a location acceptable to the Board.


(b) Reports. Each savings and loan holding company and each subsidiary thereof, other than a savings association, shall file with the Board such reports as may be required by the Board. Such reports shall be made under oath or otherwise, and shall be in such form and for such periods, as the Board may prescribe. Each report shall contain information concerning the operations of such savings and loan holding company and its subsidiaries as the Board may require.


(c) Registration statement – (1) Filing of registration statement. Not later than 90 days after becoming a savings and loan holding company, each savings and loan holding company shall register with the Board by furnishing information in the manner and form prescribed by the Board.


(2) Date of registration. The date of registration of a savings and loan holding company shall be the date on which its registration statement is received by the Board.


(3) Extension of time for registration. For timely and good cause shown, the Board may extend the time within which a savings and loan holding company shall register.


(d) Release from registration. The Board may at any time, upon its own motion or upon application, release a registered savings and loan holding company from any registration theretofore made by such company, if the Board shall determine that such company no longer has control of any savings association or no longer qualifies as a savings and loan holding company.


(e) Examinations. Each savings and loan holding company and each subsidiary thereof shall be subject to such examinations as the Board may prescribe. The Board shall, to the extent deemed feasible, use for the purposes of this section reports filed with or examinations made by other Federal agencies or the appropriate State supervisory authority.


(f) Appointment of agent. The Board may require any savings and loan holding company, or persons connected therewith if it is not a corporation, to execute and file a prescribed form of irrevocable appointment of agent for service of process.


§ 238.5 Audit of savings association holding companies.

(a) General. The Board may require, at any time, an independent audit of the financial statements of, or the application of procedures agreed upon by the Board to a savings and loan holding company, or nondepository affiliate by qualified independent public accountants when needed for any safety and soundness reason identified by the Board.


(b) Audits required for safety and soundness purposes. (1) The Board requires an independent audit for safety and soundness purposes if, as of the beginning of its fiscal year, a savings and loan holding company controls savings association subsidiary(ies) with aggregate consolidated assets of $500 million or more.


(2) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, with regard to a savings and loan holding company’s fiscal year beginning in the calendar years 2020 or 2021, the applicability of the requirement in paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall be determined based on the lesser of:


(i) The aggregate consolidated assets of the savings and loan holding company as of December 31, 2019; and


(ii) The aggregate consolidated assets of the savings and loan holding company as of the end of its fiscal year ending in calendar year 2020.


(3) The relief provided under paragraph (b)(2) of this section does not apply to a savings and loan holding company if the Board determines that permitting the savings and loan holding company to determine its assets in accordance with that paragraph would not be commensurate with the risk profile of the savings and loan holding company. When making this determination, the Board will consider all relevant factors, including the extent of asset growth of the savings and loan holding company since December 31, 2019; the causes of such growth, including whether growth occurred as a result of mergers or acquisitions; whether such growth is likely to be temporary or permanent; whether the savings and loan holding company has become involved in any additional activities since December 31, 2019; the asset size of any parent companies; and the type of assets held by the savings and loan holding company. In making a determination pursuant to this paragraph (b)(3), the Board will apply notice and response procedures in the same manner and to the same extent as the notice and response procedures in 12 CFR 263.202.


(c) Procedures. (1) When the Board requires an independent audit because such an audit is needed for safety and soundness purposes, the Board shall determine whether the audit was conducted and filed in a manner satisfactory to the Board.


(2) When the Board requires the application of procedures agreed upon by the Board for safety and soundness purposes, the Board shall identify the procedures to be performed. The Board shall also determine whether the agreed upon procedures were conducted and filed in a manner satisfactory to the Board.


(d) Qualifications for independent public accountants. The audit shall be conducted by an independent public accountant who:


(1) Is registered or licensed to practice as a public accountant, and is in good standing, under the laws of the state or other political subdivision of the United States in which the savings association’s or holding company’s principal office is located;


(2) Agrees in the engagement letter to provide the Board with access to and copies of any work papers, policies, and procedures relating to the services performed;


(3)(i) Is in compliance with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA) Code of Professional Conduct; and


(ii) Meets the independence requirements and interpretations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and its staff; and


(4) Has received, or is enrolled in, a peer review program that meets guidelines acceptable to the Board.


(e) Voluntary audits. When a savings and loan holding company or nondepository affiliate obtains an independent audit voluntarily, it must be performed by an independent public accountant who satisfies the requirements of paragraphs (d)(1), (d)(2), and (d)(3)(i) of this section.


[Reg. LL, 76 FR 56532, Sept. 13, 2011, as amended at 85 FR 77362, Dec. 2, 2020]


§ 238.6 Penalties for violations.

(a) Criminal and civil penalties. (1) Section 10 of the HOLA provides criminal penalties for willful violation, and civil penalties for violation, by any company or individual, of HOLA or any regulation or order issued under it, or for making a false entry in any book, report, or statement of a savings and loan holding company.


(2) Civil money penalty assessments for violations of HOLA shall be made in accordance with subpart C of the Board’s Rules of Practice for Hearings (12 CFR part 263, subpart C). For any willful violation of the Bank Control Act or any regulation or order issued under it, the Board may assess a civil penalty as provided in 12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(15).


(b) Cease-and-desist proceedings. For any violation of HOLA, the Bank Control Act, this regulation, or any order or notice issued thereunder, the Board may institute a cease-and-desist proceeding in accordance with the Financial Institutions Supervisory Act of 1966, as amended (12 U.S.C. 1818(b) et seq.).


§ 238.7 Tying restriction exception.

(a) Safe harbor for combined-balance discounts. A savings and loan holding company or any savings association or any affiliate of either may vary the consideration for any product or package of products based on a customer’s maintaining a combined minimum balance in certain products specified by the company varying the consideration (eligible products), if:


(1) That company (if it is a savings association) or a savings association affiliate of that company (if it is not a savings association) offers deposits, and all such deposits are eligible products; and


(2) Balances in deposits count at least as much as non-deposit products toward the minimum balance.


(b) Limitations on exception. This exception shall terminate upon a finding by the Board that the arrangement is resulting in anti-competitive practices. The eligibility of a savings and loan holding company or savings association or affiliate of either to operate under this exception shall terminate upon a finding by the Board that its exercise of this authority is resulting in anti-competitive practices.


§ 238.8 Safe and sound operations, and Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement.

(a) Savings and loan holding company policy and operations. (1) A savings and loan holding company shall serve as a source of financial and managerial strength to its subsidiary savings associations and shall not conduct its operations in an unsafe or unsound manner.


(2) Whenever the Board believes an activity of a savings and loan holding company or control of a nonbank subsidiary (other than a nonbank subsidiary of a savings association) constitutes a serious risk to the financial safety, soundness, or stability of a subsidiary savings association of the savings and loan holding company and is inconsistent with sound banking principles or the purposes of HOLA or the Financial Institutions Supervisory Act of 1966, as amended (12 U.S.C. 1818(b) et seq.), the Board may require the savings and loan holding company to terminate the activity or to terminate control of the subsidiary, as provided in section 10(g)(5) of the HOLA.


(b) The Board’s Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement (12 CFR part 225, appendix C) (Policy Statement) applies to savings and loan holding companies as if they were bank holding companies. To qualify or rely on the Policy Statement, savings and loan holding companies must meet all qualifying requirements in the Policy Statement as if they were a bank holding company. For purposes of applying the Policy Statement, the term “nonbank subsidiary” as used in the Policy Statement refers to a subsidiary of a savings and loan holding company other than a savings association or a subsidiary of a savings association.


(c) The Board may exclude any savings and loan holding company, regardless of asset size, from the Policy Statement under paragraph (b) of this section if the Board determines that such action is warranted for supervisory purposes.


[Reg. LL, 76 FR 56532, Sept. 13, 2011, as amended at 85 FR 12426, Mar. 2, 2020]


§ 238.9 Control over securities.

(a) Contingent rights, convertible securities, options, and warrants. (1) A person that controls a security, option, warrant, or other financial instrument that is convertible into, exercisable for, exchangeable for, or otherwise may become a security controls each security that could be acquired as a result of such conversion, exercise, exchange, or similar occurrence.


(2) If a financial instrument of the type described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section is convertible into, exercisable for, exchangeable for, or otherwise may become a number of securities that varies according to a formula, rate, or other variable metric, the number of securities controlled under paragraph (a)(1) of this section is the maximum number of securities that the financial instrument could be converted into, be exercised for, be exchanged for, or otherwise become under the formula, rate, or other variable metric.


(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(1) of this section, a person does not control voting securities due to controlling a financial instrument if the financial instrument:


(i) By its terms is not convertible into, is not exercisable for, is not exchangeable for, and may not otherwise become voting securities in the hands of the person or an affiliate of the person; and


(ii) By its terms is only convertible into, exercisable for, exchangeable for, or may otherwise become voting securities in the hands of a transferee after a transfer:


(A) In a widespread public distribution;


(B) To the issuing company;


(C) In transfers in which no transferee (or group of associated transferees) would receive 2 percent or more of the outstanding securities of any class of voting securities of the issuing company; or


(D) To a transferee that would control more than 50 percent of every class of voting securities of the issuing company without any transfer from the person.


(4) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(1) of this section, a person that has agreed to acquire securities or other financial instruments pursuant to a securities purchase agreement does not control such securities or financial instruments until the person acquires the securities or financial instruments.


(5) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(1) of this section, a right that provides a person the ability to acquire securities in future issuances or to convert nonvoting securities into voting securities does not cause the person to control the securities that could be acquired under the right, so long as the right does not allow the person to acquire a higher percentage of the class of securities than the person controlled immediately prior to the future acquisition.


(6) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(1) of this section, a preferred security that would be a nonvoting security but for a right to vote on directors that activates only after six or more quarters of unpaid dividends is not considered to be a voting security until the security holder is entitled to exercise the voting right.


(7) For purposes of determining the percentage of a class of voting securities of a company controlled by a person that controls a financial instrument of the type described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section:


(i) The securities controlled by the person under paragraphs (a)(1) through (6) of this section are deemed to be issued and outstanding; and


(ii) Any securities controlled by anyone other than the person under paragraphs (a)(1) through (6) of this section are not deemed to be issued and outstanding, unless by the terms of the financial instruments the securities controlled by the other persons must be issued and outstanding in order for the securities of the person to be issued and outstanding.


(b) Restriction on securities. A person that enters into an agreement or understanding with a second person under which the rights of the second person are restricted in any manner with respect to securities that are controlled by the second person, controls the securities of the second person, unless the restriction is:


(1) A requirement that the second person offer the securities for sale to the first person for a reasonable period of time prior to transferring the securities to a third party;


(2) A requirement that, if the second person agrees to sell the securities, the second person provide the first person with the opportunity to participate in the sale of the securities by the second person;


(3) A requirement under which the second person agrees to sell its securities to a third party if a majority of security holders agrees to sell their securities to the third party;


(4) Incident to a bona fide loan transaction in which the securities serve as collateral;


(5) A short-term and revocable proxy;


(6) A restriction on transferability that continues only for a reasonable amount of time necessary to complete an acquisition by the first person of the securities from the second person, including the time necessary to obtain required approval from an appropriate government authority with respect to the acquisition;


(7) A requirement that the second person vote the securities in favor of a specific acquisition of control of the issuing company, or against competing transactions, if the restriction continues only for a reasonable amount of time necessary to complete the transaction, including the time necessary to obtain required approval from an appropriate government authority with respect to an acquisition or merger; or


(8) An agreement among security holders of the issuing company intended to preserve the tax status or tax benefits of the company, such as qualification of the issuing company as a Subchapter S corporation, as defined in 26 U.S.C. 1361(a)(1) or any successor statute, or prevention of events that could impair deferred tax assets, such as net operating loss carryforwards, as described in 26 U.S.C. 382 or any successor statute.


(c) Securities held by senior management officials or controlling equity holders of a company. A company that controls 5 percent or more of any class of voting securities of another company controls all securities issued by the second company that are controlled by senior management officials, directors, or controlling shareholders of the first company, or by immediate family members of such persons, unless the first company controls less than 15 percent of each class of voting securities of the second company and the senior management officials, directors, and controlling shareholders of the first company, and immediate family members of such persons, control 50 percent or more of each class of voting securities of the second company.


(d) Reservation of authority. Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section, the Board may determine that securities are or are not controlled by a company based on the facts and circumstances presented.


[85 FR 12426, Mar. 2, 2020]


§ 238.10 Categorization of banking organizations.

(a) General. A banking organization with average total consolidated assets of $100 billion or more must determine its category among the three categories described in paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section at least quarterly.


(b) Category II. (1) A banking organization is a Category II banking organization if the banking organization has:


(i) $700 billion or more in average total consolidated assets; or


(ii)(A) $75 billion or more in average cross-jurisdictional activity; and


(B) $100 billion or more in average total consolidated assets.


(2) After meeting the criteria in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, a banking organization continues to be a Category II banking organization until the banking organization has:


(i)(A) Less than $700 billion in total consolidated assets for each of the four most recent calendar quarters; and


(B) Less than $75 billion in cross-jurisdictional activity for each of the four most recent calendar quarters; or


(ii) Less than $100 billion in total consolidated assets for each of the four most recent calendar quarters.


(c) Category III. (1) A banking organization is a Category III banking organization if the banking organization:


(i) Has:


(A) $250 billion or more in average total consolidated assets; or


(B) $100 billion or more in average total consolidated assets and at least:


(1) $75 billion in average total nonbank assets;


(2) $75 billion in average weighted short-term wholesale funding; or


(3) $75 billion in average off-balance sheet exposure; and


(ii) Is not a Category II banking organization.


(2) After meeting the criteria in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, a banking organization continues to be a Category III banking organization until the banking organization:


(i) Has:


(A) Less than $250 billion in total consolidated assets for each of the four most recent calendar quarters;


(B) Less than $75 billion in total nonbank assets for each of the four most recent calendar quarters;


(C) Less than $75 billion in weighted short-term wholesale funding for each of the four most recent calendar quarters; and


(D) Less than $75 billion in off-balance sheet exposure for each of the four most recent calendar quarters; or


(ii) Has less than $100 billion in total consolidated assets for each of the four most recent calendar quarters; or


(iii) Meets the criteria in paragraph (b)(1) of this section to be a Category II banking organization.


(d) Category IV. (1) A banking organization with average total consolidated assets of $100 billion or more is a Category IV banking organization if the banking organization:


(i) Is not a Category II banking organization; and


(ii) Is not a Category III banking organization.


(2) After meeting the criteria in paragraph (d)(1) of this section, a banking organization continues to be a Category IV banking organization until the banking organization:


(i) Has less than $100 billion in total consolidated assets for each of the four most recent calendar quarters;


(ii) Meets the criteria in paragraph (b)(1) of this section to be a Category II banking organization; or


(iii) Meets the criteria in paragraph (c)(1) of this section to be a Category III banking organization.


[84 FR 59077, Nov. 1, 2019]


Subpart B – Acquisitions of Saving Association Securities or Assets

§ 238.11 Transactions requiring Board approval.

The following transactions require the Board’s prior approval under section 10 of HOLA except as exempted under § 238.12:


(a) Formation of savings and loan holding company. Any action that causes a savings association or other company to become a savings and loan holding company.


(b) Acquisition of subsidiary savings association. Any action that causes a savings association to become a subsidiary of a savings and loan holding company.


(c) Acquisition of control of savings association or savings and loan holding company securities. (1) The acquisition by a savings and loan holding company of direct or indirect ownership or control of any voting securities of a savings association or savings and loan holding company, that is not a subsidiary, if the acquisition results in the company’s control of more than 5 percent of the outstanding shares of any class of voting securities of the savings association or savings and loan holding company.


(2) An acquisition includes the purchase of additional securities through the exercise of preemptive rights, but does not include securities received in a stock dividend or stock split that does not alter the savings and loan holding company’s proportional share of any class of voting securities.


(3) In the case of a multiple savings and loan holding company, acquisition of direct or indirect ownership or control of any voting securities of a savings association or savings and loan holding company, that is not a subsidiary, if the acquisition results in the company’s control of more than 5 percent of the outstanding shares of any class of voting securities of the savings association or savings and loan holding company that is engaged in any business activity other than those specified in § 238.51 of this part.


(d) Acquisition of savings association or savings and loan holding company assets. The acquisition by a savings and loan holding company or by a subsidiary thereof (other than a savings association) of all or substantially all of the assets of a savings association, or savings and loan holding company.


(e) Merger of savings and loan holding companies. The merger or consolidation of savings and loan holding companies, and the acquisition of a savings association through a merger or consolidation.


(f) Acquisition of control by certain individuals. The acquisition, by a director or officer of a savings and loan holding company, or by any individual who owns, controls, or holds the power to vote (or holds proxies representing) more than 25 percent of the voting shares of such savings and loan holding company, of control of any savings association that is not a subsidiary of such savings and loan holding company.


§ 238.12 Transactions not requiring Board approval.

(a) The requirements of § 238.11(a), (b), (d), (e) and (f) do not apply to:


(1) Control of a savings association acquired by devise under the terms of a will creating a trust which is excluded from the definition of savings and loan holding company;


(2) Control of a savings association acquired in connection with a reorganization that involves solely the acquisition of control of that association by a newly formed company that is controlled by the same acquirors that controlled the savings association for the immediately preceding three years, and entails no other transactions, such as an assumption of the acquirors’ debt by the newly formed company: Provided, that the acquirors have filed the designated form with the appropriate Reserve Bank and have provided all additional information requested by the Board or Reserve Bank, and the Board nor the appropriate Reserve Bank object to the acquisition within 30 days of the filing date;


(3) Control of a savings association acquired by a bank holding company that is registered under and subject to, the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, or any company controlled by such bank holding company;


(4) Control of a savings association acquired solely as a result of a pledge or hypothecation of stock to secure a loan contracted for in good faith or the liquidation of a loan contracted for in good faith, in either case where such loan was made in the ordinary course of the business of the lender: Provided, further, That acquisition of control pursuant to such pledge, hypothecation or liquidation is reported to the Board within 30 days, and Provided, further, That the acquiror shall not retain such control for more than one year from the date on which such control was acquired; however, the Board may, upon application by an acquiror, extend such one-year period from year to year, for an additional period of time not exceeding three years, if the Board finds such extension is warranted and would not be detrimental to the public interest;


(5) Control of a savings association acquired through a percentage increase in stock ownership following a pro rata stock dividend or stock split, if the proportional interests of the recipients remain substantially the same;


(6) Acquisitions of up to twenty-five percent (25%) of a class of stock by a tax-qualified employee stock benefit plan; and


(7) Acquisitions of up to 15 percent of the voting stock of any savings association by a savings and loan holding company (other than a bank holding company) in connection with a qualified stock issuance if such acquisition is approved by the Board pursuant to subpart E.


(b) The requirements of § 238.11(c) do not apply to voting shares of a savings association or of a savings and loan holding company –


(1) Held as a bona fide fiduciary (whether with or without the sole discretion to vote such shares);


(2) Held temporarily pursuant to an underwriting commitment in the normal course of an underwriting business;


(3) Held in an account solely for trading purposes or over which no control is held other than control of voting rights acquired in the normal course of a proxy solicitation;


(4) Acquired in securing or collecting a debt previously contracted in good faith, for two years after the date of acquisition or for such additional time (not exceeding three years) as the Board may permit if, in the Board’s judgment, such an extension would not be detrimental to the public interest;


(5) Acquired under section 13(k)(1)(A)(i) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (or section 408(m) of the National Housing Act as in effect immediately prior to the enactment of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989);


(6) Held by any insurance companies as defined in section 2(a)(17) of the Investment Company Act of 1940: Provided, That all shares held by all insurance company affiliates of such savings association or savings and loan holding company may not, in the aggregate, exceed five percent of all outstanding shares or of the voting power of the savings association or savings and loan holding company, and such shares are not acquired or retained with a view to acquiring, exercising, or transferring control of the savings association or savings and loan holding company; and


(7) Acquired pursuant to a qualified stock issuance if such a purchase is approved pursuant to subpart E of this part.


(c) The aggregate amount of shares held under paragraph (b) of this section (other than pursuant to paragraphs (b)(1) through (4) and (b)(6)) may not exceed 15 percent of all outstanding shares or the voting power of a savings association or savings and loan holding company.


(d) Acquisitions involving savings association mergers and internal corporate reorganizations. The requirements of § 238.11 do not apply to:


(1) Certain transactions subject to the Bank Merger Act. The acquisition by a savings and loan holding company of shares of a savings association or company controlling a savings association or the merger of a company controlling a savings association with the savings and loan holding company, if the transaction is part of the merger or consolidation of the savings association with a subsidiary savings association (other than a nonoperating subsidiary savings association) of the acquiring savings and loan holding company, or is part of the purchase of substantially all of the assets of the savings association by a subsidiary savings association (other than a nonoperating subsidiary savings association) of the acquiring savings and loan holding company, and if:


(i) The savings association merger, consolidation, or asset purchase occurs simultaneously with the acquisition of the shares of the savings association or savings and loan holding company or the merger of holding companies, and the savings association is not operated by the acquiring savings and loan holding company as a separate entity other than as the survivor of the merger, consolidation, or asset purchase;


(ii) The transaction requires the prior approval of a federal supervisory agency under the Bank Merger Act (12 U.S.C. 1828(c));


(iii) The transaction does not involve the acquisition of any company that would require prior notice or approval under section 10(c) of the HOLA;


(iv) The transaction does not involve a depository institution organized in mutual form, a savings and loan holding company organized in mutual form, a subsidiary holding company of a savings and loan holding company organized in mutual form, or a bank holding company organized in mutual form;


(v) The transaction will not have a material adverse impact on the financial condition of the acquiring savings and loan holding company;


(vi) At least 10 days prior to the transaction, the acquiring savings and loan holding company has provided to the Reserve Bank written notice of the transaction that contains:


(A) A copy of the filing made to the appropriate federal banking agency under the Bank Merger Act; and


(B) A description of the holding company’s involvement in the transaction, the purchase price, and the source of funding for the purchase price; and


(vii) Prior to expiration of the period provided in paragraph (d)(1)(vi) of this section, neither the Board nor the Reserve Bank has informed the savings and loan holding company that an application under § 238.11 is required.


(2) Internal corporate reorganizations. (i) Subject to paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section, any of the following transactions performed in the United States by a savings and loan holding company:


(A) The merger of holding companies that are subsidiaries of the savings and loan holding company;


(B) The formation of a subsidiary holding company;
1




1 In the case of a transaction that results in the formation or designation of a new savings and loan holding company, the new savings and loan holding company must complete the registration requirements described in section 238.11.


(C) The transfer of control or ownership of a subsidiary savings association or a subsidiary holding company between one subsidiary holding company and another subsidiary holding company or the savings and loan holding company.


(ii) A transaction described in paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section qualifies for this exception if –


(A) The transaction represents solely a corporate reorganization involving companies and insured depository institutions that, both preceding and following the transaction, are lawfully controlled and operated by the savings and loan holding company;


(B) The transaction does not involve the acquisition of additional voting shares of an insured depository institution that, prior to the transaction, was less than majority owned by the savings and loan holding company;


(C) The transaction does not involve a savings and loan holding company organized in mutual form, a subsidiary holding company of a savings and loan holding company organized in mutual form, or a bank holding company organized in mutual form; and


(D) The transaction will not have a material adverse impact on the financial condition of the holding company.


§ 238.13 Prohibited acquisitions.

(a) No savings and loan holding company may, directly or indirectly, or through one or more subsidiaries or through one or more transactions, acquire control of an uninsured institution or retain, for more than one year after the date any savings association subsidiary becomes uninsured, control of such association.


(b) Control of mutual savings association. No savings and loan holding company or any subsidiary thereof, or any director, officer, or employee of a savings and loan holding company or subsidiary thereof, or person owning, controlling, or holding with power to vote, or holding proxies representing, more than 25 percent of the voting shares of such holding company or subsidiary, may hold, solicit, or exercise any proxies in respect of any voting rights in a mutual savings association.


§ 238.14 Procedural requirements.

(a) Filing application. An application for the Board’s prior approval under § 238.11 shall be governed by the provisions of this section and shall be filed with the appropriate Reserve Bank on the designated form.


(b) Request for confidential treatment. An applicant may request confidential treatment for portions of its application pursuant to 12 CFR 261.15.


(c) Public notice – (1) Newspaper publication – (i) Location of publication. In the case of each application, the applicant shall publish a notice in a newspaper of general circulation, in the form and at the locations specified in § 262.3 of the Rules of Procedure (12 CFR 262.3) in this chapter;


(ii) Contents of notice. A newspaper notice under this paragraph shall provide an opportunity for interested persons to comment on the proposal for a period of at least 30 calendar days;


(iii) Timing of publication. Each newspaper notice published in connection with a proposal under this paragraph shall be published no more than 15 calendar days before and no later than 7 calendar days following the date that an application is filed with the appropriate Reserve Bank.


(2) Federal Register Notice – (i) Publication by Board. Upon receipt of an application, the Board shall promptly publish notice of the proposal in the Federal Register and shall provide an opportunity for interested persons to comment on the proposal for a period of no more than 30 days;


(ii) Request for advance publication. An applicant may request that, during the 15-day period prior to filing an application, the Board publish notice of a proposal in the Federal Register. A request for advance Federal Register Notice publication shall be made in writing to the appropriate Reserve Bank and shall contain the identifying information prescribed by the Board for Federal Register Notice publication.


(3) Waiver or shortening of notice. The Board may waive or shorten the required notice periods under this section if the Board determines that an emergency exists requiring expeditious action on the proposal, or if the Board finds that immediate action is necessary to prevent the probable failure of an insured depository institution.


(d) Public comment – (1) Timely comments. Interested persons may submit information and comments regarding a proposal filed under this subpart. A comment shall be considered timely for purposes of this subpart if the comment, together with all supplemental information, is submitted in writing in accordance with the Board’s Rules of Procedure and received by the Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank prior to the expiration of the latest public comment period provided in paragraph (c) of this section.


(2) Extension of comment period – (i) In general. The Board may, in its discretion, extend the public comment period regarding any proposal submitted under this subpart.


(ii) Requests in connection with obtaining application or notice. In the event that an interested person has requested a copy of a notice or application submitted under this subpart, the Board may, in its discretion and based on the facts and circumstances, grant such person an extension of the comment period for up to 15 calendar days.


(iii) Joint requests by interested person and applicant. The Board will grant a joint request by an interested person and the applicant for an extension of the comment period for a reasonable period for a purpose related to the statutory factors the Board must consider under this subpart.


(3) Substantive comment. A comment will be considered substantive for purposes of this subpart unless it involves individual complaints, or raises frivolous, previously-considered or wholly unsubstantiated claims or irrelevant issues.


(e) Hearings. The Board may order a formal or informal hearing or other proceeding on the application, as provided in § 262.3(i)(2) of this chapter. Any request for a hearing (other than from the primary supervisor) shall comply with § 262.3(e) in this chapter.


(f) Accepting application for processing. Within 7 calendar days after the Reserve Bank receives an application under this section, the Reserve Bank shall accept it for processing as of the date the application was filed or return the application if it is substantially incomplete. Upon accepting an application, the Reserve Bank shall immediately send copies to the Board and to the primary banking supervisor of the savings association to be acquired and to the Attorney General, and shall request from the Attorney General a report on the competitive factors involved. The Reserve Bank or the Board may request additional information necessary to complete the record of an application at any time after accepting the application for processing.


(g) Action on applications – (1) Action under delegated authority. Except as provided in paragraph (g)(4) of this section, unless the Reserve Bank, upon notice to the applicant, refers the application to the Board for decision because action under delegated authority is not appropriate, the Reserve Bank shall approve an application under this section:


(i) Not earlier than the third business day following the close of the public comment period; and


(ii) Not later than the later of the fifth business day following the close of the public comment period or the 30th calendar day after the acceptance date for the application.


(2) Board action. The Board shall act on an application under this section that is referred to it for decision within 60 calendar days after the acceptance date for the application, unless the Board notifies the applicant that the 60-day period is being extended for a specified period and states the reasons for the extension. The Board may, at any time, request additional information that it believes is necessary for its decision.


(3) Approval through failure to act – (i) Ninety-one day rule. An application shall be deemed approved if the Board fails to act on the application within 91 calendar days after the date of submission to the Board of the complete record on the application. For this purpose, the Board acts when it issues an order stating that the Board has approved or denied the application or notice, reflecting the votes of the members of the Board, and indicating that a statement of the reasons for the decision will follow promptly.


(ii) Complete record. For the purpose of computing the commencement of the 91-day period, the record is complete on the latest of:


(A) The date of receipt by the Board of an application that has been accepted by the Reserve Bank;


(B) The last day provided in any notice for receipt of comments and hearing requests on the application or notice;


(C) The date of receipt by the Board of the last relevant material regarding the application that is needed for the Board’s decision, if the material is received from a source outside of the Federal Reserve System; or


(D) The date of completion of any hearing or other proceeding.


(4) Expedited reorganization – (i) In general. The Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank shall act on an application of a reorganization that meets the requirements of § 238.15(f):


(A) Not earlier than the third business day following the close of the public comment period; and


(B) Not later than the fifth business day following the close of the public comment period, except that the Board may extend the period for action under this paragraph (g)(4) for up to 5 business days.


(ii) Acceptance of notice in event expedited procedure not available. In the event that the Board or the Reserve Bank determines that an application filed pursuant to § 238.15(f) does not meet one or more of the requirements of § 238.15(f), paragraph (g)(4) of this section shall not apply and the Board or Reserve Bank will act on the application according to the other provisions of paragraph (g) of this section.


§ 238.15 Factors considered in acting on applications.

(a) Generally. The Board may not approve any application under this subpart if:


(1) The transaction would result in a monopoly or would further any combination or conspiracy to monopolize, or to attempt to monopolize, the savings and loan business in any part of the United States;


(2) The effect of the transaction may be substantially to lessen competition in any section of the country, tend to create a monopoly, or in any other manner be in restraint of trade, unless the Board finds that the transaction’s anti-competitive effects are clearly outweighed by its probable effect in meeting the convenience and needs of the community;


(3) The applicant has failed to provide the Board with adequate assurances that it will make available such information on its operations or activities, and the operations or activities of any affiliate of the applicant, that the Board deems appropriate to determine and enforce compliance with HOLA and other applicable federal banking statutes, and any regulations thereunder; or


(4) In the case of an application involving a foreign banking organization, the foreign banking organization is not subject to comprehensive supervision or regulation on a consolidated basis by the appropriate authorities in its home country, as provided in § 211.24(c)(1)(ii) of the Board’s Regulation K (12 CFR 211.24(c)(1)(ii)).


(5) In the case of an application by a savings and loan holding company to acquire an insured depository institution, section 10(e)(2)(E) of HOLA prohibits the Board from approving the transaction.


(b) Other factors. In deciding applications under this subpart, the Board also considers the following factors with respect to the acquiror, its subsidiaries, any savings associations or banks related to the acquiror through common ownership or management, and the savings association or associations to be acquired:


(1) Financial condition. Their financial condition and future prospects, including whether current and projected capital positions and levels of indebtedness conform to standards and policies established by the Board.


(2) Managerial resources. The competence, experience, and integrity of the officers, directors, and principal shareholders of the acquiror, its subsidiaries, and the savings association and savings and loan holding companies concerned; their record of compliance with laws and regulations; and the record of the applicant and its affiliates of fulfilling any commitments to, and any conditions imposed by, the Board in connection with prior applications.


(3) Convenience and needs of community. In the case of an application required under § 238.11(c), (d), or (e), (or an application by a savings and loan holding company under § 238.11(b)), the convenience and needs of the communities to be served, including the record of performance under the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (12 U.S.C. 2901 et seq.) and regulations issued thereunder, including the Board’s Regulation BB (12 CFR part 228).


(c) Presumptive disqualifiers – (1) Integrity factors. The following factors shall give rise to a rebuttable presumption that an acquiror may fail to satisfy the managerial resources and future prospects tests of paragraph (b) of this section:


(i) During the 10-year period immediately preceding filing of the application or notice, criminal, civil or administrative judgments, consents or orders, and any indictments, formal investigations, examinations, or civil or administrative proceedings (excluding routine or customary audits, inspections and investigations) that terminated in any agreements, undertakings, consents or orders, issued against, entered into by, or involving the acquiror or affiliates of the acquiror by any federal or state court, any department, agency, or commission of the U.S. Government, any state or municipality, any Federal Home Loan Bank, any self-regulatory trade or professional organization, or any foreign government or governmental entity, which involve:


(A) Fraud, moral turpitude, dishonesty, breach of trust or fiduciary duties, organized crime or racketeering;


(B) Violation of securities or commodities laws or regulations;


(C) Violation of depository institution laws or regulations;


(D) Violation of housing authority laws or regulations; or


(E) Violation of the rules, regulations, codes of conduct or ethics of a self-regulatory trade or professional organization;


(ii) Denial, or withdrawal after receipt of formal or informal notice of an intent to deny, by the acquiror or affiliates of the acquiror, of


(A) Any application relating to the organization of a financial institution,


(B) An application to acquire any financial institution or holding company thereof under HOLA or the Bank Holding Company Act or otherwise,


(C) A notice relating to a change in control of any of the foregoing under the CIC Act; or


(D) An application or notice under a state holding company or change in control statute;


(iii) The acquiror or affiliates of the acquiror were placed in receivership or conservatorship during the preceding 10 years, or any management official of the acquiror was a management official or director (other than an official or director serving at the request of the Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Resolution Trust Corporation, the former Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, or their predecessors) or principal shareholder of a company or savings association that was placed into receivership, conservatorship, or a management consignment program, or was liquidated during his or her tenure or control or within two years thereafter;


(iv) Felony conviction of the acquiror, an affiliate of the acquiror or a management official of the acquiror or an affiliate of the acquiror;


(v) Knowingly making any written or oral statement to the Board or any predecessor agency (or its delegate) in connection with an application, notice or other filing under this part that is false or misleading with respect to a material fact or omits to state a material fact with respect to information furnished or requested in connection with such an application, notice or other filing;


(vi) Acquisition and retention at the time of submission of an application or notice, of stock in the savings association by the acquiror in violation of this part or its predecessor regulations.


(2) Financial factors. The following shall give rise to a rebuttable presumption that an acquiror may fail to satisfy the financial-resources and future-prospects tests of paragraph (c) of this section:


(i) Liability for amounts of debt which, in the opinion of the Board, create excessive risks of default and pressure on the savings association to be acquired; or


(ii) Failure to furnish a business plan or furnishing a business plan projecting activities which are inconsistent with economical home financing.


(d) Competitive factor. Before approving any such acquisition, except a transaction under section 13(k) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, the Board shall consider any report rendered by the Attorney General within 30 days of such request under § 238.14(f) on the competitive factors involved.


(e) Expedited reorganizations. An application by a savings association solely for the purpose of obtaining approval for the creation of a savings and loan holding company by such savings association shall be eligible for expedited processing under § 238.14(g)(4) if it satisfies the following criteria:


(1) The holding company shall not be capitalized initially in an amount exceeding the amount the savings association is permitted to pay in dividends to its holding company as of the date of the reorganization pursuant to applicable regulations or, in the absence thereof, pursuant to the then current policy guidelines;


(2) The creation of the savings and loan holding company by the association is the sole transaction contained in the application, and there are no other transactions requiring approval incident to the creation of the holding company (other than the creation of an interim association that will disappear upon consummation of the reorganization and the merger of the savings association with such interim association to effect the reorganization), and the holding company is not also seeking any regulatory waivers, regulatory forbearances, or resolution of legal or supervisory issues;


(3) The board of directors and executive officers of the holding company are composed of persons who, at the time of acquisition, are executive officers and directors of the association;


(4) The acquisition raises no significant issues of law or policy;


(5) Prior to consummation of the reorganization transaction, the holding company shall enter into any dividend limitation, regulatory capital maintenance, or prenuptial agreement required by Board regulations, or in the absence thereof, required pursuant to policy guidelines issued by the Board; and


(f) Conditional approvals. The Board may impose conditions on any approval, including conditions to address competitive, financial, managerial, safety and soundness, convenience and needs, compliance or other concerns, to ensure that approval is consistent with the relevant statutory factors and other provisions of HOLA.


(g) No acquisition shall be approved by the Board pursuant to § 238.11 which would result in the formation by any company, through one or more subsidiaries or through one or more transactions, of a multiple savings and loan holding company controlling savings associations in more than one state where the acquisition causes a savings association to become an affiliate of another savings association with which it was not previously affiliated unless:


(1) Such company, or a savings association subsidiary of such company, is authorized to acquire control of a savings association subsidiary, or to operate a home or branch office, in the additional state or states pursuant to section 13(k) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, 12 U.S.C. 1823(k) (or section 408(m) of the National Housing Act as in effect immediately prior to enactment of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989);


(2) Such company controls a savings association subsidiary which operated a home or branch office in the additional state or states as of March 5, 1987; or


(3) The statute laws of the state in which the savings association, control of which is to be acquired, is located are such that a savings association chartered by such state could be acquired by a savings association chartered by the state where the acquiring savings association or savings and loan holding company is located (or by a holding company that controls such a state chartered savings association), and such statute laws specifically authorize such an acquisition by language to that effect and not merely by implication.


Subpart C – Control Proceedings


Source:85 FR 12427, Mar. 2, 2020, unless otherwise noted.

§ 238.21 Control proceedings.

(a) Preliminary determination of control. (1) The Board in its sole discretion may issue a preliminary determination of control under the procedures set forth in this section in any case in which the Board determines, based on consideration of the facts and circumstances presented, that a first company has the power to exercise a controlling influence over the management or policies of a second company.


(2) If the Board makes a preliminary determination of control under this section, the Board shall send notice to the first company containing a statement of the facts upon which the preliminary determination is based.


(b) Response to preliminary determination of control. (1) Within 30 calendar days after issuance by the Board of a preliminary determination of control or such longer period permitted by the Board in its discretion, the first company against whom the preliminary determination has been made shall:


(i) Consent to the preliminary determination of control and either:


(A) Submit for the Board’s approval a specific plan for the prompt termination of the control relationship; or


(B) File an application or notice under this part, as applicable; or


(ii) Contest the preliminary determination by filing a response, setting forth the facts and circumstances in support of its position that no control exists, and, if desired, requesting a hearing or other proceeding.


(2) If the first company fails to respond to the preliminary determination of control within 30 days or such longer period permitted by the Board in its discretion, the first company will be deemed to have waived its right to present additional information to the Board or to request a hearing or other proceeding regarding the preliminary determination of control.


(c) Hearing and final determination. (1) The Board shall order a hearing or other appropriate proceeding upon the petition of a first company that contests a preliminary determination of control if the Board finds that material facts are in dispute. The Board may, in its discretion, order a hearing or other appropriate proceeding without a petition for such a proceeding by the first company.


(2) At a hearing or other proceeding, any applicable presumptions established under this subpart shall be considered in accordance with the Federal Rules of Evidence and the Board’s Rules of Practice for Formal Hearings (12 CFR part 263).


(3) After considering the submissions of the first company and other evidence, including the record of any hearing or other proceeding, the Board will issue a final order determining whether the first company has the power to exercise a controlling influence over the management or policies of the second company. If a controlling influence is found, the Board may direct the first company to terminate the control relationship or to file an application or notice for the Board’s approval to retain the control relationship.


(d) Submission of evidence. (1) In connection with contesting a preliminary determination of control under paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, a first company may submit to the Board evidence or any other relevant information related to its control of a second company.


(2) Evidence or other relevant information submitted to the Board pursuant to paragraph (d)(1) of this section must be in writing and may include a description of all current and proposed relationships between the first company and the second company, including relationships of the type that are identified under any of the rebuttable presumptions in §§ 238.22 and 238.23 of this part, copies of any formal agreements related to such relationships, and a discussion regarding why the Board should not determine the first company to control the second company.


(e) Definitions. For purposes of this subpart:


(1) Board of directors means the board of directors of a company or a set of individuals exercising similar functions at a company.


(2) Director representative means any individual that represents the interests of a first company through service on the board of directors of a second company. For purposes of this paragraph (e)(2), examples of persons who are directors of a second company and generally would be considered director representatives of a first company include:


(i) A current officer, employee, or director of the first company;


(ii) An individual who was an officer, employee, or director of the first company within the prior two years; and


(iii) An individual who was nominated or proposed to be a director of the second company by the first company.


(iv) A director representative does not include a nonvoting observer.


(3) First company means the company whose potential control of a second company is the subject of determination by the Board under this subpart.


(4) Investment adviser means a company that:


(i) Is registered as an investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80b-1 et seq.);


(ii) Is registered as a commodity trading advisor with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 1 et seq.);


(iii) Is a foreign equivalent of an investment adviser or commodity trading advisor, as described in paragraph (e)(4)(i) or (ii) of this section; or


(iv) Engages in any of the activities set forth in 12 CFR 225.28(b)(6)(i) through (iv).


(5) Limiting contractual right means a contractual right of the first company that would allow the first company to restrict significantly, directly or indirectly, the discretion of the second company, including its senior management officials and directors, over operational and policy decisions of the second company.


(i) Examples of limiting contractual rights may include, but are not limited to, a right that allows the first company to restrict or to exert significant influence over decisions related to:


(A) Activities in which the second company may engage, including a prohibition on entering into new lines of business, making substantial changes to or discontinuing existing lines of business, or entering into a contractual arrangement with a third party that imposes significant financial obligations on the second company;


(B) How the second company directs the proceeds of the first company’s investment;


(C) Hiring, firing, or compensating one or more senior management officials of the second company, or modifying the second company’s policies or budget concerning the salary, compensation, employment, or benefits plan for its employees;


(D) The second company’s ability to merge or consolidate, or its ability to acquire, sell, lease, transfer, spin-off, recapitalize, liquidate, dissolve, or dispose of subsidiaries or assets;


(E) The second company’s ability to make investments or expenditures;


(F) The second company achieving or maintaining a financial target or limit, including, for example, a debt-to-equity ratio, a fixed charges ratio, a net worth requirement, a liquidity target, a working capital target, or a classified assets or nonperforming loans limit;


(G) The second company’s payment of dividends on any class of securities, redemption of senior instruments, or voluntary prepayment of indebtedness;


(H) The second company’s ability to authorize or issue additional junior equity or debt securities, or amend the terms of any equity or debt securities issued by the second company;


(I) The second company’s ability to engage in a public offering or to list or de-list securities on an exchange, other than a right that allows the securities of the first company to have the same status as other securities of the same class;


(J) The second company’s ability to amend its articles of incorporation or by-laws, other than in a way that is solely defensive for the first company;


(K) The removal or selection of any independent accountant, auditor, investment adviser, or investment banker employed by the second company; or


(L) The second company’s ability to significantly alter accounting methods and policies, or its regulatory, tax, or liability status (e.g., converting from a stock corporation to a limited liability company); and


(ii) A limiting contractual right does not include a contractual right that would not allow the first company to significantly restrict, directly or indirectly, the discretion of the second company over operational and policy decisions of the second company. Examples of contractual rights that are not limiting contractual rights may include:


(A) A right that allows the first company to restrict or to exert significant influence over decisions relating to the second company’s ability to issue securities senior to securities owned by the first company;


(B) A requirement that the first company receive financial reports or other information of the type ordinarily available to common stockholders;


(C) A requirement that the second company maintain its corporate existence;


(D) A requirement that the second company consult with the first company on a reasonable periodic basis;


(E) A requirement that the second company provide notices of the occurrence of material events affecting the second company;


(F) A requirement that the second company comply with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements;


(G) A market standard requirement that the first company receive similar contractual rights as those held by other investors in the second company;


(H) A requirement that the first company be able to purchase additional securities issued by the second company in order to maintain the first company’s percentage ownership in the second company;


(I) A requirement that the second company ensure that any security holder who intends to sell its securities of the second company provide other security holders of the second company or the second company itself the opportunity to purchase the securities before the securities can be sold to a third party; or


(J) A requirement that the second company take reasonable steps to ensure the preservation of tax status or tax benefits, such as status of the second company as a Subchapter S corporation or the protection of the value of net operating loss carry-forwards.


(6) Second company means the company whose potential control by a first company is the subject of determination by the Board under this subpart.


(7) Senior management official means any person who participates or has the authority to participate (other than in the capacity as a director) in major policymaking functions of a company.


(f) Reservation of authority. Nothing in this subpart shall limit the authority of the Board to take any supervisory or enforcement action otherwise permitted by law, including an action to address unsafe or unsound practices or conditions, or violations of law.


§ 238.22 Rebuttable presumptions of control of a company.

(a) General. (1) In any proceeding under § 238.21(b) or (c) of this part, a first company is presumed to control a second company in the situations described in paragraphs (b) through (h) of this section. The Board also may find that a first company controls a second company based on other facts and circumstances.


(2) For purposes of the presumptions in this section, any company that is a subsidiary of the first company and also a subsidiary of the second company is considered to be a subsidiary of the first company and not a subsidiary of the second company.


(b) Management contract or similar agreement. The first company enters into any agreement, understanding, or management contract (other than to serve as investment adviser) with the second company, under which the first company directs or exercises significant influence or discretion over the general management, overall operations, or core business or policy decisions of the second company. Examples of such agreements include where the first company is a managing member, trustee, or general partner of the second company, or exercises similar powers and functions.


(c) Ownership or control of 5 percent or more of voting securities. The first company controls 5 percent or more of the outstanding securities of any class of voting securities of the second company, and:


(1)(i) Director representatives of the first company or any of its subsidiaries comprise 25 percent or more of the board of directors of the second company or any of its subsidiaries; or


(ii) Director representatives of the first company or any of its subsidiaries are able to make or block the making of major operational or policy decisions of the second company or any of its subsidiaries;


(2) Two or more employees or directors of the first company or any of its subsidiaries serve as senior management officials of the second company or any of its subsidiaries;


(3) An employee or director of the first company or any of its subsidiaries serves as the chief executive officer, or serves in a similar capacity, of the second company or any of its subsidiaries;


(4) The first company or any of its subsidiaries enters into transactions or has business relationships with the second company or any of its subsidiaries that generate in the aggregate 10 percent or more of the total annual revenues or expenses of the second company, each on a consolidated basis; or


(5) The first company or any of its subsidiaries has any limiting contractual right with respect to the second company or any of its subsidiaries, unless such limiting contractual right is part of an agreement to merge with or make a controlling investment in the second company that is reasonably expected to close within one year and such limiting contractual right is designed to ensure that the second company continues to operate in the ordinary course until the merger or investment is consummated or such limiting contractual right requires the second company to take an action necessary for the merger or investment to be consummated.


(d) Ownership or control of 10 percent or more of voting securities. The first company controls 10 percent or more of the outstanding securities of any class of voting securities of the second company, and:


(1) The first company or any of its subsidiaries propose a number of director representatives to the board of directors of the second company or any of its subsidiaries in opposition to nominees proposed by the management or board of directors of the second company or any of its subsidiaries that, together with any director representatives of the first company or any of its subsidiaries on the board of directors of the second company or any of its subsidiaries, would comprise 25 percent or more of the board of directors of the second company or any of its subsidiaries;


(2) Director representatives of the first company and its subsidiaries comprise more than 25 percent of any committee of the board of directors of the second company or any of its subsidiaries that can take action that binds the second company or any of its subsidiaries; or


(3) The first company or any of its subsidiaries enters into transactions or has business relationships with the second company or any of its subsidiaries that:


(i) Are not on market terms; or


(ii) Generate in the aggregate 5 percent or more of the total annual revenues or expenses of the second company, each on a consolidated basis.


(e) Ownership or control of 15 percent or more of voting securities. The first company controls 15 percent or more of the outstanding securities of any class of voting securities of the second company, and:


(1) A director representative of the first company or of any of its subsidiaries serves as the chair of the board of directors of the second company or any of its subsidiaries;


(2) One or more employees or directors of the first company or any of its subsidiaries serves as a senior management official of the second company or any of its subsidiaries; or


(3) The first company or any of its subsidiaries enters into transactions or has business relationships with the second company or any of its subsidiaries that generate in the aggregate 2 percent or more of the total annual revenues or expenses of the second company, each on a consolidated basis.


(f) Accounting consolidation. The first company consolidates the second company on its financial statements prepared under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.


(g) Control of an investment fund. (1) The first company serves as an investment adviser to the second company, the second company is an investment fund, and the first company, directly or indirectly, or acting through one or more other persons, controls 5 percent or more of the outstanding securities of any class of voting securities of the second company.


(2) The presumption of control in paragraph (g)(1) of this section does not apply if the first company organized and sponsored the second company within the preceding 12 months.


(h) Divestiture of control. (1) The first company controlled the second company under § 238.2(e)(1) or (2) of this part at any time during the prior two years and the first company controls 15 percent or more of the outstanding securities of any class of voting securities of the second company.


(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (h)(1) of this section, a first company will not be presumed to control a second company under this paragraph if 50 percent or more of the outstanding securities of each class of voting securities of the second company is controlled by a person that is not a senior management official or director of the first company, or by a company that is not an affiliate of the first company.


(i) Securities held in a fiduciary capacity. For purposes of the presumptions of control in this section, the first company does not control securities of the second company that the first company holds in a fiduciary capacity, except that if the second company is a depository institution or a depository institution holding company, this paragraph (i) only applies to securities held in a fiduciary capacity without sole discretionary authority to exercise the voting rights of the securities.


§ 238.23 Rebuttable presumption of noncontrol of a company.

(a) In any proceeding under § 238.21(b) or (c) of this part, a first company is presumed not to control a second company if:


(1) The first company controls less than 10 percent of the outstanding securities of each class of voting securities of the second company; and


(2) The first company is not presumed to control the second company under § 238.22 of this part.


(b) In any proceeding under this subpart, or judicial proceeding under the Home Owners’ Loan Act, other than a proceeding in which the Board has made a preliminary determination that a first company has the power to exercise a controlling influence over the management or policies of a second company, a first company may not be held to have had control over a second company at any given time, unless the first company, at the time in question, controlled 5 percent or more of the outstanding securities of any class of voting securities of the second company, or had already been found to have control on the basis of the existence of a controlling influence relationship.


Subpart D – Change in Bank Control

§ 238.31 Transactions requiring prior notice.

(a) Prior notice requirement. Any person acting directly or indirectly, or through or in concert with one or more persons, shall give the Board 60 days’ written notice, as specified in § 238.33 of this subpart, before acquiring control of a savings and loan holding company, unless the acquisition is exempt under § 238.32.


(b) Definitions. For purposes of this subpart:


(1) Acquisition includes a purchase, assignment, transfer, or pledge of voting securities, or an increase in percentage ownership of a savings and loan holding company resulting from a redemption of voting securities.


(2) Acting in concert includes knowing participation in a joint activity or parallel action towards a common goal of acquiring control of a savings and loan holding company whether or not pursuant to an express agreement.


(3) Immediate family includes a person’s father, mother, stepfather, stepmother, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, grandparent, grandson, granddaughter, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, the spouse of any of the foregoing, and the person’s spouse.


(c) Acquisitions requiring prior notice – (1) Acquisition of control. The acquisition of voting securities of a savings and loan holding company constitutes the acquisition of control under the Bank Control Act, requiring prior notice to the Board, if, immediately after the transaction, the acquiring person (or persons acting in concert) will own, control, or hold with power to vote 25 percent or more of any class of voting securities of the institution.


(2) Rebuttable presumption of control. The Board presumes that an acquisition of voting securities of a savings and loan holding company constitutes the acquisition of control under the Bank Control Act, requiring prior notice to the Board, if, immediately after the transaction, the acquiring person (or persons acting in concert) will own, control, or hold with power to vote 10 percent or more of any class of voting securities of the institution, and if:


(i) The institution has registered securities under section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78l); or


(ii) No other person will own, control, or hold the power to vote a greater percentage of that class of voting securities immediately after the transaction.
2




2 If two or more persons, not acting in concert, each propose to acquire simultaneously equal percentages of 10 percent or more of a class of voting securities of the savings and loan holding company, each person must file prior notice to the Board.


(d) Rebuttable presumption of concerted action. The following persons shall be presumed to be acting in concert for purposes of this subpart:


(1) A company and any principal shareholder, partner, trustee, or management official of the company, if both the company and the person own voting securities of the savings and loan holding company;


(2) An individual and the individual’s immediate family;


(3) Companies under common control;


(4) Persons that are parties to any agreement, contract, understanding, relationship, or other arrangement, whether written or otherwise, regarding the acquisition, voting, or transfer of control of voting securities of a savings and loan holding company, other than through a revocable proxy as described in § 238.32(a)(5) of this subpart;


(5) Persons that have made, or propose to make, a joint filing under sections 13 or 14 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78m or 78n), and the rules promulgated thereunder by the Securities and Exchange Commission; and


(6) A person and any trust for which the person serves as trustee.


(e) Acquisitions of loans in default. The Board presumes an acquisition of a loan in default that is secured by voting securities of a savings and loan holding company to be an acquisition of the underlying securities for purposes of this section.


(f) Other transactions. Transactions other than those set forth in paragraph (c) of this section resulting in a person’s control of less than 25 percent of a class of voting securities of a savings and loan holding company are not deemed by the Board to constitute control for purposes of the Bank Control Act.


(g) Rebuttal of presumptions. Prior notice to the Board is not required for any acquisition of voting securities under the presumption of control set forth in this section, if the Board finds that the acquisition will not result in control. The Board shall afford any person seeking to rebut a presumption in this section an opportunity to present views in writing or, if appropriate, orally before its designated representatives at an informal conference.


§ 238.32 Transactions not requiring prior notice.

(a) Exempt transactions. The following transactions do not require notice to the Board under this subpart:


(1) Existing control relationships. The acquisition of additional voting securities of a savings and loan holding company by a person who:


(i) Continuously since March 9, 1979 (or since the institution commenced business, if later), held power to vote 25 percent or more of any class of voting securities of the institution; or


(ii) Is presumed, under § 238.31(c)(2), to have controlled the institution continuously since March 9, 1979, if the aggregate amount of voting securities held does not exceed 25 percent or more of any class of voting securities of the institution or, in other cases, where the Board determines that the person has controlled the institution continuously since March 9, 1979;


(2) Increase of previously authorized acquisitions. Unless the Board or the Reserve Bank otherwise provides in writing, the acquisition of additional shares of a class of voting securities of a savings and loan holding company by any person (or persons acting in concert) who has lawfully acquired and maintained control of the institution (for purposes of § 238.31(c)), after complying with the procedures and receiving approval to acquire voting securities of the institution under this subpart, or in connection with an application approved under section 10(e) of HOLA (12 U.S.C. 1467a(e) and § 238.11 or section 18(c) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (Bank Merger Act, 12 U.S.C. 1828(c));


(3) Acquisitions subject to approval under HOLA or Bank Merger Act. Any acquisition of voting securities subject to approval under section 10(e) of HOLA (12 U.S.C. 1467a(e) and § 238.11), or section 18(c) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (Bank Merger Act, 12 U.S.C. 1828(c));


(4) Transactions exempt under HOLA. Any transaction described in sections 10(a)(3)(A) or 10(e)(1)(B)(ii) of HOLA by a person described in those provisions;


(5) Proxy solicitation. The acquisition of the power to vote securities of a savings and loan holding company through receipt of a revocable proxy in connection with a proxy solicitation for the purposes of conducting business at a regular or special meeting of the institution, if the proxy terminates within a reasonable period after the meeting;


(6) Stock dividends. The receipt of voting securities of a savings and loan holding company through a stock dividend or stock split if the proportional interest of the recipient in the institution remains substantially the same; and


(7) Acquisition of foreign banking organization. The acquisition of voting securities of a qualifying foreign banking organization. (This exemption does not extend to the reports and information required under paragraphs 9, 10, and 12 of the Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j) (9), (10), and (12)) and § 238.34.)


(b) Prior notice exemption. (1) The following acquisitions of voting securities of a savings and loan holding company, which would otherwise require prior notice under this subpart, are not subject to the prior notice requirements if the acquiring person notifies the appropriate Reserve Bank within 90 calendar days after the acquisition and provides any relevant information requested by the Reserve Bank:


(i) Acquisition of voting securities through inheritance;


(ii) Acquisition of voting securities as a bona fide gift; and


(iii) Acquisition of voting securities in satisfaction of a debt previously contracted (DPC) in good faith.


(2) The following acquisitions of voting securities of a savings and loan holding company, which would otherwise require prior notice under this subpart, are not subject to the prior notice requirements if the acquiring person does not reasonably have advance knowledge of the transaction, and provides the written notice required under § 238.33 to the appropriate Reserve Bank within 90 calendar days after the transaction occurs:


(i) Acquisition of voting securities resulting from a redemption of voting securities by the issuing savings and loan holding company; and


(ii) Acquisition of voting securities as a result of actions (including the sale of securities) by any third party that is not within the control of the acquiror.


(3) Nothing in paragraphs (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section limits the authority of the Board to disapprove a notice pursuant to § 238.33(h).


§ 238.33 Procedures for filing, processing, publishing, and acting on notices.

(a) Filing notice. (1) A notice required under this subpart shall be filed with the appropriate Reserve Bank and shall contain all the information required by paragraph 6 of the Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(6)), or prescribed in the designated Board form.


(2) The Board may waive any of the informational requirements of the notice if the Board determines that it is in the public interest.


(3) A notificant shall notify the appropriate Reserve Bank or the Board immediately of any material changes in a notice submitted to the Reserve Bank, including changes in financial or other conditions.


(4) When the acquiring person is an individual, or group of individuals acting in concert, the requirement to provide personal financial data may be satisfied by a current statement of assets and liabilities and an income summary, as required in the designated Board form, together with a statement of any material changes since the date of the statement or summary. The Reserve Bank or the Board, nevertheless, may request additional information, if appropriate.


(b) Acceptance of notice. The 60-day notice period specified in § 238.31 of this subpart begins on the date of receipt of a complete notice. The Reserve Bank shall notify the person or persons submitting a notice under this subpart in writing of the date the notice is or was complete and thereby accepted for processing. The Reserve Bank or the Board may request additional relevant information at any time after the date of acceptance.


(c) Publication – (1) Newspaper Announcement. Any person(s) filing a notice under this subpart shall publish, in a form prescribed by the Board, an announcement soliciting public comment on the proposed acquisition. The announcement shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the community in which the head office of the savings and loan holding company is located and in the community in which the head office of each of its subsidiary savings associations is located. The announcement shall be published no earlier than 15 calendar days before the filing of the notice with the appropriate Reserve Bank and no later than 10 calendar days after the filing date; and the publisher’s affidavit of a publication shall be provided to the appropriate Reserve Bank.


(2) Contents of newspaper announcement. The newspaper announcement shall state:


(i) The name of each person identified in the notice as a proposed acquiror of the savings and loan holding company;


(ii) The name of the savings and loan holding company to be acquired, including the name of each of the savings and loan holding company’s subsidiary savings association; and


(iii) A statement that interested persons may submit comments on the notice to the Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank for a period of 20 days, or such shorter period as may be provided, pursuant to paragraph (c)(5) of this section.


(3) Federal Register Announcement. The Board shall, upon filing of a notice under this subpart, publish announcement in the Federal Register of receipt of the notice. The Federal Register announcement shall contain the information required under paragraphs (c)(2)(i) and (c)(2)(ii) of this section and a statement that interested persons may submit comments on the proposed acquisition for a period of 15 calendar days, or such shorter period as may be provided, pursuant to paragraph (c)(5) of this section. The Board may waive publication in the Federal Register if the Board determines that such action is appropriate.


(4) Delay of publication. The Board may permit delay in the publication required under paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(3) of this section if the Board determines, for good cause shown, that it is in the public interest to grant such delay. Requests for delay of publication may be submitted to the appropriate Reserve Bank.


(5) Shortening or waiving notice. The Board may shorten or waive the public comment or newspaper publication requirements of this paragraph, or act on a notice before the expiration of a public comment period, if it determines in writing that an emergency exists, or that disclosure of the notice, solicitation of public comment, or delay until expiration of the public comment period would seriously threaten the safety or soundness of the savings and loan holding company to be acquired.


(6) Consideration of public comments. In acting upon a notice filed under this subpart, the Board shall consider all public comments received in writing within the period specified in the newspaper or Federal Register announcement, whichever is later. At the Board’s option, comments received after this period may, but need not, be considered.


(7) Standing. No person (other than the acquiring person) who submits comments or information on a notice filed under this subpart shall thereby become a party to the proceeding or acquire any standing or right to participate in the Board’s consideration of the notice or to appeal or otherwise contest the notice or the Board’s action regarding the notice.


(d) Time period for Board action – (1) Consummation of acquisition – (i) The notificant(s) may consummate the proposed acquisition 60 days after submission to the Reserve Bank of a complete notice under paragraph (a) of this section, unless within that period the Board disapproves the proposed acquisition or extends the 60-day period, as provided under paragraph (d)(2) of this section.


(ii) The notificant(s) may consummate the proposed transaction before the expiration of the 60-day period if the Board notifies the notificant(s) in writing of the Board’s intention not to disapprove the acquisition.


(2) Extensions of time period. (i) The Board may extend the 60-day period in paragraph (d)(1) of this section for an additional 30 days by notifying the acquiring person(s).


(ii) The Board may further extend the period during which it may disapprove a notice for two additional periods of not more than 45 days each, if the Board determines that:


(A) Any acquiring person has not furnished all the information required under paragraph (a) of this section;


(B) Any material information submitted is substantially inaccurate;


(C) The Board is unable to complete the investigation of an acquiring person because of inadequate cooperation or delay by that person; or


(D) Additional time is needed to investigate and determine that no acquiring person has a record of failing to comply with the requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act, subchapter II of Chapter 53 of title 31, United States Code.


(iii) If the Board extends the time period under this paragraph, it shall notify the acquiring person(s) of the reasons therefor and shall include a statement of the information, if any, deemed incomplete or inaccurate.


(e) Advice to bank supervisory agencies. The Reserve Bank shall send a copy of any notice to the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.


(f) Investigation and report. (1) After receiving a notice under this subpart, the Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank shall conduct an investigation of the competence, experience, integrity, and financial ability of each person by and for whom an acquisition is to be made. The Board shall also make an independent determination of the accuracy and completeness of any information required to be contained in a notice under paragraph (a) of this section. In investigating any notice accepted under this subpart, the Board or Reserve Bank may solicit information or views from any person, including any savings and loan holding company involved in the notice, and any appropriate state, federal, or foreign governmental authority.


(2) The Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank shall prepare a written report of its investigation, which shall contain, at a minimum, a summary of the results of the investigation.


(g) Factors considered in acting on notices. In reviewing a notice filed under this subpart, the Board shall consider the information in the record, the views and recommendations of the appropriate bank supervisor, and any other relevant information obtained during any investigation of the notice.


(h) Disapproval and hearing – (1) Disapproval of notice. The Board may disapprove an acquisition if it finds adverse effects with respect to any of the factors set forth in paragraph 7 of the Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)) (i.e., competitive, financial, managerial, banking, or incompleteness of information).


(2) Disapproval notification. Within three days after its decision to issue a notice of intent to disapprove any proposed acquisition, the Board shall notify the acquiring person in writing of the reasons for the action.


(3) Hearing. Within 10 calendar days of receipt of the notice of the Board’s intent to disapprove, the acquiring person may submit a written request for a hearing. Any hearing conducted under this paragraph shall be in accordance with the Rules of Practice for Formal Hearings (12 CFR part 263). At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board shall, by order, approve or disapprove the proposed acquisition on the basis of the record of the hearing. If the acquiring person does not request a hearing, the notice of intent to disapprove becomes final and unappealable.


Subpart E – Qualified Stock Issuances

§ 238.41 Qualified stock issuances by undercapitalized savings associations or holding companies.

(a) Acquisitions by savings and loan holding companies. No savings and loan holding company shall be deemed to control a savings association solely by reason of the purchase by such savings and loan holding company of shares issued by such savings association, or issued by any savings and loan holding company (other than a bank holding company) which controls such savings association, in connection with a qualified stock issuance if prior approval of such acquisition is granted by the Board under this subpart, unless the acquiring savings and loan holding company, directly or indirectly, or acting in concert with 1 or more other persons, or through one or more subsidiaries, owns, controls, or holds with power to vote, or holds proxies representing, more than 15 percent of the voting shares of such savings association or holding company.


(b) Qualification. For purposes of this section, any issuance of shares of stock shall be treated as a qualified stock issuance if the following conditions are met:


(1) The shares of stock are issued by –


(i) An undercapitalized savings association, which for purposes of this paragraph (b)(1)(i) shall mean any savings association –


(A) The assets of which exceed the liabilities of such association; and


(B) Which does not comply with one or more of the capital standards in effect under section 5(t) of HOLA; or


(ii) A savings and loan holding company which is not a bank holding company but which controls an undercapitalized savings association if, at the time of issuance, the savings and loan holding company is legally obligated to contribute the net proceeds from the issuance of such stock to the capital of an undercapitalized savings association subsidiary of such holding company.


(2) All shares of stock issued consist of previously unissued stock or treasury shares.


(3) All shares of stock issued are purchased by a savings and loan holding company that is registered, as of the date of purchase, with the Board in accordance with the provisions of section 10(b) of the HOLA and the Board’s regulations promulgated thereunder.


(4) Subject to paragraph (c) of this section, the Board approves the purchase of the shares of stock by the acquiring savings and loan holding company.


(5) The entire consideration for the stock issued is paid in cash by the acquiring savings and loan holding company.


(6) At the time of the stock issuance, each savings association subsidiary of the acquiring savings and loan holding company (other than an association acquired in a transaction pursuant to section 13(c) or 13(k) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, or section 408(m) of the National Housing Act, as in effect immediately prior to enactment of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989) has capital (after deducting any subordinated debt, intangible assets, and deferred, unamortized gains or losses) of not less than 6
1/2 percent of the total assets of such savings association.


(7) Immediately after the stock issuance, the acquiring savings and loan holding company holds not more than 15 percent of the outstanding voting stock of the issuing undercapitalized savings association or savings and loan holding company.


(8) Not more than one of the directors of the issuing association or company is an officer, director, employee, or other representative of the acquiring company or any of its affiliates.


(9) Transactions between the savings association or savings and loan holding company that issues the shares pursuant to this section and the acquiring company and any of its affiliates shall be subject to the provisions of section 11 of HOLA and the Board’s regulations promulgated thereunder.


(c) Approval of acquisitions – (1) Criteria. The Board, in deciding whether to approve or deny an application filed on the basis that it is a qualified stock issuance, shall apply the application criteria set forth in § 238.15(a), (b), and (c).


(2) Additional capital commitments not required. The Board shall not disapprove any application for the purchase of stock in connection with a qualified stock issuance on the grounds that the acquiring savings and loan holding company has failed to undertake to make subsequent additional capital contributions to maintain the capital of the undercapitalized savings association at or above the minimum level required by the Board or any other Federal agency having jurisdiction.


(3) Other conditions. The Board shall impose such conditions on any approval of an application for the purchase of stock in connection with a qualified stock issuance as the Board determines to be appropriate, including –


(i) A requirement that any savings association subsidiary of the acquiring savings and loan holding company limit dividends paid to such holding company for such period of time as the Board may require; and


(ii) Such other conditions as the Board deems necessary or appropriate to prevent evasions of this section.


(4) Application deemed approved if not disapproved within 90 days. (i) An application for approval of a purchase of stock in connection with a qualified stock issuance shall be deemed to have been approved by the Board if such application has not been disapproved by the Board before the end of the 90-day period beginning on the date of submission to the Board of the complete record on the application as defined in § 238.14(g)(3)(ii).


(d) No limitation on class of stock issued. The shares of stock issued in connection with a qualified stock issuance may be shares of any class.


(e) Application form. A savings and loan holding company making application to acquire a qualified stock issuance pursuant to this subpart shall submit the appropriate form to the appropriate Reserve Bank.


Subpart F – Savings and Loan Holding Company Activities and Acquisitions

§ 238.51 Prohibited activities.

(a) Evasion of law or regulation. No savings and loan holding company or subsidiary thereof which is not a savings association shall, for or on behalf of a subsidiary savings association, engage in any activity or render any services for the purpose or with the effect of evading any law or regulation applicable to such savings association.


(b) Unrelated business activity. No savings and loan holding company or subsidiary thereof that is not a savings association shall commence any business activity at any time, or continue any business activity after the end of the two-year period beginning on the date on which such company received approval to become a savings and loan holding company that is subject to the limitations of this paragraph (b), except (in either case) the following:


(1) Furnishing or performing management services for a savings association subsidiary of such company;


(2) Conducting an insurance agency or an escrow business;


(3) Holding, managing, or liquidating assets owned by or acquired from a subsidiary savings association of such company;


(4) Holding or managing properties used or occupied by a subsidiary savings association of such company;


(5) Acting as trustee under deed of trust;


(6) Any other activity:


(i) That the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System has permitted for bank holding companies pursuant to regulations promulgated under section 4(c) of the Bank Holding Company Act; or


(ii) Is set forth in § 238.53, subject to the limitations therein; or


(7) (i) In the case of a savings and loan holding company, purchasing, holding, or disposing of stock acquired in connection with a qualified stock issuance if prior approval for the acquisition of such stock by such savings and loan holding company is granted by the Board pursuant to § 238.41.


(ii) Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph (b), any savings and loan holding company that, between March 5, 1987 and August 10, 1987, received approval pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1730a(e), as then in effect, to acquire control of a savings association shall not continue any business activity other than those activities set forth in this paragraph (b) after August 10, 1987.


(c) Treatment of certain holding companies. If a director or officer of a savings and loan holding company, or an individual who owns, controls, or holds with the power to vote (or proxies representing) more than 25 percent of the voting shares of a savings and loan holding company, directly or indirectly controls more than one savings association, any savings and loan holding company controlled by such individual shall be subject to the activities limitations contained in paragraph (b) of this section, to the same extent such limitations apply to multiple savings and loan holding companies pursuant to §§ 238.51, 238.52, 238.53, and 238.54.


§ 238.52 Exempt savings and loan holding companies and grandfathered activities.

(a) Exempt savings and loan holding companies. (1) The following savings and loan holding companies are exempt from the limitations of § 238.51(b):


(i) Any savings and loan holding company (or subsidiary of such company) that controls only one savings association, if the savings association subsidiary of such company is a qualified thrift lender as defined in § 238.2(k).


(ii) Any savings and loan holding company (or subsidiary thereof) that controls more than one savings association if all, or all but one of the savings association subsidiaries of such company were acquired pursuant to an acquisition under section 13(c) or 13(k) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, or section 408(m) of the National Housing Act, as in effect immediately prior to the date of enactment of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989, and all of the savings association subsidiaries of such company are qualified thrift lenders as defined in § 238.2(k).


(2) Any savings and loan holding company whose subsidiary savings association(s) fails to qualify as a qualified thrift lender pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1467a(m) may not commence, or continue, any service or activity other than those permitted under § 238.51(b) of this part, except that, the Board may allow, for good cause shown, such company (or subsidiary of such company which is not a savings association) up to 3 years to comply with the limitations set forth in § 238.51(b) of this part: Provided, That effective August 9, 1990, any company that controls a savings association that should have become or ceases to be a qualified thrift lender, except a savings association that requalified as a qualified thrift lender pursuant to section 10(m)(3)(D) of the Home Owners’ Loan Act, shall within one year after the date on which the savings association fails to qualify as a qualified thrift lender, register as and be deemed to be a bank holding company, subject to all of the provisions of the Bank Holding Company Act, section 8 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, and other statutes applicable to bank holding companies in the same manner and to the same extent as if the company were a bank holding company and the savings association were a bank, as those terms are defined in the Bank Holding Company Act.


(b) Grandfathered activities for certain savings and loan holding companies. Notwithstanding § 238.51(b) and subject to paragraph (c) of this section, any savings and loan holding company that received approval prior to March 5, 1987 to acquire control of a savings association may engage, directly or indirectly or through any subsidiary (other than a subsidiary savings association of such company) in any activity in which it was lawfully engaged on March 5, 1987, provided, that:


(1) The holding company does not, after August 10, 1987, acquire control of a bank or an additional savings association, other than a savings association acquired pursuant to section 13(c) or 13(k) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, or section 406(f) or 408(m) of the National Housing Act, as in effect immediately prior to the date of enactment of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989;


(2) Any savings association subsidiary of the holding company continues to qualify as a domestic building and loan association under section 7701(a)(19) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 after August 10, 1987;


(3) The holding company does not engage in any business activity other than those permitted under § 238.51(b) or in which it was engaged on March 5, 1987;


(4) Any savings association subsidiary of the holding company does not increase the number of locations from which such savings association conducts business after March 5, 1987, other than an increase due to a transaction under section 13(c) or 13(k) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, or under section 408(m) of the National Housing Act, as in effect immediately prior to the date of enactment of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989; and


(5) Any savings association subsidiary of the holding company does not permit any overdraft (including an intra-day overdraft) or incur any such overdraft in its account at a Federal Reserve bank, on behalf of an affiliate, unless such overdraft results from an inadvertent computer or accounting error that is beyond the control of both the savings association subsidiary and the affiliate.


(c) Termination by the Board of grandfathered activities. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section, the Board may, after opportunity for hearing, terminate any activity engaged in under paragraph (b) of this section upon determination that such action is necessary:


(1) To prevent conflicts of interest;


(2) To prevent unsafe or unsound practices; or


(3) To protect the public interest.


(d) Foreign holding company. Any savings and loan holding company organized under the laws of a foreign country as of June 1, 1984 (including any subsidiary thereof that is not a savings association) that controlled a single savings association on August 10, 1987, shall not be subject to the restrictions set forth in § 238.51(b) with respect to any activities of such holding company that are conducted exclusively in a foreign country.


§ 238.53 Prescribed services and activities of savings and loan holding companies.

(a) General. For the purpose of § 238.51(b)(6)(ii), the activities set forth in paragraph (b) of this section are, and were as of March 5, 1987, permissible services and activities for savings and loan holding companies or subsidiaries thereof that are neither savings associations nor service corporation subsidiaries of subsidiary savings associations. Services and activities of service corporation subsidiaries of savings and loan holding company subsidiary savings associations are prescribed by paragraph (d) of this section.


(b) Prescribed services and activities. Subject to the provisions of paragraph (c) of this section, a savings and loan holding company subject to restrictions on its activities pursuant to § 238.51(b), or a subsidiary thereof which is neither a savings association nor a service corporation of a subsidiary savings association, may furnish or perform the following services and engage in the following activities to the extent that it has legal power to do so:


(1) Originating, purchasing, selling and servicing any of the following:


(i) Loans, and participation interests in loans, on a prudent basis and secured by real estate, including brokerage and warehousing of such real estate loans, except that such a company or subsidiary shall not invest in a loan secured by real estate as to which a subsidiary savings association of such company has a security interest;


(ii) Manufactured home chattel paper (written evidence of both a monetary obligation and a security interest of first priority in one or more manufactured homes, and any equipment installed or to be installed therein), including brokerage and warehousing of such chattel paper;


(iii) Loans, with or without security, for the altering, repairing, improving, equipping or furnishing of any residential real estate;


(iv) Educational loans; and


(v) Consumer loans, as defined in § 160.3 of this title, Provided, That, no subsidiary savings association of such holding company or service corporation of such savings association shall engage directly or indirectly, in any transaction with any affiliate involving the purchase or sale, in whole or in part, of any consumer loan.


(2) Subject to the provisions of 12 U.S.C. 1468, furnishing or performing clerical accounting and internal audit services primarily for its affiliates;


(3) Subject to the provisions of 12 U.S.C. 1468, furnishing or performing the following services primarily for its affiliates, and for any savings association and service corporation subsidiary thereof, and for other multiple holding companies and affiliates thereof:


(i) Data processing;


(ii) Credit information, appraisals, construction loan inspections, and abstracting;


(iii) Development and administration of personnel benefit programs, including life insurance, health insurance, and pension or retirement plans;


(iv) Research, studies, and surveys;


(v) Purchase of office supplies, furniture and equipment;


(vi) Development and operation of storage facilities for microfilm or other duplicate records; and


(vii) Advertising and other services to procure and retain both savings accounts and loans;


(4) Acquisition of unimproved real estate lots, and acquisition of other unimproved real estate for the purpose of prompt development and subdivision, for:


(i) Construction of improvements,


(ii) Resale to others for such construction, or


(iii) Use as mobile home sites;


(5) Development, subdivision and construction of improvements on real estate acquired pursuant to paragraph (b)(4) of this section, for sale or rental;


(6) Acquisition of improved real estate and mobile homes to be held for rental;


(7) Acquisition of improved real estate for remodeling, rehabilitation, modernization, renovation, or demolition and rebuilding for sale or for rental;


(8) Maintenance and management of improved real estate;


(9) Underwriting or reinsuring contract of credit life or credit health and accident insurance in connection with extensions of credit by the savings and loan holding company or any of its subsidiaries, or extensions of credit by any savings association or service corporation subsidiary thereof, or any other savings and loan holding company or subsidiary thereof;


(10) Preparation of State and Federal tax returns for accountholders of or borrowers from (including immediate family members of such accountholders or borrowers but not including an accountholder or borrower which is a corporation operated for profit) an affiliated savings association;


(11) Purchase and sale of gold coins minted and issued by the United States Treasury pursuant to Public Law 99-185, 99 Stat. 1177 (1985), and activities reasonably incident thereto; and


(12) Any services or activities approved by order of the former Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation prior to March 5, 1987, pursuant to its authority under section 408(c)(2)(F) of the National Housing Act, as in effect at the time.


(c) Procedures for commencing services or activities. A notice to engage in or acquire a company engaged in a service or activity prescribed by paragraph (b) of this section (other than purchase or sale of a government debt security) shall be filed by a savings and loan holding company (including a company seeking to become a savings and loan holding company) with the appropriate Reserve Bank in accordance with this paragraph and the Board’s Rules of Procedure (12 CFR 262.3).


(1) Engaging de novo in services or activities. A savings and loan holding company seeking to commence or to engage de novo in a service or activity pursuant to this section, either directly or through a subsidiary, shall file a notice containing a description of the activities to be conducted and the identity of the company that will conduct the activity.


(2) Acquiring company engaged in services or activities. A savings and loan holding company seeking to acquire or control voting securities or assets of a company engaged in a service or activity pursuant to this section, shall file a notice containing the following:


(i) A description of the proposal, including a description of each proposed service or activity;


(ii) The identity of any entity involved in the proposal, and, if the notificant proposes to conduct the service or activity through an existing subsidiary, a description of the existing activities of the subsidiary;


(iii) If the savings and loan holding company has consolidated assets of $150 million or more:


(A) Parent company and consolidated pro forma balance sheets for the acquiring savings and loan holding company as of the most recent quarter showing credit and debit adjustments that reflect the proposed transaction;


(B) Consolidated pro forma risk-based capital and leverage ratio calculations for the acquiring savings and loan holding company as of the most recent quarter (or, in the case of a qualifying community banking organization (as defined in § 217.12 of this chapter) that is subject to the community bank leverage ratio framework (as defined in § 217.12 of this chapter), consolidated pro forma leverage ratio calculations for the acquiring savings and loan holding company as of the most recent quarter); and


(C) A description of the purchase price and the terms and sources of funding for the transaction;


(iv) If the savings and loan holding company has consolidated assets of less than $150 million:


(A) A pro forma parent-only balance sheet as of the most recent quarter showing credit and debit adjustments that reflect the proposed transaction; and


(B) A description of the purchase price and the terms and sources of funding for the transaction and, if the transaction is debt funded, one-year income statement and cash flow projections for the parent company, and the sources and schedule for retiring any debt incurred in the transaction;


(v)(A) For each insured depository institution (that is not a qualifying community banking organization (as defined in § 217.12 of this chapter) that is subject to the community bank leverage ratio framework (as defined in § 217.12 of this chapter)) whose Tier 1 capital, total capital, total assets or risk-weighted assets change as a result of the transaction, the total risk-weighted assets, total assets, Tier 1 capital, and total capital of the institution on a pro forma basis; and


(B) For each insured depository institution that is a qualifying community banking organization (as defined in § 217.12 of this chapter) that is subject to the community bank leverage ratio framework (as defined in § 217.12 of this chapter), whose Tier 1 capital (as defined in § 217.2 of this chapter and calculated in accordance with § 217.12(b) of this chapter) or total assets change as a result of the transaction, the total assets and Tier 1 capital of the institution on a pro forma basis;


(vi) A description of the management expertise, internal controls and risk management systems that will be utilized in the conduct of the proposed service or activity; and


(vii) A copy of the purchase agreements, and balance sheet and income statements for the most recent quarter and year-end for any company to be acquired.


(3)(i) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(3)(ii) of this section, from December 2, 2020, until December 31, 2021, the determination of whether a savings and loan holding company must comply with the filing requirements in paragraph (c)(2)(iii) or (iv) of this section shall be made based on the lesser of:


(A) The consolidated assets of the savings and loan holding company as of December 31, 2019; and


(B) The consolidated assets of the savings and loan holding company as of the end of the most recent calendar quarter.


(ii) The relief provided under paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section does not apply to a savings and loan holding company if the Board determines that permitting the savings and loan holding company to determine its assets in accordance with that paragraph would not be commensurate with the risk profile of the savings and loan holding company. When making this determination, the Board will consider all relevant factors, including the extent of asset growth of the savings and loan holding company since December 31, 2019; the causes of such growth, including whether growth occurred as a result of mergers or acquisitions; whether such growth is likely to be temporary or permanent; whether the savings and loan holding company has become involved in any additional activities since December 31, 2019; the asset size of any parent companies; and the type of assets held by the savings and loan holding company. In making a determination pursuant to this paragraph (c)(3)(ii), the Board will apply notice and response procedures in the same manner and to the same extent as the notice and response procedures in 12 CFR 263.202.


(d) Notice provided to Board. The Reserve Bank shall immediately send to the Board a copy of any notice received under paragraphs (c)(1) or (c)(2) of this section.


(e) Notice to public. (1) The Reserve Bank shall notify the Board for publication in the Federal Register immediately upon receipt by the Reserve Bank of:


(i) A notice under paragraph (c) of this section or


(ii) A written request that notice of a proposal under paragraph (c) of this section be published in the Federal Register. Such a request may request that Federal Register publication occur up to 15 calendar days prior to submission of a notice under this subpart.


(2) The Federal Register notice published under this paragraph (e) shall invite public comment on the proposal, generally for a period of 15 days.


(f) Action on notices – (1) Reserve Bank action – (i) In general. Within 30 calendar days after receipt by the Reserve Bank of a notice filed pursuant to paragraphs (c)(1) or (c)(2) of this section, the Reserve Banks shall:


(A) Approve the notice; or


(B) Refer the notice to the Board for decision because action under delegated authority is not appropriate.


(ii) Return of incomplete notice. Within 7 calendar days of receipt, the Reserve Bank may return any notice as informationally incomplete that does not contain all of the information required by this section. The return of such a notice shall be deemed action on the notice.


(iii) Notice of action. The Reserve Bank shall promptly notify the savings and loan holding company of any action or referral under this paragraph.


(iv) Close of public comment period. The Reserve Bank shall not approve any notice under this paragraph (e)(1) of this section prior to the third business day after the close of the public comment period, unless an emergency exists that requires expedited or immediate action.


(2) Board action; internal schedule. The Board seeks to act on every notice referred to it for decision within 60 days of the date that the notice is filed with the Reserve Bank. If the Board is unable to act within this period, the Board shall notify the notificant and explain the reasons and the date by which the Board expects to act.


(3)(i) Required time limit for System action. The Board or the Reserve Bank shall act on any notice under this section within 60 days after the submission of a complete notice.


(ii) Extension of required period for action. The Board may extend the 60-day period required for Board action under paragraph (e)(3)(i) of this section for an additional 30 days upon notice to the notificant.


(4) Requests for additional information. The Board or the Reserve Bank may modify the information requirements under this section or at any time request any additional information that either believes is needed for a decision on any notice under this section.


(5) Tolling of period. The Board or the Reserve Bank may at any time extend or toll the time period for action on a notice for any period with the consent of the notificant.


(g) Modification or termination of service or activity. The Board may require a savings and loan holding company or subsidiary thereof which has commenced a service or activity pursuant to this section to modify or terminate, in whole or in part, such service or activity as the Board finds necessary in order to ensure compliance with the provisions and purposes of this part and of section 10 of the Home Owners’ Loan Act, as amended, or to prevent evasions thereof.


(h) Alterations. Except as may be otherwise provided in a resolution by or on behalf of the Board in a particular case, a service or activity commenced pursuant to this section shall not be altered in any material respect from that described in the notice filed under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, unless before making such alteration notice of intent to do so is filed in compliance with the appropriate procedures of said paragraph (c)(1) of this section.


(i) Service corporation subsidiaries of savings associations. The Board hereby approves without application the furnishing or performing of such services or engaging in such activities as permitted by the OTS pursuant to § 545.74 of this title, as in effect on March 5, 1987, if such service or activity is conducted by a service corporation subsidiary of a subsidiary savings association of a savings and loan holding company and if such service corporation has legal power to do so.


[Reg. LL, 76 FR 56532, Sept. 13, 2011, as amended at 84 FR 61801, Nov. 13, 2019; 85 FR 77363, Dec. 2, 2020]


§ 238.54 Permissible bank holding company activities of savings and loan holding companies.

(a) General. For purposes of § 238.51(b)(6)(i), the services and activities permissible for bank holding companies pursuant to regulations that the Board has promulgated pursuant to section 4(c) of the Bank Holding Company Act are permissible for savings and loan holding companies, or subsidiaries thereof that are neither savings associations nor service corporation subsidiaries of subsidiary savings associations: Provided, That no savings and loan holding company shall commence any activity described in this paragraph (a) without the prior approval of this Board pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, unless –


(1) The holding company received a rating of satisfactory or above prior to January 1, 2008, or thereafter, either received a composite rating of “1” or “2” or be considered satisfactory under the applicable rating system in its most recent examination, and is not in a troubled condition as defined in § 238.72, and the holding company does not propose to commence the activity by an acquisition (in whole or in part) of a going concern; or


(2) The activity is permissible under authority other than section 10(c)(2)(F)(i) of the HOLA without prior notice or approval. Where an activity is within the scope of both § 238.53 and this section, the procedures of § 238.53 shall govern.


(b) Procedures for applications. Applications to commence any activity prescribed under paragraph (a) of this section shall be filed with the appropriate Reserve Bank on the designated form. The Board must act upon such application according to the procedures of § 238.53(d), (e), and (f).


(c) Factors considered in acting on applications. In evaluating an application filed under paragraph (b) of this section, the Board shall consider whether the performance by the applicant of the activity can reasonably be expected to produce benefits to the public (such as greater convenience, increased competition, or gains in efficiency) that outweigh possible adverse effects (such as undue concentration of resources, decreased or unfair competition, conflicts of interest, or unsound financial practices). This consideration includes an evaluation of the financial and managerial resources of the applicant, including its subsidiaries, and of any company to be acquired, and the effect of the proposed transaction on those resources.


[Reg. LL, 76 FR 56532, Sept. 13, 2011, as amended at 83 FR 58734, Nov. 21, 2018]


Subpart G – Financial Holding Company Activities

§ 238.61 Scope.

Section 10(c)(2)(H) of the HOLA (12 U.S.C. 1467a(c)(2)(H)) permits a savings and loan holding company to engage in activities that are permissible for a financial holding company if the savings and holding company meets the criteria to qualify as a financial holding company and complies with all of the requirements applicable to a financial holding company under sections 4(l) and 4(m) of the BHC Act as if the savings and loan holding company was a bank holding company. This subpart provides the requirements and restrictions for a savings and holding company to be treated as a financial holding company for the purpose of engaging in financial holding company activities. This subpart does not apply to savings and loan holding companies described in section 10(c)(9)(C) of the HOLA (12 U.S.C. 1467a(c)(9)(C)).


§ 238.62 Definitions.

For the purposes of this subpart:


(a) Financial holding company activities refers to activities permissible under section 4(k) of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1843(k)) and § 225.86 of this chapter.


(b) [Reserved]


§ 238.63 Requirements to engage in financial holding company activities.

(a) In general. In order for a savings and loan holding company to engage in financial holding company activities:


(1) The savings and loan holding company and all depository institutions controlled by the savings and loan holding company must be and remain well capitalized;


(2) The savings and loan holding company and all depository institutions controlled by the savings and loan company must be and remain well managed; and


(3) The savings and loan holding company must have made an effective election to be treated as a financial holding company.


§ 238.64 Election required.

(a) In general. Except as provided below, a savings and loan holding company that wishes to engage in financial holding company activities must have an effective election to be treated as a financial holding company.


(b) Activities performed under separate HOLA authority. A savings and loan holding company that conducts only the following activities is not required to elect to be treated as a financial holding company:


(1) BHC Act section 4(c)(8) activities. Activities permissible under section 10(c)(2)(F)(i) of the HOLA (12 U.S.C. 1467a(c)(2)(F)(i)).


(2) Insurance agency or escrow business activities. Activities permissible under section 10(c)(2)(B) of the HOLA (12 U.S.C. 1467a(c)(2)(B)).


(3) “1987 List” activities. Activities permissible under section 10(c)(2)(F)(ii) of the HOLA (12 U.S.C. 1467a(c)(2)(F)(ii)).


(c) Existing requirements apply. A savings and loan holding company that has not made an effective election to be treated as a financial holding company and that conducts the activities described in paragraphs (b)(1) through (3) of this section remains subject to any rules and requirements applicable to the conduct of such activities.


§ 238.65 Election procedures.

(a) Filing requirement. A savings and loan holding company may elect to be treated as a financial holding company by filing a written declaration with the appropriate Reserve Bank. A declaration by a savings and loan holding company is considered to be filed on the date that all information required by paragraph (b) of this section is received by the appropriate Reserve Bank.


(b) Contents of declaration. To be deemed complete, a declaration must:


(1) State that the savings and loan holding company elects to be treated as a financial holding company in order to engage in financial holding company activities;


(2) Provide the name and head office address of the savings and loan holding company and of each depository institution controlled by the savings and loan holding company;


(3) Certify that the savings and loan holding company and each depository institution controlled by the savings and loan holding company is well capitalized as of the date the savings and loan holding company submits its declaration;


(4) Certify that the savings and loan holding company and each savings association controlled by the savings and loan holding company is well managed as of the date the savings and loan holding company submits its declaration;


(c) Effectiveness of election. An election by a savings and loan holding company to be treated as a financial holding company shall not be effective if, during the period provided in paragraph (d) of this section, the Board finds that, as of the date the declaration was filed with the appropriate Reserve Bank:


(1) Any insured depository institution controlled by the savings and loan holding company (except an institution excluded under paragraph (d) of this section) has not achieved at least a rating of “satisfactory record of meeting community credit needs” under the Community Reinvestment Act at the savings association’s most recent examination; or


(2) Any depository institution controlled by the bank holding company is not both well capitalized and well managed.


(d) Consideration of the CRA performance of a recently acquired savings association. Except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section, a savings association will be excluded for purposes of the review of the Community Reinvestment Act rating provisions of paragraph (c)(1) of this section if:


(1) The savings and loan holding company acquired the savings association during the 12-month period preceding the filing of an election under paragraph (a) of this section;


(2) The savings and loan holding company has submitted an affirmative plan to the appropriate Federal banking agency for the savings association to take actions necessary for the institution to achieve at least a rating of “satisfactory record of meeting community credit needs” under the Community Reinvestment Act at the next examination of the savings association; and


(3) The appropriate Federal banking agency for the savings association has accepted the plan described in paragraph (d)(2) of this section.


(e) Effective date of election – (1) In general. An election filed by a savings and loan holding company under paragraph (a) of this section is effective on the 31st calendar day after the date that a complete declaration was filed with the appropriate Reserve Bank, unless the Board notifies the savings and loan holding company prior to that time that the election is ineffective.


(2) Earlier notification that an election is effective. The Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank may notify a savings and loan holding company that its election to be treated as a financial holding company is effective prior to the 31st day after the date that a complete declaration was filed with the appropriate Reserve Bank. Such a notification must be in writing.


(3) Special effective date rules for the OTS transfer date – (i) Deadline for filing declaration. For savings and loan holding companies that meet the requirements of § 238.63 and that are engaged in financial holding company activities pursuant to existing authority as of July 21, 2011, an election under paragraph (a) must be filed with the appropriate Reserve Bank by December 31, 2011. The election must be accompanied by a description of the financial holding company activities conducted by the savings and loan holding company.


(ii) Effective date of election. An election filed under paragraph (e)(3)(i) of this section is effective on the 61st calendar day after the date that a complete declaration was filed with the appropriate Reserve Bank, unless the Board notifies the savings and loan holding company prior to that time that the election is ineffective.


(iii) Earlier notification that an election is effective. The Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank may notify a savings and loan holding company that its election under paragraph (e)(3)(i) of this section to be treated as a financial holding company is effective prior to the 61st day after the date that a complete declaration was filed with the appropriate Reserve Bank. Such notification must be in writing.


(iv) Filings by savings and loan holding companies that do not meet requirements. (A) For savings and loan holding companies that are engaged in financial holding company activities as of July 21, 2011 but do not meet the requirements of § 238.63, a declaration must be filed with the appropriate Reserve Bank by December 31, 2011, specifying:


(1) The name and head office address of the savings and loan holding company and of each despoitory institution controlled by the savings and loan holding company;


(2) The financial holding company activities that the savings and loan holding company is engaged in;


(3) The requirements of § 238.63 that the savings and loan holding company does not meet; and


(4) A description of how the savings and loan holding company will achieve compliance with § 238.63 prior to June 30, 2012.


(B) A savings and loan holding company covered by this subparagraph will be subject to:


(1) The notice, remediation agreement, divestiture, and any other requirements described in § 225.83 of this chapter; or


(2) The activities limitations and any other requirements described in § 225.84 of this chapter, depending on which requirements of § 238.63 the savings and loan holding company does not meet.


(f) Requests to be treated as a financial holding company submitted as part of an application to become a savings and loan holding company. A company that is not a savings and loan holding company and has applied for the Board’s approval to become a savings and loan holding company under section 10(e) of the HOLA (12 U.S.C. 1467a(e)) may as part of that application submit a request to be treated as a financial holding company. Such requests shall be made and reviewed by the Board as described in § 225.82(f) of this chapter.


(g) Board’s authority to exercise supervisory authority over a savings and loan holding company treated as a financial holding company. An effective election to be treated as a financial holding company does not in any way limit the Board’s statutory authority under the HOLA, the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, or any other relevant Federal statute to take appropriate action, including imposing supervisory limitations, restrictions, or prohibitions on the activities and acquisitions of a savings and loan holding company that has elected to be treated as a financial holding company, or enforcing compliance with applicable law.


§ 238.66 Ongoing requirements.

(a) In general. A savings and loan holding company with an effective election to be treated as a financial holding company is subject to the same requirements applicable to a financial holding company, under sections 4(l) and 4(m) of the Bank Holding Company Act and section 804(c) of the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (12 U.S.C. 2903(c)) as if the savings and loan holding company was a bank holding company.


(b) Consequences of failing to continue to meet applicable capital and management requirements. A savings and loan holding company with an effective election to be treated as a financial holding company that fails to meet applicable capital and management requirements at § 238.63 is subject to the notice, remediation agreement, divestiture, and any other requirements described in § 225.83 of this chapter.


(c) Consequences of failing to continue to maintain a satisfactory or better rating under the Community Reinvestment Act at all insured depository institution subsidiaries. A savings and loan holding company with an effective election to be treated as a financial holding company that fails to maintain a satisfactory or better rating under the Community Reinvestment Act at all insured deposit institution subsidiaries is subject to the activities limitations and any other requirements described in § 225.84 of this chapter.


(d) Notice and approval requirements for conducting financial holding company activities; permissible activities. A savings and loan holding company with an effective election to be treated as a financial holding company may conduct the activities listed in § 225.86 of this chapter subject to the notice, approval, and any other requirements described in §§ 225.85 through 225.89 of this chapter.


Subpart H – Notice of Change of Director or Senior Executive Officer

§ 238.71 Purpose.

This subpart implements 12 U.S.C. 1831i, which requires certain savings and loan holding companies to notify the Board before appointing or employing directors and senior executive officers.


§ 238.72 Definitions.

The following definitions apply to this subpart:


(a) Director means an individual who serves on the board of directors of a savings and loan holding company. This term does not include an advisory director who:


(1) Is not elected by the shareholders;


(2) Is not authorized to vote on any matters before the board of directors or any committee of the board of directors;


(3) Provides only general policy advice to the board of directors or any committee of the board of directors; and


(4) Has not been identified by the Board or Reserve Bank in writing as an individual who performs the functions of a director, or who exercises significant influence over, or participates in, major policymaking decisions of the board of directors.


(b) Senior executive officer means an individual who holds the title or performs the function of one or more of the following positions (without regard to title, salary, or compensation): president, chief executive officer, chief operating officer, chief financial officer, chief lending officer, or chief investment officer. Senior executive officer also includes any other person identified by the Board or Reserve Bank in writing as an individual who exercises significant influence over, or participates in, major policymaking decisions, whether or not hired as an employee.


(c) Troubled condition means:


(1) A savings and loan holding company that has an unsatisfactory rating under the applicable holding company rating system, or that is informed in writing by the Board or Reserve Bank that it has an adverse effect on its subsidiary savings association.


(2) A savings and loan holding company that is subject to a capital directive, a cease-and-desist order, a consent order, a formal written agreement, or a prompt corrective action directive relating to the safety and soundness or financial viability of the savings association, unless otherwise informed in writing by the Board or Reserve Bank; or


(3) A savings and loan holding company that is informed in writing by the Board or Reserve Bank that it is in troubled condition based on information available to the Board or Reserve Bank.


§ 238.73 Prior notice requirements.

(a) Savings and loan holding company. Except as provided under § 238.78, a savings and loan holding company must give the Board 30 days’ written notice, as specified in § 238.74, before adding or replacing any member of its board of directors, employing any person as a senior executive officer, or changing the responsibilities of any senior executive officer so that the person would assume a different senior executive position if the savings and loan holding company is in troubled condition.


(b) Notice by individual. An individual seeking election to the board of directors of a savings and loan holding company described in paragraph (a) of this section that has not been nominated by management, must either provide the prior notice required under paragraph (a) of this section or follow the process under § 238.78(b).


§ 238.74 Filing and processing procedures.

(a) Filing notice – (1) Content. The notice required in § 238.73 shall be filed with the appropriate Reserve Bank and shall contain:


(i) The information required by paragraph 6(A) of the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(6)(A)) as may be prescribed in the designated Board form;


(ii) Additional information consistent with the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s Joint Statement of Guidelines on Conducting Background Checks and Change in Control Investigations, as set forth in the designated Board form; and


(iii) Such other information as may be required by the Board or Reserve Bank.


(2) Modification. The Reserve Bank may modify or accept other information in place of the requirements of this section for a notice filed under this subpart.


(3) Acceptance and processing of notice. The 30-day notice period specified in section 238.73 shall begin on the date all information required to be submitted by the notificant pursuant to this section is received by the appropriate Reserve Bank. The Reserve Bank shall notify the savings and loan holding company or individual submitting the notice of the date on which all required information is received and the notice is accepted for processing, and of the date on which the 30-day notice period will expire. The Board or Reserve Bank may extend the 30-day notice period for an additional period of not more than 60 days by notifying the savings and loan holding company or individual filing the notice that the period has been extended and stating the reason for not processing the notice within the 30-day notice period.


(b) [Reserved]


§ 238.75 Standards for review.

(a) Notice of disapproval. The Board or Reserve Bank will disapprove a notice if, pursuant to the standard set forth in 12 U.S.C. 1831i(e), the Board or Reserve Bank finds that the competence, experience, character, or integrity of the proposed individual indicates that it would not be in the best interests of the depositors of the savings and loan holding company or of the public to permit the individual to be employed by, or associated with, the savings and loan holding company. If the Board or Reserve Bank disapproves a notice, it will issue a written notice that explains why the Board or Reserve Bank disapproved the notice. The Board or Reserve Bank will send the notice to the savings and loan holding company and the individual.


(b) Appeal of a notice of disapproval. (1) A disapproved individual or a regulated institution that has submitted a notice that is disapproved under this section may appeal the disapproval to the Board within 15 days of the effective date of the notice of disapproval. An appeal shall be in writing and explain the reasons for the appeal and include all facts, documents, and arguments that the appealing party wishes to be considered in the appeal, and state whether the appealing party is requesting an informal hearing.


(2) Written notice of the final decision of the Board shall be sent to the appealing party within 60 days of the receipt of an appeal, unless the appealing party’s request for an informal hearing is granted.


(3) The disapproved individual may not serve as a director or senior executive officer of the state member bank or bank holding company while the appeal is pending.


(c) Informal hearing. (1) An individual or regulated institution whose notice under this section has been disapproved may request an informal hearing on the notice. A request for an informal hearing shall be in writing and shall be submitted within 15 days of a notice of disapproval. The Board may, in its sole discretion, order an informal hearing if the Board finds that oral argument is appropriate or necessary to resolve disputes regarding material issues of fact.


(2) An informal hearing shall be held within 30 days of a request, if granted, unless the requesting party agrees to a later date.


(3) Written notice of the final decision of the Board shall be given to the individual and the regulated institution within 60 days of the conclusion of any informal hearing ordered by the Board, unless the requesting party agrees to a later date.


§ 238.76 Waiting period.

(a) At expiration of period. A proposed director or senior executive officer may begin service at the end of the 30-day period and any extension as provided under § 238.74 unless the Board or Reserve Bank notifies you that it has disapproved the notice before the end of the period.


(b) Prior to expiration of period. A proposed director or senior executive officer may begin service before the end of the 30-day period and any extension as provided under section 238.74 of this section, if the Board or the Reserve Bank notifies in writing the savings and loan holding company or individual submitting the notice of the Board’s or Reserve Bank’s intention not to disapprove the notice.


§ 238.77 Waiver of prior notice requirement.

(a) Waiver request. An individual may serve as a director or senior executive officer before filing a notice under this subpart if the Board or Reserve Bank finds that:


(1) Delay would threaten the safety or soundness of the savings and loan holding company;


(2) Delay would not be in the public interest; or


(3) Other extraordinary circumstances exist that justify waiver of prior notice.


(b) Automatic waiver. An individual may serve as a director upon election to the board of directors before filing a notice under this subpart, if the individual:


(1) Is not proposed by the management of the savings and loan holding company;


(2) Is elected as a new member of the board of directors at a meeting of the savings and loan holding company; and


(3) Provides to the appropriate Reserve Bank all the information required in § 238.74 within two (2) business days after the individual’s election.


(c) Subsequent Board or Reserve Bank action. The Board or Reserve Bank may disapprove a notice within 30 days after the Board or Reserve Bank issues a waiver under paragraph (a) of this section or within 30 days after the election of an individual who has filed a notice and is serving pursuant to an automatic waiver under paragraph (b) of this section.


Subpart I – Prohibited Service at Savings and Loan Holding Companies

§ 238.81 Purpose.

This subpart implements section 19(e)(1) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDIA), which prohibits persons who have been convicted of certain criminal offenses or who have agreed to enter into a pre-trial diversion or similar program in connection with a prosecution for such criminal offenses from occupying various positions with a savings and loan holding company. This part also implements section 19(e)(2) of the FDIA, which permits the Board to provide exemptions, by regulation or order, from the application of the prohibition. This subpart provides an exemption for savings and loan holding company employees whose activities and responsibilities are limited solely to agriculture, forestry, retail merchandising, manufacturing, or public utilities operations, and a temporary exemption for certain persons who held positions with respect to a savings and loan holding company as of October 13, 2006. The subpart also describes procedures for applying to the Board for an exemption.


§ 238.82 Definitions.

The following definitions apply to this subpart:


(a) Institution-affiliated party is defined at 12 U.S.C. 1813(u), except that the phrase “savings and loan holding company” is substituted for “insured depository institution” each place that it appears in that definition.


(b) Enforcement Counsel means any individual who files a notice of appearance to serve as counsel on behalf of the Board in the proceeding.


(c) Person means an individual and does not include a corporation, firm or other business entity.


(d) Savings and loan holding company is defined at § 238.2(m), but excludes a subsidiary of a savings and loan holding company that is not itself a savings and loan holding company.


§ 238.83 Prohibited actions.

(a) Person. If a person was convicted of a criminal offense described in § 238.84, or agreed to enter into a pretrial diversion or similar program in connection with a prosecution for such a criminal offense, he or she may not:


(1) Become, or continue as, an institution-affiliated party with respect to any savings and loan holding company.


(2) Own or control, directly or indirectly, any savings and loan holding company. A person will own or control a savings and loan holding company if he or she owns or controls that company under subpart D of this part.


(3) Otherwise participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of the affairs of any savings and loan holding company.


(b) Savings and loan holding company. A savings and loan holding company may not permit any person described in paragraph (a) of this section to engage in any conduct or to continue any relationship prohibited under that paragraph.


§ 238.84 Covered convictions or agreements to enter into pre-trial diversions or similar programs.

(a) Covered convictions and agreements. Except as described in § 238.85, this subpart covers:


(1) Any conviction of a criminal offense involving dishonesty, breach of trust, or money laundering. Convictions do not cover arrests, pending cases not brought to trial, acquittals, convictions reversed on appeal, pardoned convictions, or expunged convictions.


(2) Any agreement to enter into a pretrial diversion or similar program in connection with a prosecution for a criminal offense involving dishonesty, breach of trust or money laundering. A pretrial diversion or similar program is a program involving a suspension or eventual dismissal of charges or of a criminal prosecution based upon an agreement for treatment, rehabilitation, restitution, or other non-criminal or non-punitive alternative.


(b) Dishonesty or breach of trust. A determination whether a criminal offense involves dishonesty or breach of trust is based on the statutory elements of the crime.


(1) “Dishonesty” means directly or indirectly to cheat or defraud, to cheat or defraud for monetary gain or its equivalent, or to wrongfully take property belonging to another in violation of any criminal statute. Dishonesty includes acts involving a want of integrity, lack of probity, or a disposition to distort, cheat, or act deceitfully or fraudulently, and may include crimes which federal, state or local laws define as dishonest.


(2) “Breach of trust” means a wrongful act, use, misappropriation, or omission with respect to any property or fund which has been committed to a person in a fiduciary or official capacity, or the misuse of one’s official or fiduciary position to engage in a wrongful act, use, misappropriation, or omission.


§ 238.85 Adjudications and offenses not covered.

(a) Youthful offender or juvenile delinquent. This subpart does not cover any adjudication by a court against a person as:


(1) A youthful offender under any youthful offender law; or


(2) A juvenile delinquent by a court with jurisdiction over minors as defined by state law.


(b) De minimis criminal offense. This subpart does not cover de minimis criminal offenses. A criminal offense is de minimis if:


(1) The person has only one conviction or pretrial diversion or similar program of record;


(2) The offense was punishable by imprisonment for a term of less than one year, a fine of less than $1,000, or both, and the person did not serve time in jail.


(3) The conviction or program was entered at least five years before the date the person first held a position described in § 238.83(a); and


(4) The offense did not involve an insured depository institution, insured credit union, or other banking organization (including a savings and loan holding company, bank holding company, or financial holding company).


(5) The person must disclose the conviction or pretrial diversion or similar program to all insured depository institutions and other banking organizations the affairs of which he or she participates.


(6) The person must be covered by a fidelity bond to the same extent as others in similar positions with the savings and loan holding company.


§ 238.86 Exemptions.

(a) Employees. An employee of a savings and loan holding company is exempt from the prohibition in § 238.83, if all of the following conditions are met:


(1) The employee’s responsibilities and activities are limited solely to agriculture, forestry, retail merchandising, manufacturing, or public utilities operations.


(2) The savings and loan holding company maintains a list of all policymaking positions and reviews this list annually.


(3) The employee’s position does not appear on the savings and loan holding company’s list of policymaking positions, and the employee does not, in fact, exercise any policymaking function with the savings and loan holding company.


(4) The employee:


(i) Is not an institution-affiliated party of the savings and loan holding company other than by virtue of the employment described in paragraph (a) of this section.


(ii) Does not own or control, directly or indirectly, the savings and loan holding company; and


(iii) Does not participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of the affairs of the savings and loan holding company.


(b) Temporary exemption. (1) Any prohibited person who was an institution affiliated party with respect to a savings and loan holding company, who owned or controlled, directly or indirectly a savings and loan holding company, or who otherwise participated directly or indirectly in the conduct of the affairs of a savings and loan holding company on October 13, 2006, may continue to hold the position with the savings and loan holding company.


(2) This exemption expires on December 31, 2012, unless the savings and loan holding company or the person files an application seeking a case-by-case exemption for the person under § 238.87 by that date. If the savings and loan holding company or the person files such an application, the temporary exemption expires on:


(i) The date of issuance of a Board approval of the application under § 238.89(a);


(ii) The expiration of the 20-day period for filing a request for hearing under § 238.90(a) provided there is no timely request for hearing following the issuance by the Board of a denial of the application under that section;


(iii) The date that the Board denies a timely request for hearing under § 238.90(b) following the issuance of a Board denial of the application under § 238.89(b);


(iv) The date that the Board issues a decision under § 238.90(d); or


(v) The date an applicant withdraws the application.


§ 238.87 Filing procedures.

(a) Who may file. (1) A savings and loan holding company or a person who was convicted of a criminal offense described in § 238.84 or who has agreed to enter into a pre-trial diversion or similar program in connection with a prosecution for such a criminal offense may file an application with the Board seeking an exemption from the prohibitions in this subpart.


(2) A savings and loan holding company or a person may seek an exemption only for a designated position (or positions) with respect to a named savings and loan holding company.


(3) A savings and loan holding company or a person may not file an application less than one year after the latter of the date of a denial of the same exemption under § 238.89(b), § 238.90(a) or § 238.90(d).


(b) Prohibition pending Board action. Unless a savings and loan holding company or a person is exempt under § 238.86(b), the prohibitions in § 238.83 continue to apply pending Board action on the application.


§ 238.88 Factors for review.

(a) Board review. (1) In determining whether to approve an exemption application filed under § 238.87, the Board will consider the extent to which the position that is the subject of the application enables a person to:


(i) Participate in the major policymaking functions of the savings and loan holding company; or


(ii) Threaten the safety and soundness of any insured depository institution that is controlled by the savings and loan holding company, the interests of its depositors, or the public confidence in the insured depository institution.


(2) The Board will also consider whether the applicant has demonstrated the person’s fitness to hold the described position. Some positions may be approved without an extensive review of a person’s fitness because the position does not enable a person to take the actions described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.


(b) Factors. In making the determinations under paragraph (a) of this section, the Board will consider the following factors:


(1) The position;


(2) The amount of influence and control a person holding the position will be able to exercise over the affairs and operations of the savings and loan holding company and the insured depository institution;


(3) The ability of the management of the savings and loan holding company to supervise and control the activities of a person holding the position;


(4) The level of ownership that the person will have at the savings and loan holding company;


(5) The specific nature and circumstances of the criminal offense. The question whether a person who was convicted of a crime or who agreed to enter into a pretrial diversion or similar program for a crime was guilty of that crime is not relevant;


(6) Evidence of rehabilitation; and


(7) Any other relevant factor.


§ 238.89 Board action.

(a) Approval. The Board will notify an applicant if an application under this subpart is approved. An approval by the Board may include such conditions as the Board determines to be appropriate.


(b) Denial. If Board denies an application, the Board will notify an applicant promptly.


§ 238.90 Hearings.

(a) Hearing requests. Within 20 days of the date of issuance of a denial of an application filed under this subpart, a savings and loan holding company or a person whose application the Board has denied may file a written request demonstrating good cause for a hearing on the denial.


(b) Board review of hearing request. The Board will review the hearing request to determine if the savings and loan holding company or person has demonstrated good cause for a hearing on the application. Within 30 days after the filing of a timely request for a hearing, the Board will notify the savings and loan holding company or person in writing of its decision to grant or deny the hearing request. If the Board grants the request for a hearing, it will order a hearing to be commenced within 60 days of the issuance of the notification. Upon the request of a party, the Board may at its discretion order a later hearing date.


(c) Hearing procedures. The following procedures apply to hearings under this subpart.


(1) The hearing shall be held in Washington, DC, or at another designated place, before a presiding officer designated by the Board.


(2) An applicant may elect in writing to have the matter determined on the basis of written submissions, rather than an oral hearing.


(3) The parties to the hearing are Enforcement Counsel and the applicant.


(4) The provisions of §§ 263.2, 263.4, 263.6 through 263.12, and 263.16 of this chapter apply to the hearing.


(5) Discovery is not permitted.


(6) A party may introduce relevant and material documents and make oral argument at the hearing.


(7) At the discretion of the presiding officer, witnesses may be presented within specified time limits, provided that a list of witnesses is furnished to the presiding officer and to all other parties prior to the hearing. Witnesses must be sworn, unless otherwise directed by the presiding officer. The presiding officer may ask questions of any witness. Each party may cross-examine any witness presented by the opposing party. The Board will furnish a transcript of the proceedings upon an applicant’s request and upon the payment of the costs of the transcript.


(8) The presiding officer has the power to administer oaths and affirmations, to take or cause to be taken depositions of unavailable witnesses, and to issue, revoke, quash, or modify subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum. If the presentation of witnesses is permitted, the presiding officer may require the attendance of witnesses from any state, territory, or other place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States at any location where the proceeding is being conducted. Witness fees are paid in accordance with section 263.14 of this chapter.


(9) Upon the request of a party, the record will remain open for five business days following the hearing for additional submissions to the record.


(10) Enforcement Counsel has the burden of proving a prima facie case that a person is prohibited from a position under section 19(e) of the FDIA. The applicant has the burden of proof on all other matters.


(11) The presiding officer must make recommendations to the Board, where possible, within 20 days after the last day for the parties to submit additions to the record.


(12) The presiding officer must forward his or her recommendation to the Board who shall promptly certify the entire record, including the presiding officer’s recommendations. The Board’s certification will close the record.


(d) Decision. After the certification of the record, the Board will notify the parties of its decision by issuing an order approving or denying the application.


(1) An approval order will require fidelity bond coverage for the position to the same extent as similar positions with the savings and loan holding company. The approval order may include such other conditions as may be appropriate.


(2) A denial order will include a summary of the relevant factors under § 238.88(b).


Subpart J – Management Official Interlocks

§ 238.91 Authority, purpose, and scope.

(a) Authority. This subpart is issued under the provisions of the Depository Institution Management Interlocks Act (Interlocks Act) (12 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.), as amended.


(b) Purpose. The purpose of the Interlocks Act and this subpart is to foster competition by generally prohibiting a management official from serving two nonaffiliated depository organizations in situations where the management interlock likely would have an anticompetitive effect.


(c) Scope. This subpart applies to management officials of savings and loan holding companies, and their affiliates.


§ 238.92 Definitions.

For purposes of this subpart, the following definitions apply:


(a) Affiliate. (1) The term affiliate has the meaning given in section 202 of the Interlocks Act (12 U.S.C. 3201). For purposes of that section 202, shares held by an individual include shares held by members of his or her immediate family. “Immediate family” means spouse, mother, father, child, grandchild, sister, brother, or any of their spouses, whether or not any of their shares are held in trust.


(2) For purposes of section 202(3)(B) of the Interlocks Act (12 U.S.C. 3201(3)(B)), an affiliate relationship involving a savings and loan holding company based on common ownership does not exist if the Board determines, after giving the affected persons the opportunity to respond, that the asserted affiliation was established in order to avoid the prohibitions of the Interlocks Act and does not represent a true commonality of interest between the depository organizations. In making this determination, the Board considers, among other things, whether a person, including members of his or her immediate family, whose shares are necessary to constitute the group owns a nominal percentage of the shares of one of the organizations and the percentage is substantially disproportionate to that person’s ownership of shares in the other organization.


(b) Area median income means:


(1) The median family income for the metropolitan statistical area (MSA), if a depository organization is located in an MSA; or


(2) The statewide nonmetropolitan median family income, if a depository organization is located outside an MSA.


(c) Community means a city, town, or village, and contiguous or adjacent cities, towns, or villages.


(d) Contiguous or adjacent cities, towns, or villages means cities, towns, or villages whose borders touch each other or whose borders are within 10 road miles of each other at their closest points. The property line of an office located in an unincorporated city, town, or village is the boundary line of that city, town, or village for the purpose of this definition.


(e) Depository holding company means a bank holding company or a savings and loan holding company (as more fully defined in section 202 of the Interlocks Act (12 U.S.C. 3201)) having its principal office located in the United States.


(f) Depository institution means a commercial bank (including a private bank), a savings bank, a trust company, a savings and loan association, a building and loan association, a homestead association, a cooperative bank, an industrial bank, or a credit union, chartered under the laws of the United States and having a principal office located in the United States. Additionally, a United States office, including a branch or agency, of a foreign commercial bank is a depository institution.


(g) Depository institution affiliate means a depository institution that is an affiliate of a depository organization.


(h) Depository organization means a depository institution or a depository holding company.


(i) Low- and moderate-income areas means census tracts (or, if an area is not in a census tract, block numbering areas delineated by the United States Bureau of the Census) where the median family income is less than 100 percent of the area median income.


(j) Management official. (1) The term management official means:


(i) A director;


(ii) An advisory or honorary director of a depository institution with total assets of $100 million or more;


(iii) A senior executive officer as that term is defined in § 225.71(c) of this chapter;


(iv) A branch manager;


(v) A trustee of a depository organization under the control of trustees; and


(vi) Any person who has a representative or nominee serving in any of the capacities in this paragraph (j)(1).


(2) The term management official does not include:


(i) A person whose management functions relate exclusively to the business of retail merchandising or manufacturing;


(ii) A person whose management functions relate principally to the business outside the United States of a foreign commercial bank; or


(iii) A person described in the provisos of section 202(4) of the Interlocks Act (12 U.S.C. 3201(4)) (referring to an officer of a State-chartered savings bank, cooperative bank, or trust company that neither makes real estate mortgage loans nor accepts savings).


(k) Office means a principal or branch office of a depository institution located in the United States. Office does not include a representative office of a foreign commercial bank, an electronic terminal, or a loan production office.


(l) Person means a natural person, corporation, or other business entity.


(m) Relevant metropolitan statistical area (RMSA) means an MSA, a primary MSA, or a consolidated MSA that is not comprised of designated Primary MSAs to the extent that these terms are defined and applied by the Office of Management and Budget.


(n) Representative or nominee means a natural person who serves as a management official and has an obligation to act on behalf of another person with respect to management responsibilities. The Board will find that a person has an obligation to act on behalf of another person only if the first person has an agreement, express or implied, to act on behalf of the second person with respect to management responsibilities. The Board will determine, after giving the affected persons an opportunity to respond, whether a person is a representative or nominee.


(o) Savings association means:


(1) Any Federal savings association (as defined in section 3(b)(2) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813(b)(2)));


(2) Any state savings association (as defined in section 3(b)(3) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813(b)(3))) the deposits of which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; and


(3) Any corporation (other than a bank as defined in section 3(a)(1) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813(a)(1))) the deposits of which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, that the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Comptroller of the Currency jointly determine to be operating in substantially the same manner as a savings association.


(p) Total assets. (1) The term total assets means assets measured on a consolidated basis and reported in the most recent fiscal year-end Consolidated Report of Condition and Income.


(2) The term total assets does not include:


(i) Assets of a diversified savings and loan holding company as defined by section 10(a)(1)(F) of the Home Owners’ Loan Act (12 U.S.C. 1467a(a)(1)(F)) other than the assets of its depository institution affiliate;


(ii) Assets of a bank holding company that is exempt from the prohibitions of section 4 of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 pursuant to an order issued under section 4(d) of that Act (12 U.S.C. 1843(d)) other than the assets of its depository institution affiliate; or


(iii) Assets of offices of a foreign commercial bank other than the assets of its United States branch or agency.


(3) Temporary relief for 2020 and 2021. Notwithstanding paragraph (p)(1) of this section, from December 2, 2020, through December 31, 2021, for purposes of this subpart J, the term total assets, with respect to a depository organization, means the lesser of assets of the depository organization reported on a consolidated basis as of December 31, 2019, and assets reported on a consolidated basis as of the end of the most recent fiscal year. The relief provided under this paragraph (p)(3) does not apply to a depository organization if the Board determines that permitting the depository organization to determine its assets in accordance with that paragraph would not be commensurate with the risk profile of the depository organization. When making this determination, the Board will consider all relevant factors, including the extent of asset growth of the depository organization since December 31, 2019; the causes of such growth, including whether growth occurred as a result of mergers or acquisitions; whether such growth is likely to be temporary or permanent; whether the depository organization has become involved in any additional activities since December 31, 2019; the asset size of any parent companies; and the type of assets held by the depository organization. In making a determination pursuant to this paragraph (p)(3), the Board will apply notice and response procedures in the same manner and to the same extent as the notice and response procedures in 12 CFR 263.202.


(q) United States means the United States of America, any State or territory of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands.


[Reg. LL, 76 FR 56532, Sept. 13, 2011, as amended at 85 FR 77363, Dec. 2, 2020]


§ 238.93 Prohibitions.

(a) Community. A management official of a depository organization may not serve at the same time as a management official of an unaffiliated depository organization if the depository organizations in question (or a depository institution affiliate thereof) have offices in the same community.


(b) RMSA. A management official of a depository organization may not serve at the same time as a management official of an unaffiliated depository organization if the depository organizations in question (or a depository institution affiliate thereof) have offices in the same RMSA and each depository organization has total assets of $50 million or more.


(c) Major assets. A management official of a depository organization with total assets exceeding $10 billion (or any affiliate of such an organization) may not serve at the same time as a management official of an unaffiliated depository organization with total assets exceeding $10 billion (or any affiliate of such an organization), regardless of the location of the two depository organizations. The Board will adjust these thresholds, as necessary, based on the year-to-year change in the average of the Consumer Price Index for the Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, not seasonally adjusted, with rounding to the nearest $100 million. The Board will announce the revised thresholds by publishing a final rule without notice and comment in the Federal Register.


[Reg. LL, 76 FR 56532, Sept. 13, 2011, as amended at 84 FR 54472, Oct. 10, 2019]


§ 238.94 Interlocking relationships permitted by statute.

The prohibitions of § 238.93 do not apply in the case of any one or more of the following organizations or to a subsidiary thereof:


(a) A depository organization that has been placed formally in liquidation, or which is in the hands of a receiver, conservator, or other official exercising a similar function;


(b) A corporation operating under section 25 or section 25A of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 601 et seq. and 12 U.S.C. 611 et seq., respectively) (Edge Corporations and Agreement Corporations);


(c) A credit union being served by a management official of another credit union;


(d) A depository organization that does not do business within the United States except as an incident to its activities outside the United States;


(e) A State-chartered savings and loan guaranty corporation;


(f) A Federal Home Loan Bank or any other bank organized solely to serve depository institutions (a bankers’ bank) or solely for the purpose of providing securities clearing services and services related thereto for depository institutions and securities companies;


(g) A depository organization that is closed or is in danger of closing as determined by the appropriate Federal depository institutions regulatory agency and is acquired by another depository organization. This exemption lasts for five years, beginning on the date the depository organization is acquired;


(h)(1) A diversified savings and loan holding company (as defined in section 10(a)(1)(F) of the Home Owners’ Loan Act (12 U.S.C. 1467a(a)(1)(F)) with respect to the service of a director of such company who also is a director of an unaffiliated depository organization if:


(i) Both the diversified savings and loan holding company and the unaffiliated depository organization notify their appropriate Federal depository institutions regulatory agency at least 60 days before the dual service is proposed to begin; and


(ii) The appropriate regulatory agency does not disapprove the dual service before the end of the 60-day period.


(2) The Board may disapprove a notice of proposed service if it finds that:


(i) The service cannot be structured or limited so as to preclude an anticompetitive effect in financial services in any part of the United States;


(ii) The service would lead to substantial conflicts of interest or unsafe or unsound practices; or


(iii) The notificant failed to furnish all the information required by the Board.


(3) The Board may require that any interlock permitted under this paragraph (h) be terminated if a change in circumstances occurs with respect to one of the interlocked depository organizations that would have provided a basis for disapproval of the interlock during the notice period; and


(i) Any savings association or any savings and loan holding company (as defined in section 10(a)(1)(D) of the Home Owners’ Loan Act) which has issued stock in connection with a qualified stock issuance pursuant to section 10(q) of such Act, except that this paragraph (i) shall apply only with regard to service by a single management official of such savings association or holding company, or any subsidiary of such savings association or holding company, by a single management official of the savings and loan holding company which purchased the stock issued in connection with such qualified stock issuance, and shall apply only when the Board has determined that such service is consistent with the purposes of the Interlocks Act and the Home Owners’ Loan Act.


§ 238.95 Small market share exemption.

(a) Exemption. A management interlock that is prohibited by § 238.93 is permissible, if:


(1) The interlock is not prohibited by § 238.93(c); and


(2) The depository organizations (and their depository institution affiliates) hold, in the aggregate, no more than 20 percent of the deposits in each RMSA or community in which both depository organizations (or their depository institution affiliates) have offices. The amount of deposits shall be determined by reference to the most recent annual Summary of Deposits published by the FDIC for the RMSA or community.


(b) Confirmation and records. Each depository organization must maintain records sufficient to support its determination of eligibility for the exemption under paragraph (a) of this section, and must reconfirm that determination on an annual basis.


§ 238.96 General exemption.

(a) Exemption. The Board may by agency order exempt an interlock from the prohibitions in § 238.93 if the Board finds that the interlock would not result in a monopoly or substantial lessening of competition and would not present safety and soundness concerns. A depository organization may apply to the Board for an exemption.


(b) Presumptions. In reviewing an application for an exemption under this section, the Board will apply a rebuttable presumption that an interlock will not result in a monopoly or substantial lessening of competition if the depository organization seeking to add a management official:


(1) Primarily serves low- and moderate-income areas;


(2) Is controlled or managed by persons who are members of a minority group, or women;


(3) Is a depository institution that has been chartered for less than two years; or


(4) Is deemed to be in “troubled condition” as defined in § 238.72.


(c) Duration. Unless a shorter expiration period is provided in the Board approval, an exemption permitted by paragraph (a) of this section may continue so long as it does not result in a monopoly or substantial lessening of competition, or is unsafe or unsound. If the Board grants an interlock exemption in reliance upon a presumption under paragraph (b) of this section, the interlock may continue for three years, unless otherwise provided by the Board in writing.


§ 238.97 Change in circumstances.

(a) Termination. A management official shall terminate his or her service or apply for an exemption if a change in circumstances causes the service to become prohibited. A change in circumstances may include an increase in asset size of an organization, a change in the delineation of the RMSA or community, the establishment of an office, an increase in the aggregate deposits of the depository organization, or an acquisition, merger, consolidation, or reorganization of the ownership structure of a depository organization that causes a previously permissible interlock to become prohibited.


(b) Transition period. A management official described in paragraph (a) of this section may continue to serve the depository organization involved in the interlock for 15 months following the date of the change in circumstances. The Board may shorten this period under appropriate circumstances.


§ 238.98 Enforcement.

Except as provided in this section, the Board administers and enforces the Interlocks Act with respect to savings and loan holding companies and its affiliates, and may refer any case of a prohibited interlocking relationship involving these entities to the Attorney General of the United States to enforce compliance with the Interlocks Act and this part. If an affiliate of a savings and loan holding company is subject to the primary regulation of another Federal depository organization supervisory agency, then the Board does not administer and enforce the Interlocks Act with respect to that affiliate.


§ 238.99 Interlocking relationships permitted pursuant to Federal Deposit Insurance Act.

A management official or prospective management official of a depository organization may enter into an otherwise prohibited interlocking relationship with another depository organization for a period of up to 10 years if such relationship is approved by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation pursuant to section 13(k)(1)(A)(v) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, as amended (12 U.S.C. 1823(k)(1)(A)(v)).


Subpart K – Dividends by Subsidiary Savings Associations

§ 238.101 Authority and purpose.

This subpart implements section 10(f) of HOLA which requires savings associations with holding companies to provide the Board not less than 30 days’ notice of a proposed declaration of a dividend. This subpart applies to all declarations of dividends by a subsidiary savings association of a savings and loan holding company.


§ 238.102 Definitions.

The following definitions apply to this subpart:


(a) Appropriate Federal banking agency has the same meaning as in 12 U.S.C. 1813(q) and includes, with respect to agreements entered into and conditions imposed prior to July 21, 2011, the Office of Thrift Supervision.


(b) Dividend means:


(1) A distribution of cash or other property to owners of a savings association made on account of their ownership, but not any dividend consisting only of shares or rights to purchase shares; or


(2) Any transaction that the Board determines, by order or regulation, to be in substance a dividend.


(c) Shares means common and preferred stock, and any options, warrants, or other rights for the acquisition of such stock. The term “share” also includes convertible securities upon their conversion into common or preferred stock. The term does not include convertible debt securities prior to their conversion into common or preferred stock or other securities that are not equity securities at the time of a dividend.


§ 238.103 Filing requirement.

(a) Filing. A subsidiary savings association of a savings and loan holding company must file a notice with the appropriate Reserve Bank on the designated form at least 30 days before the proposed declaration of a dividend by its board of directors.


(b) Schedules. A notice may include a schedule proposing dividends over a specified period, not to exceed 12 months.


§ 238.104 Board action and criteria for review.

(a) Board action. (1) A subsidiary savings association of a savings and loan holding company may declare a proposed dividend after the end of a 30-day review period commencing on the date of submission to the Federal Reserve System of the complete record on the notice, unless the Board or Reserve Bank disapproves the notice before the end of the period.


(2) A subsidiary savings association of a savings and loan holding company may declare a proposed dividend before the end of the 30-day period if the Board or Reserve Bank notifies the applicant in writing of the Board’s or Reserve Bank’s intention not to disapprove the notice.


(b) Criteria. The Board or Reserve Bank may disapprove a notice, in whole or in part, if the Board or Reserve Bank makes any of the following determinations.


(1) Following the dividend the subsidiary savings association will be undercapitalized, significantly undercapitalized, or critically undercapitalized as set forth in applicable regulations under 12 U.S.C. 1831o.


(2) The proposed dividend raises safety or soundness concerns.


(3) The proposed dividend violates a prohibition contained in any statute, regulation, enforcement action, or agreement between the subsidiary savings association or any savings and loan holding company of which it is a subsidiary and an appropriate Federal banking agency, a condition imposed on the subsidiary savings association or any savings and loan holding company of which it is a subsidiary in an application or notice approved by an appropriate Federal banking agency, or any formal or informal enforcement action involving the subsidiary savings association or any savings and loan holding company of which it is a subsidiary. If so, the Board will determine whether it may permit the dividend notwithstanding the prohibition, condition, or enforcement action.


Subpart L – Investigative Proceedings and Formal Examination Proceedings

§ 238.111 Scope.

This part prescribes rules of practice and procedure applicable to the conduct of investigative proceedings under section 10(g)(2) of the Home Owners’ Loan Act, as amended, 12 U.S.C. 1467a(g)(2) (“HOLA”) and to the conduct of formal examination proceedings with respect to savings and loan holding companies and their affiliates under section 5(d)(1)(B) of the HOLA, as amended, 12 U.S.C. 1464(d)(1)(B) or section 7(j)(15) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, as amended, 12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(15) (“FDIA”), section 8(n) of the FDIA, 12 U.S.C. 1818(n), or section 10(c) of the FDIA, 12 U.S.C. 1820(c). This part does not apply to adjudicatory proceedings as to which hearings are required by statute, the rules for which are contained in part 262 of this chapter.


§ 238.112 Definitions.

As used in this part:


(a) Investigative proceeding means an investigation conducted under section 10(g)(2) of the HOLA;


(b) Formal examination proceeding means the administration of oaths and affirmations, taking and preserving of testimony, requiring the production of books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, and all other records, the issuance of subpoenas, and all related activities in connection with examination of savings and loan holding companies and their affiliates conducted pursuant to section 5(d)(1)(B) of the HOLA, section 7(j)(15) of the FDIA, section 8(n) of the FDIA or section 10(c) of the FDIA; and


(c) Designated representative means the person or persons empowered by the Board to conduct an investigative proceeding or a formal examination proceeding.


§ 238.113 Confidentiality of proceedings.

All formal examination proceedings shall be private and, unless otherwise ordered by the Board, all investigative proceedings shall also be private. Unless otherwise ordered or permitted by the Board, or required by law, and except as provided in §§ 238.114 and 238.115, the entire record of any investigative proceeding or formal examination proceeding, including the resolution of the Board or its delegate(s) authorizing the proceeding, the transcript of such proceeding, and all documents and information obtained by the designated representative(s) during the course of said proceedings shall be confidential.


§ 238.114 Transcripts.

Transcripts or other recordings, if any, of investigative proceedings or formal examination proceedings shall be prepared solely by an official reporter or by any other person or means authorized by the designated representative. A person who has submitted documentary evidence or given testimony in an investigative proceeding or formal examination proceeding may procure a copy of his own documentary evidence or transcript of his own testimony upon payment of the cost thereof; provided, that a person seeking a transcript of his own testimony must file a written request with the Board stating the reason he desires to procure such transcript, and the Board may for good cause deny such request. In any event, any witness (or his counsel) shall have the right to inspect the transcript of the witness’ own testimony.


§ 238.115 Rights of witnesses.

(a) Any person who is compelled or requested to furnish documentary evidence or give testimony at an investigative proceeding or formal examination proceeding shall have the right to examine, upon request, the Board resolution authorizing such proceeding. Copies of such resolution shall be furnished, for their retention, to such persons only with the written approval of the Board.


(b) Any witness at an investigative proceeding or formal examination proceeding may be accompanied and advised by an attorney personally representing that witness.


(1) Such attorney shall be a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of any state, Commonwealth, possession, territory, or the District of Columbia, who has not been suspended or debarred from practice by the bar of any such political entity or before the Board in accordance with the provisions of part 263 of this chapter and has not been excluded from the particular investigative proceeding or formal examination proceeding in accordance with paragraph (b)(3) of this section.


(2) Such attorney may advise the witness before, during, and after the taking of his testimony and may briefly question the witness, on the record, at the conclusion of his testimony, for the sole purpose of clarifying any of the answers the witness has given. During the taking of the testimony of a witness, such attorney may make summary notes solely for his use in representing his client. All witnesses shall be sequestered, and, unless permitted in the discretion of the designated representative, no witness or accompanying attorney may be permitted to be present during the taking of testimony of any other witness called in such proceeding. Neither attorney(s) for the association(s) that are the subjects of the investigative proceedings or formal examination proceedings, nor attorneys for any other interested persons, shall have any right to be present during the testimony of any witness not personally being represented by such attorney.


(3) The Board, for good cause, may exclude a particular attorney from further participation in any investigation in which the Board has found the attorney to have engaged in dilatory, obstructionist, egregious, contemptuous or contumacious conduct. The person conducting an investigation may report to the Board instances of apparently dilatory, obstructionist, egregious, contemptuous or contumacious conduct on the part of an attorney. After due notice to the attorney, the Board may take such action as the circumstances warrant based upon a written record evidencing the conduct of the attorney in that investigation or such other or additional written or oral presentation as the Board may permit or direct.


§ 238.116 Obstruction of proceedings.

The designated representative shall report to the Board any instances where any witness or counsel has engaged in dilatory, obstructionist, or contumacious conduct or has otherwise violated any provision of this part during the course of an investigative proceeding or formal examination proceeding; and the Board may take such action as the circumstances warrant, including the exclusion of counsel from further participation in such proceeding.


§ 238.117 Subpoenas.

(a) Service. Service of a subpoena in connection with any investigative proceeding or formal examination proceeding shall be effected in the following manner:


(1) Service upon a natural person. Service of a subpoena upon a natural person may be effected by handing it to such person; by leaving it at his office with the person in charge thereof, or, if there is no one in charge, by leaving it in a conspicuous place therein; by leaving it at his dwelling place or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein; by mailing it to him by registered or certified mail or by an express delivery service at his last known address; or by any method whereby actual notice is given to him.


(2) Service upon other persons. When the person to be served is not a natural person, service of the subpoena may be effected by handing the subpoena to a registered agent for service, or to any officer, director, or agent in charge of any office of such person; by mailing it to any such representative by registered or certified mail or by an express delivery service at his last known address; or by any method whereby actual notice is given to such person.


(b) Motions to quash. Any person to whom a subpoena is directed may, prior to the time specified therein for compliance, but in no event more than 10 days after the date of service of such subpoena, apply to the Board or its designee to quash or modify such subpoena, accompanying such application with a statement of the reasons therefore. The Board or its designee, as appropriate, may:


(1) Deny the application;


(2) Quash or revoke the subpoena;


(3) Modify the subpoena; or


(4) Condition the granting of the application on such terms as the Board or its designee determines to be just, reasonable, and proper.


(c) Attendance of witnesses. Subpoenas issued in connection with an investigative proceeding or formal examination proceeding may require the attendance and/or testimony of witnesses from any State or territory of the United States and the production by such witnesses of documentary or other tangible evidence at any designated place where the proceeding is being (or is to be) conducted. Foreign nationals are subject to such subpoenas if such service is made upon a duly authorized agent located in the United States.


(d) Witness fees and mileage. Witnesses summoned in any proceeding under this part shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the district courts of the United States. Such fees and mileage need not be tendered when the subpoena is issued on behalf of the Board by any of its designated representatives.


Subpart M – Risk Committee Requirement for Covered Savings and Loan Holding Companies With Total Consolidated Assets of $50 Billion or More and Less Than $100 Billion


Source:84 FR 59077, Nov. 1, 2019, unless otherwise noted.

§ 238.118 Applicability.

(a) General applicability. A covered savings and loan bank holding company must comply with the risk-committee requirements set forth in this subpart beginning on the first day of the ninth quarter following the date on which its average total consolidated assets equal or exceed $50 billion.


(b) Cessation of requirements. A covered savings and loan holding company will remain subject to the requirements of this subpart until the earlier of the date on which:


(1) Its total consolidated assets are below $50 billion for each of four consecutive calendar quarters; and


(2) It becomes subject to the requirements of subpart N of this part.


§ 238.119 Risk committee requirement for covered savings and loan holding companies with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more.

(a) Risk committee – (1) General. A covered savings and loan holding company subject to this subpart must maintain a risk committee that approves and periodically reviews the risk-management policies of the covered savings and loan holding company’s global operations and oversees the operation of the company’s global risk-management framework.


(2) Risk-management framework. The covered savings and loan holding company’s global risk-management framework must be commensurate with its structure, risk profile, complexity, activities, and size and must include:


(i) Policies and procedures establishing risk-management governance, risk-management procedures, and risk-control infrastructure for its global operations; and


(ii) Processes and systems for implementing and monitoring compliance with such policies and procedures, including:


(A) Processes and systems for identifying and reporting risks and risk-management deficiencies, including regarding emerging risks, and ensuring effective and timely implementation of actions to address emerging risks and risk-management deficiencies for its global operations;


(B) Processes and systems for establishing managerial and employee responsibility for risk management;


(C) Processes and systems for ensuring the independence of the risk-management function; and


(D) Processes and systems to integrate risk management and associated controls with management goals and its compensation structure for its global operations.


(3) Corporate governance requirements. The risk committee must:


(i) Have a formal, written charter that is approved by the covered savings and loan holding company’s board of directors;


(ii) Be an independent committee of the board of directors that has, as its sole and exclusive function, responsibility for the risk-management policies of the covered savings and loan holding company’s global operations and oversight of the operation of the company’s global risk-management framework;


(iii) Report directly to the covered savings and loan holding company’s board of directors;


(iv) Receive and review regular reports on a not less than a quarterly basis from the covered savings and loan holding company’s chief risk officer provided pursuant to paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section; and


(v) Meet at least quarterly, or more frequently as needed, and fully document and maintain records of its proceedings, including risk-management decisions.


(4) Minimum member requirements. The risk committee must:


(i) Include at least one member having experience in identifying, assessing, and managing risk exposures of large, complex financial firms; and


(ii) Be chaired by a director who:


(A) Is not an officer or employee of the covered savings and loan holding company and has not been an officer or employee of the covered savings and loan holding company during the previous three years;


(B) Is not a member of the immediate family, as defined in § 238.31(b)(3), of a person who is, or has been within the last three years, an executive officer of the covered savings and loan holding company, as defined in § 215.2(e)(1) of this chapter; and


(C)(1) Is an independent director under Item 407 of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation S-K (17 CFR 229.407(a)), if the covered savings and loan holding company has an outstanding class of securities traded on an exchange registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a national securities exchange under section 6 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78f) (national securities exchange); or


(2) Would qualify as an independent director under the listing standards of a national securities exchange, as demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Board, if the covered savings and loan holding company does not have an outstanding class of securities traded on a national securities exchange.


(b) Chief risk officer – (1) General. A covered savings and loan holding company subject to this subpart must appoint a chief risk officer with experience in identifying, assessing, and managing risk exposures of large, complex financial firms.


(2) Responsibilities. (i) The chief risk officer is responsible for overseeing:


(A) The establishment of risk limits on an enterprise-wide basis and the monitoring of compliance with such limits;


(B) The implementation of and ongoing compliance with the policies and procedures set forth in paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section and the development and implementation of the processes and systems set forth in paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section; and


(C) The management of risks and risk controls within the parameters of the company’s risk control framework, and monitoring and testing of the company’s risk controls.


(ii) The chief risk officer is responsible for reporting risk-management deficiencies and emerging risks to the risk committee and resolving risk-management deficiencies in a timely manner.


(3) Corporate governance requirements. (i) The covered savings and loan holding company must ensure that the compensation and other incentives provided to the chief risk officer are consistent with providing an objective assessment of the risks taken by the company; and


(ii) The chief risk officer must report directly to both the risk committee and chief executive officer of the company.


Subpart N – Risk Committee, Liquidity Risk Management, and Liquidity Buffer Requirements for Covered Savings and Loan Holding Companies With Total Consolidated Assets of $100 Billion or More


Source:84 FR 59078, Nov. 1, 2019, unless otherwise noted.

§ 238.120 Scope.

This subpart applies to covered savings and loan holding companies with average total consolidated assets of $100 billion or more.


§ 238.121 Applicability.

(a) Applicability – (1) Initial applicability. A covered savings and loan holding company must comply with the risk-management and risk-committee requirements set forth in § 238.122 and the liquidity risk-management and liquidity stress test requirements set forth in §§ 238.123 and 238.124 no later than the first day of the fifth quarter following the date on which its average total consolidated assets equal or exceed $100 billion.


(2) Changes in requirements following a change in category. A covered savings and loan holding company with average total consolidated assets of $100 billion or more that changes from one category of covered savings and loan holding company described in § 238.10(b) through (d) to another such category must comply with the requirements applicable to the new category no later than on the first day of the second calendar quarter following the change in the covered savings and loan holding company’s category.


(b) Cessation of requirements. A covered savings and loan holding company is subject to the risk-management and risk committee requirements set forth in § 238.122 and the liquidity risk-management and liquidity stress test requirements set forth in §§ 238.123 and 238.124 until its total consolidated assets are below $100 billion for each of four consecutive calendar quarters.


§ 238.122 Risk-management and risk committee requirements.

(a) Risk committee – (1) General. A covered savings and loan holding subject to this subpart must maintain a risk committee that approves and periodically reviews the risk-management policies of the covered savings and loan holding company’s global operations and oversees the operation of the covered savings and loan holding company’s global risk-management framework. The risk committee’s responsibilities include liquidity risk-management as set forth in § 238.123(b).


(2) Risk-management framework. The covered savings and loan holding company’s global risk-management framework must be commensurate with its structure, risk profile, complexity, activities, and size and must include:


(i) Policies and procedures establishing risk-management governance, risk-management procedures, and risk-control infrastructure for its global operations; and


(ii) Processes and systems for implementing and monitoring compliance with such policies and procedures, including:


(A) Processes and systems for identifying and reporting risks and risk-management deficiencies, including regarding emerging risks, and ensuring effective and timely implementation of actions to address emerging risks and risk-management deficiencies for its global operations;


(B) Processes and systems for establishing managerial and employee responsibility for risk management;


(C) Processes and systems for ensuring the independence of the risk-management function; and


(D) Processes and systems to integrate risk management and associated controls with management goals and its compensation structure for its global operations.


(3) Corporate governance requirements. The risk committee must:


(i) Have a formal, written charter that is approved by the covered savings and loan holding company’s board of directors;


(ii) Be an independent committee of the board of directors that has, as its sole and exclusive function, responsibility for the risk-management policies of the covered savings and loan holding company’s global operations and oversight of the operation of the covered savings and loan holding company’s global risk-management framework;


(iii) Report directly to the covered savings and loan holding company’s board of directors;


(iv) Receive and review regular reports on not less than a quarterly basis from the covered savings and loan holding company’s chief risk officer provided pursuant to paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section; and


(v) Meet at least quarterly, or more frequently as needed, and fully document and maintain records of its proceedings, including risk-management decisions.


(4) Minimum member requirements. The risk committee must:


(i) Include at least one member having experience in identifying, assessing, and managing risk exposures of large, complex financial firms; and


(ii) Be chaired by a director who:


(A) Is not an officer or employee of the covered savings and loan holding company and has not been an officer or employee of the covered savings and loan holding company during the previous three years;


(B) Is not a member of the immediate family, as defined in § 238.31(b)(3), of a person who is, or has been within the last three years, an executive officer of the covered savings and loan holding company, as defined in § 215.2(e)(1) of this chapter; and


(C)(1) Is an independent director under Item 407 of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation S-K (17 CFR 229.407(a)), if the covered savings and loan holding company has an outstanding class of securities traded on an exchange registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a national securities exchange under section 6 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78f) (national securities exchange); or


(2) Would qualify as an independent director under the listing standards of a national securities exchange, as demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Board, if the covered savings and loan holding company does not have an outstanding class of securities traded on a national securities exchange.


(b) Chief risk officer – (1) General. A covered savings and loan holding company subject to this subpart must appoint a chief risk officer with experience in identifying, assessing, and managing risk exposures of large, complex financial firms.


(2) Responsibilities. (i) The chief risk officer is responsible for overseeing:


(A) The establishment of risk limits on an enterprise-wide basis and the monitoring of compliance with such limits;


(B) The implementation of and ongoing compliance with the policies and procedures set forth in paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section and the development and implementation of the processes and systems set forth in paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section; and


(C) The management of risks and risk controls within the parameters of the company’s risk control framework, and monitoring and testing of the company’s risk controls.


(ii) The chief risk officer is responsible for reporting risk-management deficiencies and emerging risks to the risk committee and resolving risk-management deficiencies in a timely manner.


(3) Corporate governance requirements. (i) The covered savings and loan holding company must ensure that the compensation and other incentives provided to the chief risk officer are consistent with providing an objective assessment of the risks taken by the covered savings and loan holding company; and


(ii) The chief risk officer must report directly to both the risk committee and chief executive officer of the company.


§ 238.123 Liquidity risk-management requirements.

(a) Responsibilities of the board of directors – (1) Liquidity risk tolerance. The board of directors of a covered savings and loan holding company subject to this subpart must:


(i) Approve the acceptable level of liquidity risk that the covered savings and loan holding company may assume in connection with its operating strategies (liquidity risk tolerance) at least annually, taking into account the covered savings and loan holding company’s capital structure, risk profile, complexity, activities, and size; and


(ii) Receive and review at least semi-annually information provided by senior management to determine whether the covered savings and loan holding company is operating in accordance with its established liquidity risk tolerance.


(2) Liquidity risk-management strategies, policies, and procedures. The board of directors must approve and periodically review the liquidity risk-management strategies, policies, and procedures established by senior management pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this section.


(b) Responsibilities of the risk committee. The risk committee (or a designated subcommittee of such committee composed of members of the board of directors) must approve the contingency funding plan described in paragraph (f) of this section at least annually, and must approve any material revisions to the plan prior to the implementation of such revisions.


(c) Responsibilities of senior management – (1) Liquidity risk. (i) Senior management of a covered savings and loan holding company subject to this subpart must establish and implement strategies, policies, and procedures designed to effectively manage the risk that the covered savings and loan holding company’s financial condition or safety and soundness would be adversely affected by its inability or the market’s perception of its inability to meet its cash and collateral obligations (liquidity risk). The board of directors must approve the strategies, policies, and procedures pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of this section.


(ii) Senior management must oversee the development and implementation of liquidity risk measurement and reporting systems, including those required by this section and § 238.124.


(iii) Senior management must determine at least quarterly whether the covered savings and loan holding company is operating in accordance with such policies and procedures and whether the covered savings and loan holding company is in compliance with this section and § 238.124 (or more often, if changes in market conditions or the liquidity position, risk profile, or financial condition warrant), and establish procedures regarding the preparation of such information.


(2) Liquidity risk tolerance. Senior management must report to the board of directors or the risk committee regarding the covered savings and loan holding company’s liquidity risk profile and liquidity risk tolerance at least quarterly (or more often, if changes in market conditions or the liquidity position, risk profile, or financial condition of the company warrant).


(3) Business lines or products. (i) Senior management must approve new products and business lines and evaluate the liquidity costs, benefits, and risks of each new business line and each new product that could have a significant effect on the company’s liquidity risk profile. The approval is required before the company implements the business line or offers the product. In determining whether to approve the new business line or product, senior management must consider whether the liquidity risk of the new business line or product (under both current and stressed conditions) is within the company’s established liquidity risk tolerance.


(ii) Senior management must review at least annually significant business lines and products to determine whether any line or product creates or has created any unanticipated liquidity risk, and to determine whether the liquidity risk of each strategy or product is within the company’s established liquidity risk tolerance.


(4) Cash-flow projections. Senior management must review the cash-flow projections produced under paragraph (e) of this section at least quarterly (or more often, if changes in market conditions or the liquidity position, risk profile, or financial condition of the covered savings and loan holding company warrant) to ensure that the liquidity risk is within the established liquidity risk tolerance.


(5) Liquidity risk limits. Senior management must establish liquidity risk limits as set forth in paragraph (g) of this section and review the company’s compliance with those limits at least quarterly (or more often, if changes in market conditions or the liquidity position, risk profile, or financial condition of the company warrant).


(6) Liquidity stress testing. Senior management must:


(i) Approve the liquidity stress testing practices, methodologies, and assumptions required in § 238.124(a) at least quarterly, and whenever the covered savings and loan holding company materially revises its liquidity stress testing practices, methodologies or assumptions;


(ii) Review the liquidity stress testing results produced under § 238.124(a) at least quarterly;


(iii) Review the independent review of the liquidity stress tests under § 238.123(d) periodically; and


(iv) Approve the size and composition of the liquidity buffer established under § 238.124(b) at least quarterly.


(d) Independent review function. (1) A covered savings and loan holding company subject to this subpart must establish and maintain a review function that is independent of management functions that execute funding to evaluate its liquidity risk management.


(2) The independent review function must:


(i) Regularly, but no less frequently than annually, review and evaluate the adequacy and effectiveness of the company’s liquidity risk management processes, including its liquidity stress test processes and assumptions;


(ii) Assess whether the company’s liquidity risk-management function complies with applicable laws and regulations, and sound business practices; and


(iii) Report material liquidity risk management issues to the board of directors or the risk committee in writing for corrective action, to the extent permitted by applicable law.


(e) Cash-flow projections. (1) A covered savings and loan holding company subject to this subpart must produce comprehensive cash-flow projections that project cash flows arising from assets, liabilities, and off-balance sheet exposures over, at a minimum, short- and long-term time horizons. The covered savings and loan holding company must update short-term cash-flow projections daily and must update longer-term cash-flow projections at least monthly.


(2) The covered savings and loan holding company must establish a methodology for making cash-flow projections that results in projections that:


(i) Include cash flows arising from contractual maturities, intercompany transactions, new business, funding renewals, customer options, and other potential events that may impact liquidity;


(ii) Include reasonable assumptions regarding the future behavior of assets, liabilities, and off-balance sheet exposures;


(iii) Identify and quantify discrete and cumulative cash flow mismatches over these time periods; and


(iv) Include sufficient detail to reflect the capital structure, risk profile, complexity, currency exposure, activities, and size of the covered savings and loan holding company and include analyses by business line, currency, or legal entity as appropriate.


(3) The covered savings and loan holding company must adequately document its methodology for making cash flow projections and the included assumptions and submit such documentation to the risk committee.


(f) Contingency funding plan – (1) General. A covered savings and loan holding company subject to this subpart must establish and maintain a contingency funding plan that sets out the company’s strategies for addressing liquidity needs during liquidity stress events. The contingency funding plan must be commensurate with the company’s capital structure, risk profile, complexity, activities, size, and established liquidity risk tolerance. The company must update the contingency funding plan at least annually, and when changes to market and idiosyncratic conditions warrant.


(2) Components of the contingency funding plan – (i) Quantitative assessment. The contingency funding plan must:


(A) Identify liquidity stress events that could have a significant impact on the covered savings and loan holding company’s liquidity;


(B) Assess the level and nature of the impact on the covered savings and loan holding company’s liquidity that may occur during identified liquidity stress events;


(C) Identify the circumstances in which the covered savings and loan holding company would implement its action plan described in paragraph (f)(2)(ii)(A) of this section, which circumstances must include failure to meet any minimum liquidity requirement imposed by the Board;


(D) Assess available funding sources and needs during the identified liquidity stress events;


(E) Identify alternative funding sources that may be used during the identified liquidity stress events; and


(F) Incorporate information generated by the liquidity stress testing required under § 238.124(a).


(ii) Liquidity event management process. The contingency funding plan must include an event management process that sets out the covered savings and loan holding company’s procedures for managing liquidity during identified liquidity stress events. The liquidity event management process must:


(A) Include an action plan that clearly describes the strategies the company will use to respond to liquidity shortfalls for identified liquidity stress events, including the methods that the company will use to access alternative funding sources;


(B) Identify a liquidity stress event management team that would execute the action plan described in paragraph (f)(2)(ii)(A) of this section;


(C) Specify the process, responsibilities, and triggers for invoking the contingency funding plan, describe the decision-making process during the identified liquidity stress events, and describe the process for executing contingency measures identified in the action plan; and


(D) Provide a mechanism that ensures effective reporting and communication within the covered savings and loan holding company and with outside parties, including the Board and other relevant supervisors, counterparties, and other stakeholders.


(iii) Monitoring. The contingency funding plan must include procedures for monitoring emerging liquidity stress events. The procedures must identify early warning indicators that are tailored to the company’s capital structure, risk profile, complexity, activities, and size.


(iv) Testing. The covered savings and loan holding company must periodically test:


(A) The components of the contingency funding plan to assess the plan’s reliability during liquidity stress events;


(B) The operational elements of the contingency funding plan, including operational simulations to test communications, coordination, and decision-making by relevant management; and


(C) The methods the covered savings and loan holding company will use to access alternative funding sources to determine whether these funding sources will be readily available when needed.


(g) Liquidity risk limits – (1) General. A covered savings and loan holding company subject to this subpart must monitor sources of liquidity risk and establish limits on liquidity risk that are consistent with the company’s established liquidity risk tolerance and that reflect the company’s capital structure, risk profile, complexity, activities, and size.


(2) Liquidity risk limits established by a Category II savings and loan holding company, or Category III savings and loan holding company. If the covered savings and loan holding company is a Category II savings and loan holding company or Category III savings and loan holding company, liquidity risk limits established under paragraph (g)(1) of this section by must include limits on:


(i) Concentrations in sources of funding by instrument type, single counterparty, counterparty type, secured and unsecured funding, and as applicable, other forms of liquidity risk;


(ii) The amount of liabilities that mature within various time horizons; and


(iii) Off-balance sheet exposures and other exposures that could create funding needs during liquidity stress events.


(h) Collateral, legal entity, and intraday liquidity risk monitoring. A covered savings and loan holding company subject to this subpart must establish and maintain procedures for monitoring liquidity risk as set forth in this paragraph.


(1) Collateral. The covered savings and loan holding company must establish and maintain policies and procedures to monitor assets that have been, or are available to be, pledged as collateral in connection with transactions to which it or its affiliates are counterparties. These policies and procedures must provide that the covered savings and loan holding company:


(i) Calculates all of its collateral positions according to the frequency specified in paragraphs (h)(1)(i)(A) and (B) of this section or as directed by the Board, specifying the value of pledged assets relative to the amount of security required under the relevant contracts and the value of unencumbered assets available to be pledged:


(A) If the covered savings and loan holding company is not a Category IV savings and loan holding company, on at least a weekly basis;


(B) If the covered savings and loan holding company is a Category IV savings and loan holding company, on at least a monthly basis;


(ii) Monitors the levels of unencumbered assets available to be pledged by legal entity, jurisdiction, and currency exposure;


(iii) Monitors shifts in the covered savings and loan holding company’s funding patterns, such as shifts between intraday, overnight, and term pledging of collateral; and


(iv) Tracks operational and timing requirements associated with accessing collateral at its physical location (for example, the custodian or securities settlement system that holds the collateral).


(2) Legal entities, currencies and business lines. The covered savings and loan holding company must establish and maintain procedures for monitoring and controlling liquidity risk exposures and funding needs within and across significant legal entities, currencies, and business lines, taking into account legal and regulatory restrictions on the transfer of liquidity between legal entities.


(3) Intraday exposures. The covered savings and loan holding company must establish and maintain procedures for monitoring intraday liquidity risk exposures that are consistent with the covered savings and loan holding company’s capital structure, risk profile, complexity, activities, and size. If the covered savings and loan holding company is a Category II savings and loan holding company or a Category III savings and loan holding company, these procedures must address how the management of the covered savings and loan holding company will:


(i) Monitor and measure expected daily gross liquidity inflows and outflows;


(ii) Manage and transfer collateral to obtain intraday credit;


(iii) Identify and prioritize time-specific obligations so that the covered savings and loan holding company can meet these obligations as expected and settle less critical obligations as soon as possible;


(iv) Manage the issuance of credit to customers where necessary; and


(v) Consider the amounts of collateral and liquidity needed to meet payment systems obligations when assessing the covered savings and loan holding company’s overall liquidity needs.


§ 238.124 Liquidity stress testing and buffer requirements.

(a) Liquidity stress testing requirement – (1) General. A covered savings and loan holding company subject to this subpart must conduct stress tests to assess the potential impact of the liquidity stress scenarios set forth in paragraph (a)(3) of this section on its cash flows, liquidity position, profitability, and solvency, taking into account its current liquidity condition, risks, exposures, strategies, and activities.


(i) The covered savings and loan holding company must take into consideration its balance sheet exposures, off-balance sheet exposures, size, risk profile, complexity, business lines, organizational structure, and other characteristics of the covered savings and loan holding company that affect its liquidity risk profile in conducting its stress test.


(ii) In conducting a liquidity stress test using the scenarios described in paragraphs (a)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section, the covered savings and loan holding company must address the potential direct adverse impact of associated market disruptions on the covered savings and loan holding company and incorporate the potential actions of other market participants experiencing liquidity stresses under the market disruptions that would adversely affect the covered savings and loan holding company.


(2) Frequency. The covered savings and loan holding company must perform the liquidity stress tests required under paragraph (a)(1) of this section according to the frequency specified in paragraph (a)(2)(i) or (ii) of this section or as directed by the Board:


(i) If the covered savings and loan holding company is not a Category IV savings and loan holding company, at least monthly; or


(ii) If the covered savings and loan holding company is a Category IV savings and loan holding company, at least quarterly.


(3) Stress scenarios. (i) Each stress test conducted under paragraph (a)(1) of this section must include, at a minimum:


(A) A scenario reflecting adverse market conditions;


(B) A scenario reflecting an idiosyncratic stress event for the covered savings and loan holding company; and


(C) A scenario reflecting combined market and idiosyncratic stresses.


(ii) The covered savings and loan holding company must incorporate additional liquidity stress scenarios into its liquidity stress test, as appropriate, based on its financial condition, size, complexity, risk profile, scope of operations, or activities. The Board may require the covered savings and loan holding company to vary the underlying assumptions and stress scenarios.


(4) Planning horizon. Each stress test conducted under paragraph (a)(1) of this section must include an overnight planning horizon, a 30-day planning horizon, a 90-day planning horizon, a one-year planning horizon, and any other planning horizons that are relevant to the covered savings and loan holding company’s liquidity risk profile. For purposes of this section, a “planning horizon” is the period over which the relevant stressed projections extend. The covered savings and loan holding company must use the results of the stress test over the 30-day planning horizon to calculate the size of the liquidity buffer under paragraph (b) of this section.


(5) Requirements for assets used as cash-flow sources in a stress test. (i) To the extent an asset is used as a cash flow source to offset projected funding needs during the planning horizon in a liquidity stress test, the fair market value of the asset must be discounted to reflect any credit risk and market volatility of the asset.


(ii) Assets used as cash-flow sources during a planning horizon must be diversified by collateral, counterparty, borrowing capacity, and other factors associated with the liquidity risk of the assets.


(iii) A line of credit does not qualify as a cash flow source for purposes of a stress test with a planning horizon of 30 days or less. A line of credit may qualify as a cash flow source for purposes of a stress test with a planning horizon that exceeds 30 days.


(6) Tailoring. Stress testing must be tailored to, and provide sufficient detail to reflect, a covered savings and loan holding company’s capital structure, risk profile, complexity, activities, and size.


(7) Governance – (i) Policies and procedures. A covered savings and loan holding company subject to this subpart must establish and maintain policies and procedures governing its liquidity stress testing practices, methodologies, and assumptions that provide for the incorporation of the results of liquidity stress tests in future stress testing and for the enhancement of stress testing practices over time.


(ii) Controls and oversight. A covered savings and loan holding subject to this subpart must establish and maintain a system of controls and oversight that is designed to ensure that its liquidity stress testing processes are effective in meeting the requirements of this section. The controls and oversight must ensure that each liquidity stress test appropriately incorporates conservative assumptions with respect to the stress scenario in paragraph (a)(3) of this section and other elements of the stress test process, taking into consideration the covered savings and loan holding company’s capital structure, risk profile, complexity, activities, size, business lines, legal entity or jurisdiction, and other relevant factors. The assumptions must be approved by the chief risk officer and be subject to the independent review under § 238.123(d).


(iii) Management information systems. The covered savings and loan holding company must maintain management information systems and data processes sufficient to enable it to effectively and reliably collect, sort, and aggregate data and other information related to liquidity stress testing.


(8) Notice and response. If the Board determines that a covered savings and loan holding company must conduct liquidity stress tests according to a frequency other than the frequency provided in paragraphs (a)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section, the Board will notify the covered savings and loan holding company before the change in frequency takes effect, and describe the basis for its determination. Within 14 calendar days of receipt of a notification under this paragraph, the covered savings and loan holding company may request in writing that the Board reconsider the requirement. The Board will respond in writing to the company’s request for reconsideration prior to requiring that the company conduct liquidity stress tests according to a frequency other than the frequency provided in paragraphs (a)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section.


(b) Liquidity buffer requirement. (1) A covered savings and loan holding company subject to this subpart must maintain a liquidity buffer that is sufficient to meet the projected net stressed cash-flow need over the 30-day planning horizon of a liquidity stress test conducted in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section under each scenario set forth in paragraph (a)(3)(i) through (ii) of this section.


(2) Net stressed cash-flow need. The net stressed cash-flow need for a covered savings and loan holding company is the difference between the amount of its cash-flow need and the amount of its cash flow sources over the 30-day planning horizon.


(3) Asset requirements. The liquidity buffer must consist of highly liquid assets that are unencumbered, as defined in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section:


(i) Highly liquid asset. A highly liquid asset includes:


(A) Cash;


(B) Assets that meet the criteria for high quality liquid assets as defined in 12 CFR 249.20; or


(C) Any other asset that the covered savings and loan holding company demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Board:


(1) Has low credit risk and low market risk;


(2) Is traded in an active secondary two-way market that has committed market makers and independent bona fide offers to buy and sell so that a price reasonably related to the last sales price or current bona fide competitive bid and offer quotations can be determined within one day and settled at that price within a reasonable time period conforming with trade custom; and


(3) Is a type of asset that investors historically have purchased in periods of financial market distress during which market liquidity has been impaired.


(ii) Unencumbered. An asset is unencumbered if it:


(A) Is free of legal, regulatory, contractual, or other restrictions on the ability of such company promptly to liquidate, sell or transfer the asset; and


(B) Is either:


(1) Not pledged or used to secure or provide credit enhancement to any transaction; or


(2) Pledged to a central bank or a U.S. government-sponsored enterprise, to the extent potential credit secured by the asset is not currently extended by such central bank or U.S. government-sponsored enterprise or any of its consolidated subsidiaries.


(iii) Calculating the amount of a highly liquid asset. In calculating the amount of a highly liquid asset included in the liquidity buffer, the covered savings and loan holding company must discount the fair market value of the asset to reflect any credit risk and market price volatility of the asset.


(iv) Operational requirements. With respect to the liquidity buffer, the bank holding company must:


(A) Establish and implement policies and procedures that require highly liquid assets comprising the liquidity buffer to be under the control of the management function in the covered savings and loan holding company that is charged with managing liquidity risk; and


(B) Demonstrate the capability to monetize a highly liquid asset under each scenario required under § 238.124(a)(3).


(v) Diversification. The liquidity buffer must not contain significant concentrations of highly liquid assets by issuer, business sector, region, or other factor related to the covered savings and loan holding company’s risk, except with respect to cash and securities issued or guaranteed by the United States, a U.S. government agency, or a U.S. government-sponsored enterprise.


Subpart O – Supervisory Stress Test Requirements for Covered Savings and Loan Holding Companies


Source:84 FR 59083, Nov. 1, 2019, unless otherwise noted.

§ 238.130 Definitions.

For purposes of this subpart, the following definitions apply:


Advanced approaches means the risk-weighted assets calculation methodologies at 12 CFR part 217, subpart E, as applicable.


Baseline scenario means a set of conditions that affect the U.S. economy or the financial condition of a covered company and that reflect the consensus views of the economic and financial outlook.


Covered company means a covered savings and loan holding company (other than a foreign banking organization) subject to this subpart.


Planning horizon means the period of at least nine consecutive quarters, beginning on the first day of a stress test cycle over which the relevant projections extend.


Pre-provision net revenue means the sum of net interest income and non-interest income less expenses before adjusting for loss provisions.


Provision for credit losses means:


(1) With respect to a covered company that has adopted the current expected credit losses methodology under GAAP, the provision for credit losses, as would be reported by the covered company on the FR Y-9C in the current stress test cycle; and,


(2) With respect to a covered company that has not adopted the current expected credit losses methodology under GAAP, the provision for loan and lease losses as would be reported by the covered company on the FR Y-9C in the current stress test cycle.


Regulatory capital ratio means a capital ratio for which the Board has established minimum requirements for the covered savings and loan holding company by regulation or order, including, as applicable, the company’s regulatory capital ratios calculated under 12 CFR part 217 and the deductions required under 12 CFR 248.12; except that the company shall not use the advanced approaches to calculate its regulatory capital ratios.


Scenarios are those sets of conditions that affect the U.S. economy or the financial condition of a covered company that the Board determines are appropriate for use in the supervisory stress tests, including, but not limited to, baseline and severely adverse scenarios.


Severely adverse scenario means a set of conditions that affect the U.S. economy or the financial condition of a covered company and that overall are significantly more severe than those associated with the baseline scenario and may include trading or other additional components.


Stress test cycle means the period beginning on January 1 of a calendar year and ending on December 31 of that year.


Subsidiary has the same meaning as in § 225.2(o) of this chapter.


§ 238.131 Applicability.

(a) Scope – (1) Applicability. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, this subpart applies to any covered savings and loan holding company with average total consolidated assets of $100 billion or more.


(2) Ongoing applicability. A covered savings and loan holding company (including any successor company) that is subject to any requirement in this subpart shall remain subject to any such requirement unless and until its total consolidated assets fall below $100 billion for each of four consecutive quarters, effective on the as-of date of the fourth consecutive FR Y-9C.


(b) Transitional arrangements. (1) A covered savings and loan holding company that becomes a covered company on or before September 30 of a calendar year must comply with the requirements of this subpart beginning on January 1 of the second calendar year after the covered savings and loan holding company becomes a covered company, unless that time is extended by the Board in writing.


(2) A covered savings and loan holding company that becomes a covered company after September 30 of a calendar year must comply with the requirements of this subpart beginning on January 1 of the third calendar year after the covered savings and loan holding company becomes a covered company, unless that time is extended by the Board in writing.


§ 238.132 Analysis conducted by the Board.

(a) In general. (1) The Board will conduct an analysis of each covered company’s capital, on a total consolidated basis, taking into account all relevant exposures and activities of that covered company, to evaluate the ability of the covered company to absorb losses in specified economic and financial conditions.


(2) The analysis will include an assessment of the projected losses, net income, and pro forma capital levels and regulatory capital ratios and other capital ratios for the covered company and use such analytical techniques that the Board determines are appropriate to identify, measure, and monitor risks of the covered company.


(3) In conducting the analyses, the Board will coordinate with the appropriate primary financial regulatory agencies and the Federal Insurance Office, as appropriate.


(4) In conducting the analysis, the Board will not incorporate changes to a firm’s business plan that are likely to have a material impact on the covered company’s capital adequacy and funding profile in its projections of losses, net income, pro forma capital levels, and capital ratios.


(b) Economic and financial scenarios related to the Board’s analysis. The Board will conduct its analysis using a minimum of two different scenarios, including a baseline scenario and a severely adverse scenario. The Board will notify covered companies of the scenarios that the Board will apply to conduct the analysis for each stress test cycle to which the covered company is subject by no later than February 15 of that year, except with respect to trading or any other components of the scenarios and any additional scenarios that the Board will apply to conduct the analysis, which will be communicated by no later than March 1 of that year.


(c) Frequency of analysis conducted by the Board – (1) General. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the Board will conduct its analysis of a covered company according to the frequency in Table 1 to § 238.132(c)(1).


Table 1 to § 238.132(c)(1)

If the covered company is a
Then the Board will conduct its analysis
Category II savings and loan holding companyAnnually.
Category III savings and loan holding companyAnnually.
Category IV savings and loan holding companyBiennially, occurring in each year ending in an even number.

(2) Change in frequency. (i) The Board may conduct a stress test of a covered company on a more or less frequent basis than would be required under paragraph (c)(1) of this section based on the company’s financial condition, size, complexity, risk profile, scope of operations, or activities, or risks to the U.S. economy.


(ii) A Category IV savings and loan holding company may elect to have the Board conduct a stress test with respect to the company in a year ending in an odd number by providing notice to the Board and the appropriate Federal Reserve Bank by January 15 of that year.


(3) Notice and response – (i) Notification of change in frequency. If the Board determines to change the frequency of the stress test under paragraph (c)(2), the Board will notify the company in writing and provide a discussion of the basis for its determination.


(ii) Request for reconsideration and Board response. Within 14 calendar days of receipt of a notification under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, a covered company may request in writing that the Board reconsider the requirement to conduct a stress test on a more or less frequent basis than would be required under paragraph (c)(1) of this section. A covered company’s request for reconsideration must include an explanation as to why the request for reconsideration should be granted. The Board will respond in writing within 14 calendar days of receipt of the company’s request.


(d) Capital Action Assumptions. In conducting a stress test under this section, the Board will make the following assumptions regarding a covered company’s capital actions over the planning horizon:


(1) The covered company will not pay any dividends on any instruments that qualify as common equity tier 1 capital;


(2) The covered company will make payments on instruments that qualify as additional tier 1 capital or tier 2 capital equal to the stated dividend, interest, or principal due on such instrument;


(3) The covered company will not make a redemption or repurchase of any capital instrument that is eligible for inclusion in the numerator of a regulatory capital ratio; and


(4) The covered company will not make any issuances of common stock or preferred stock.


[84 FR 59083, Nov. 1, 2019, as amended at 86 FR 7943, Feb. 3, 2021]


§ 238.133 Data and information required to be submitted in support of the Board’s analyses.

(a) Regular submissions. Each covered company must submit to the Board such data, on a consolidated basis, that the Board determines is necessary in order for the Board to derive the relevant pro forma estimates of the covered company over the planning horizon under the scenarios described in § 238.132(b).


(b) Additional submissions required by the Board. The Board may require a covered company to submit any other information on a consolidated basis that the Board deems necessary in order to:


(1) Ensure that the Board has sufficient information to conduct its analysis under this subpart; and


(2) Project a company’s pre-provision net revenue, losses, provision for credit losses, and net income; and pro forma capital levels, regulatory capital ratios, and any other capital ratio specified by the Board under the scenarios described in § 238.132(b).


(c) Confidential treatment of information submitted. The confidentiality of information submitted to the Board under this subpart and related materials shall be determined in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(b)) and the Board’s Rules Regarding Availability of Information (12 CFR part 261).


§ 238.134 Review of the Board’s analysis; publication of summary results.

(a) Review of results. Based on the results of the analysis conducted under this subpart, the Board will conduct an evaluation to determine whether the covered company has the capital, on a total consolidated basis, necessary to absorb losses and continue its operation by maintaining ready access to funding, meeting its obligations to creditors and other counterparties, and continuing to serve as a credit intermediary under baseline and severely adverse scenarios, and any additional scenarios.


(b) Publication of results by the Board. (1) The Board will publicly disclose a summary of the results of the Board’s analyses of a covered company by June 30 of the calendar year in which the stress test was conducted pursuant to § 238.132.


(2) The Board will notify companies of the date on which it expects to publicly disclose a summary of the Board’s analyses pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section at least 14 calendar days prior to the expected disclosure date.


§ 238.135 Corporate use of stress test results.

The board of directors and senior management of each covered company must consider the results of the analysis conducted by the Board under this subpart, as appropriate:


(a) As part of the covered company’s capital plan and capital planning process, including when making changes to the covered company’s capital structure (including the level and composition of capital); and


(b) When assessing the covered company’s exposures, concentrations, and risk positions.


Subpart P – Company-Run Stress Test Requirements for Savings and Loan Holding Companies


Source:84 FR 59085, Nov. 1, 2019, unless otherwise noted.

§ 238.140 Authority and purpose.

(a) Authority. 12 U.S.C. 1467; 1467a, 1818, 5361, 5365.


(b) Purpose. This subpart establishes the requirement for a covered company to conduct stress tests. This subpart also establishes definitions of stress test and related terms, methodologies for conducting stress tests, and reporting and disclosure requirements.


§ 238.141 Definitions.

For purposes of this subpart, the following definitions apply:


Advanced approaches means the risk-weighted assets calculation methodologies at 12 CFR part 217, subpart E, as applicable.


Baseline scenario means a set of conditions that affect the U.S. economy or the financial condition of a covered company and that reflect the consensus views of the economic and financial outlook.


Capital action means any issuance or redemption of a debt or equity capital instrument, any capital distribution, and any similar action that the Federal Reserve determines could impact a savings and loan holding company’s consolidated capital.


Covered company means:


(1) A Category II savings and loan holding company;


(2) A Category III savings and loan holding company; or


(3) A savings and loan holding company with average total consolidated assets of greater than $250 billion.


Planning horizon means the period of at least nine consecutive quarters, beginning on the first day of a stress test cycle over which the relevant projections extend.


Pre-provision net revenue means the sum of net interest income and non-interest income less expenses before adjusting for loss provisions.


Provision for credit losses means:


(1) With respect to a covered company that has adopted the current expected credit losses methodology under GAAP, the provision for credit losses, as would be reported by the covered company on the FR Y-9C in the current stress test cycle; and


(2) With respect to a covered company that has not adopted the current expected credit losses methodology under GAAP, the provision for loan and lease losses as would be reported by the covered company on the FR Y-9C in the current stress test cycle.


Regulatory capital ratio means a capital ratio for which the Board has established minimum requirements for the savings and loan holding company by regulation or order, including, as applicable, the company’s regulatory capital ratios calculated under 12 CFR part 217 and the deductions required under 12 CFR 248.12; except that the company shall not use the advanced approaches to calculate its regulatory capital ratios.


Scenarios are those sets of conditions that affect the U.S. economy or the financial condition of a covered company that the Board determines are appropriate for use in the company-run stress tests, including, but not limited to, baseline and severely adverse scenarios.


Severely adverse scenario means a set of conditions that affect the U.S. economy or the financial condition of a covered company and that overall are significantly more severe than those associated with the baseline scenario and may include trading or other additional components.


Stress test means a process to assess the potential impact of scenarios on the consolidated earnings, losses, and capital of a covered company over the planning horizon, taking into account its current condition, risks, exposures, strategies, and activities.


Stress test cycle means the period beginning on January 1 of a calendar year and ending on December 31 of that year.


§ 238.142 Applicability.

(a) Scope – (1) Applicability. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, this subpart applies to any covered company, which includes:


(i) Any Category II savings and loan holding company;


(ii) Any Category III savings and loan holding company; and


(iii) Any savings and loan holding company with average total consolidated assets of greater than $250 billion.


(2) Ongoing applicability. A savings and loan holding company (including any successor company) that is subject to any requirement in this subpart shall remain subject to any such requirement unless and until the savings and loan holding company:


(i) Is not a Category II savings and loan holding company;


(ii) Is not a Category III savings and loan holding company; and


(iii) Has $250 billion or less in total consolidated assets in each of four consecutive calendar quarters.


(b) Transitional arrangements. (1) A savings and loan holding company that is subject to minimum capital requirements and that becomes a covered company on or before September 30 of a calendar year must comply with the requirements of this subpart beginning on January 1 of the second calendar year after the savings and loan holding company becomes a covered company, unless that time is extended by the Board in writing.


(2) A savings and loan holding company that is subject to minimum capital requirements and that becomes a covered company after September 30 of a calendar year must comply with the requirements of this subpart beginning on January 1 of the third calendar year after the savings and loan holding company becomes a covered company, unless that time is extended by the Board in writing.


§ 238.143 Stress test.

(a) Stress test requirement – (1) In general. A covered company must conduct a stress test as required under this subpart.


(2) Frequency – (i) General. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section, a covered company must conduct a stress test according to the frequency in Table 1 of § 238.143(a)(2)(i).


Table 1 of § 238.143(a)(2)(i)

If the covered company is a
Then the stress test must be conducted
Category II savings and loan holding companyAnnually, by April 5 of each calendar year based on data as of December 31 of the preceding calendar year, unless the time or the as-of date is extended by the Board in writing.
Category III savings and loan holding companyBiennially, by April 5 of each calendar year ending in an even number, based on data as of December 31 of the preceding calendar year, unless the time or the as-of date is extended by the Board in writing.
Savings and loan holding company that is not:Periodically, as determined by rule or order.
(A) A Category II savings and loan holding company; or
(B) A Category III savings and loan holding company.

(ii) Change in frequency. The Board may require a covered company to conduct a stress test on a more or less frequent basis than would be required under paragraphs (a)(2)(i) of this section based on the company’s financial condition, size, complexity, risk profile, scope of operations, or activities, or risks to the U.S. economy.


(3) Notice and response – (i) Notification of change in frequency. If the Board requires a covered company to change the frequency of the stress test under paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section, the Board will notify the company in writing and provide a discussion of the basis for its determination.


(ii) Request for reconsideration and Board response. Within 14 calendar days of receipt of a notification under this paragraph (a)(3), a covered company may request in writing that the Board reconsider the requirement to conduct a stress test on a more or less frequent basis than would be required under paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section. A covered company’s request for reconsideration must include an explanation as to why the request for reconsideration should be granted. The Board will respond in writing within 14 calendar days of receipt of the company’s request.


(b) Scenarios provided by the Board – (1) In general. In conducting a stress test under this section, a covered company must, at a minimum, use the scenarios provided by the Board. Except as provided in paragraphs (b)(2) and (3) of this section, the Board will provide a description of the scenarios to each covered company no later than February 15 of the calendar year in which the stress test is performed pursuant to this section.


(2) Additional components. (i) The Board may require a covered company with significant trading activity, as determined by the Board and specified in the Capital Assessments and Stress Testing report (FR Y-14), to include a trading and counterparty component in its severely adverse scenario in the stress test required by this section. The data used in this component must be as-of a date selected by the Board between October 1 of the previous calendar year and March 1 of the calendar year in which the stress test is performed pursuant to this section, and the Board will communicate the as-of date and a description of the component to the company no later than March 1 of the calendar year in which the stress test is performed pursuant to this section.


(ii) The Board may require a covered company to include one or more additional components in its severely adverse scenario in the stress test required by this section based on the company’s financial condition, size, complexity, risk profile, scope of operations, or activities, or risks to the U.S. economy.


(3) Additional scenarios. The Board may require a covered company to use one or more additional scenarios in the stress test required by this section based on the company’s financial condition, size, complexity, risk profile, scope of operations, or activities, or risks to the U.S. economy.


(4) Notice and response – (i) Notification of additional component. If the Board requires a covered company to include one or more additional components in its severely adverse scenario under paragraph (b)(2) of this section or to use one or more additional scenarios under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the Board will notify the company in writing and include a discussion of the basis for its determination. The Board will provide such notification no later than December 31 of the preceding calendar year. The notification will include a general description of the additional component(s) or additional scenario(s) and the basis for requiring the company to include the additional component(s) or additional scenario(s).


(ii) Request for reconsideration and Board response. Within 14 calendar days of receipt of a notification under this paragraph, the covered company may request in writing that the Board reconsider the requirement that the company include the additional component(s) or additional scenario(s), including an explanation as to why the request for reconsideration should be granted. The Board will respond in writing within 14 calendar days of receipt of the company’s request.


(iii) Description of component. The Board will provide the covered company with a description of any additional component(s) or additional scenario(s) by March 1 of the calendar year in which the stress test is performed pursuant to this section.


§ 238.144 Methodologies and practices.

(a) Potential impact on capital. In conducting a stress test under § 238.143, for each quarter of the planning horizon, a covered company must estimate the following for each scenario required to be used:


(1) Losses, pre-provision net revenue, provision for credit losses, and net income; and


(2) The potential impact on pro forma regulatory capital levels and pro forma capital ratios (including regulatory capital ratios and any other capital ratios specified by the Board), and in so doing must:


(i) Incorporate the effects of any capital actions over the planning horizon and maintenance of an allowance for credit losses appropriate for credit exposures throughout the planning horizon; and


(ii) Exclude the impacts of changes to a firm’s business plan that are likely to have a material impact on the covered company’s capital adequacy and funding profile.


(b) Assumptions regarding capital actions. In conducting a stress test under § 238.143, a covered company is required to make the following assumptions regarding its capital actions over the planning horizon:


(1) The covered company will not pay any dividends on any instruments that qualify as common equity tier 1 capital;


(2) The covered company will make payments on instruments that qualify as additional tier 1 capital or tier 2 capital equal to the stated dividend, interest, or principal due on such instrument;


(3) The covered company will not make a redemption or repurchase of any capital instrument that is eligible for inclusion in the numerator of a regulatory capital ratio; and


(4) The covered company will not make any issuances of common stock or preferred stock.


(c) Controls and oversight of stress testing processes – (1) In general. The senior management of a covered company must establish and maintain a system of controls, oversight, and documentation, including policies and procedures, that are designed to ensure that its stress testing processes are effective in meeting the requirements in this subpart. These policies and procedures must, at a minimum, describe the covered company’s stress testing practices and methodologies, and processes for validating and updating the company’s stress test practices and methodologies consistent with applicable laws and regulations.


(2) Oversight of stress testing processes. The board of directors, or a committee thereof, of a covered company must review and approve the policies and procedures of the stress testing processes as frequently as economic conditions or the condition of the covered company may warrant, but no less than each year a stress test is conducted. The board of directors and senior management of the covered company must receive a summary of the results of any stress test conducted under this subpart.


(3) Role of stress testing results. The board of directors and senior management of each covered company must consider the results of the analysis it conducts under this subpart, as appropriate:


(i) As part of the covered company’s capital plan and capital planning process, including when making changes to the covered company’s capital structure (including the level and composition of capital); and


(ii) When assessing the covered company’s exposures, concentrations, and risk positions.


[84 FR 59085, Nov. 1, 2019, as amended at 86 FR 7943, Feb. 3, 2021]


§ 238.145 Reports of stress test results.

(a) Reports to the Board of stress test results. A covered company must report the results of the stress test required under § 238.143 to the Board in the manner and form prescribed by the Board. Such results must be submitted by April 5 of the calendar year in which the stress test is performed pursuant to § 238.143, unless that time is extended by the Board in writing.


(b) Confidential treatment of information submitted. The confidentiality of information submitted to the Board under this subpart and related materials shall be determined in accordance with applicable exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(b)) and the Board’s Rules Regarding Availability of Information (12 CFR part 261).


§ 238.146 Disclosure of stress test results.

(a) Public disclosure of results – (1) In general. (i) A covered company that is subject to a supervisory stress test under 12 CFR 238.132 must publicly disclose a summary of the results of the stress test required under § 238.143 within the period that is 15 calendar days after the Board publicly discloses the results of its supervisory stress test of the covered company pursuant to § 238.134, unless that time is extended by the Board in writing; and


(ii) A covered company that is not subject to a supervisory stress test under § 238.132 must publicly disclose a summary of the results of the stress test required under § 238.143 in the period beginning on June 15 and ending on June 30 in the year in which the stress test is conducted, unless that time is extended by the Board in writing.


(2) Disclosure method. The summary required under this section may be disclosed on the website of a covered company, or in any other forum that is reasonably accessible to the public.


(b) Summary of results. The summary results must, at a minimum, contain the following information regarding the severely adverse scenario:


(1) A description of the types of risks included in the stress test;


(2) A general description of the methodologies used in the stress test, including those employed to estimate losses, revenues, provision for credit losses, and changes in capital positions over the planning horizon;


(3) Estimates of –


(i) Pre-provision net revenue and other revenue;


(ii) Provision for credit losses, realized losses or gains on available-for-sale and held-to-maturity securities, trading and counterparty losses, and other losses or gains;


(iii) Net income before taxes;


(iv) Loan losses (dollar amount and as a percentage of average portfolio balance) in the aggregate and by subportfolio, including: Domestic closed-end first-lien mortgages; domestic junior lien mortgages and home equity lines of credit; commercial and industrial loans; commercial real estate loans; credit card exposures; other consumer loans; and all other loans; and


(v) Pro forma regulatory capital ratios and any other capital ratios specified by the Board; and


(4) An explanation of the most significant causes for the changes in regulatory capital ratios; and


(5) With respect to any depository institution subsidiary that is subject to stress testing requirements pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 5365(i)(2), 12 CFR part 46 (OCC), or 12 CFR part 325, subpart C (FDIC), changes over the planning horizon in regulatory capital ratios and any other capital ratios specified by the Board and an explanation of the most significant causes for the changes in regulatory capital ratios.


(c) Content of results. (1) The following disclosures required under paragraph (b) of this section must be on a cumulative basis over the planning horizon:


(i) Pre-provision net revenue and other revenue;


(ii) Provision for credit losses, realized losses or gains on available-for-sale and held-to-maturity securities, trading and counterparty losses, and other losses or gains;


(iii) Net income before taxes; and


(iv) Loan losses in the aggregate and by subportfolio.


(2) The disclosure of pro forma regulatory capital ratios and any other capital ratios specified by the Board that is required under paragraph (b) of this section must include the beginning value, ending value, and minimum value of each ratio over the planning horizon.


[84 FR 59085, Nov. 1, 2019, as amended at 86 FR 7943, Feb. 3, 2021]


Subpart Q – Single Counterparty Credit Limits for Covered Savings and Loan Holding Companies


Source:84 FR 59087, Nov. 1, 2019, unless otherwise noted.

§ 238.150 Applicability and general provisions.

(a) In general. This subpart establishes single counterparty credit limits for a covered company. For purposes of this subpart, covered company means:


(i) A Category II savings and loan holding company; or


(ii) A Category III savings and loan holding company.


(b) Credit exposure limits. (1) Section 238.152 establishes credit exposure limits for a covered company.


(2) A covered company is required to calculate its aggregate net credit exposure, gross credit exposure, and net credit exposure to a counterparty using the methods in this subpart.


(c) Applicability of this subpart. (1) A covered company that becomes subject to this subpart must comply with the requirements of this subpart beginning on the first day of the ninth calendar quarter after it becomes a covered company, unless that time is accelerated or extended by the Board in writing.


(2) [Reserved]


(d) Cessation of requirements. Any company that becomes a covered company will remain subject to the requirements of this subpart unless and until it is not a Category II savings and loan holding company or a Category III savings and loan holding company.



Editorial Note:At 84 FR 59087, Nov. 1, 2019, subpart Q was added, and within that subpart, § 238.150 was added with incorrect paragraph coding in paragraph (a).

§ 238.151 Definitions.

Unless defined in this section, terms that are set forth in § 238.2 and used in this subpart have the definitions assigned in § 238.2. For purposes of this subpart:


(a) Adjusted market value means:


(1) With respect to the value of cash, securities, or other eligible collateral transferred by the covered company to a counterparty, the sum of:


(i) The market value of the cash, securities, or other eligible collateral; and


(ii) The product of the market value of the securities or other eligible collateral multiplied by the applicable collateral haircut in table 1 to § 217.132 of this chapter; and


(2) With respect to cash, securities, or other eligible collateral received by the covered company from a counterparty:


(i) The market value of the cash, securities, or other eligible collateral; minus


(ii) The market value of the securities or other eligible collateral multiplied by the applicable collateral haircut in table 1 to § 217.132 of this chapter.


(3) Prior to calculating the adjusted market value pursuant to paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) of this section, with regard to a transaction that meets the definition of “repo-style transaction” in § 217.2 of this chapter, the covered company would first multiply the applicable collateral haircuts in table 1 to § 217.132 of this chapter by the square root of 1/2.


(b) Affiliate means, with respect to a company:


(1) Any subsidiary of the company and any other company that is consolidated with the company under applicable accounting standards; or


(2) For a company that is not subject to principles or standards referenced in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, any subsidiary of the company and any other company that would be consolidated with the company, if consolidation would have occurred if such principles or standards had applied.


(c) Aggregate net credit exposure means the sum of all net credit exposures of a covered company and all of its subsidiaries to a single counterparty as calculated under this subpart.


(d) Bank-eligible investments means investment securities that a national bank is permitted to purchase, sell, deal in, underwrite, and hold under 12 U.S.C. 24 (Seventh) and 12 CFR part 1.


(e) Counterparty means, with respect to a credit transaction:


(1) With respect to a natural person, the natural person, and, if the credit exposure of the covered company to such natural person exceeds 5 percent of the covered company’s tier 1 capital, the natural person and members of the person’s immediate family collectively;


(2) With respect to any company that is not a subsidiary of the covered company, the company and its affiliates collectively;


(3) With respect to a State, the State and all of its agencies, instrumentalities, and political subdivisions (including any municipalities) collectively;


(4) With respect to a foreign sovereign entity that is not assigned a zero percent risk weight under the standardized approach in 12 CFR part 217, subpart D, the foreign sovereign entity and all of its agencies and instrumentalities (but not including any political subdivision) collectively; and


(5) With respect to a political subdivision of a foreign sovereign entity such as a state, province, or municipality, any political subdivision of the foreign sovereign entity and all of such political subdivision’s agencies and instrumentalities, collectively.
1




1 In addition, under § 238.156, under certain circumstances, a covered company is required to aggregate its net credit exposure to one or more counterparties for all purposes under this subpart.


(f) Covered company is defined in § 238.150(a)


(g) Credit derivative has the same meaning as in § 217.2 of this chapter.


(h) Credit transaction means, with respect to a counterparty:


(1) Any extension of credit to the counterparty, including loans, deposits, and lines of credit, but excluding uncommitted lines of credit;


(2) Any repurchase agreement or reverse repurchase agreement with the counterparty;


(3) Any securities lending or securities borrowing transaction with the counterparty;


(4) Any guarantee, acceptance, or letter of credit (including any endorsement, confirmed letter of credit, or standby letter of credit) issued on behalf of the counterparty;


(5) Any purchase of securities issued by or other investment in the counterparty;


(6) Any credit exposure to the counterparty in connection with a derivative transaction between the covered company and the counterparty;


(7) Any credit exposure to the counterparty in connection with a credit derivative or equity derivative between the covered company and a third party, the reference asset of which is an obligation or equity security of, or equity investment in, the counterparty; and


(8) Any transaction that is the functional equivalent of the above, and any other similar transaction that the Board, by regulation or order, determines to be a credit transaction for purposes of this subpart.


(i) Depository institution has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813(c)).


(j) Derivative transaction means any transaction that is a contract, agreement, swap, warrant, note, or option that is based, in whole or in part, on the value of, any interest in, or any quantitative measure or the occurrence of any event relating to, one or more commodities, securities, currencies, interest or other rates, indices, or other assets.


(k) Eligible collateral means collateral in which, notwithstanding the prior security interest of any custodial agent, the covered company has a perfected, first priority security interest (or the legal equivalent thereof, if outside of the United States), with the exception of cash on deposit, and is in the form of:


(1) Cash on deposit with the covered company or a subsidiary of the covered company (including cash in foreign currency or U.S. dollars held for the covered company by a custodian or trustee, whether inside or outside of the United States);


(2) Debt securities (other than mortgage- or asset-backed securities and resecuritization securities, unless those securities are issued by a U.S. government-sponsored enterprise) that are bank-eligible investments and that are investment grade, except for any debt securities issued by the covered company or any subsidiary of the covered company;


(3) Equity securities that are publicly traded, except for any equity securities issued by the covered company or any subsidiary of the covered company;


(4) Convertible bonds that are publicly traded, except for any convertible bonds issued by the covered company or any subsidiary of the covered company; or


(5) Gold bullion.


(l) Eligible credit derivative means a single-name credit derivative or a standard, non-tranched index credit derivative, provided that:


(1) The contract meets the requirements of an eligible guarantee and has been confirmed by the protection purchaser and the protection provider;


(2) Any assignment of the contract has been confirmed by all relevant parties;


(3) If the credit derivative is a credit default swap, the contract includes the following credit events:


(i) Failure to pay any amount due under the terms of the reference exposure, subject to any applicable minimal payment threshold that is consistent with standard market practice and with a grace period that is closely in line with the grace period of the reference exposure; and


(ii) Receivership, insolvency, liquidation, conservatorship, or inability of the reference exposure issuer to pay its debts, or its failure or admission in writing of its inability generally to pay its debts as they become due, and similar events;


(4) The terms and conditions dictating the manner in which the contract is to be settled are incorporated into the contract;


(5) If the contract allows for cash settlement, the contract incorporates a robust valuation process to estimate loss reliably and specifies a reasonable period for obtaining post-credit event valuations of the reference exposure;


(6) If the contract requires the protection purchaser to transfer an exposure to the protection provider at settlement, the terms of at least one of the exposures that is permitted to be transferred under the contract provide that any required consent to transfer may not be unreasonably withheld; and


(7) If the credit derivative is a credit default swap, the contract clearly identifies the parties responsible for determining whether a credit event has occurred, specifies that this determination is not the sole responsibility of the protection provider, and gives the protection purchaser the right to notify the protection provider of the occurrence of a credit event.


(m) Eligible equity derivative means an equity derivative, provided that:


(1) The derivative contract has been confirmed by all relevant parties;


(2) Any assignment of the derivative contract has been confirmed by all relevant parties; and


(3) The terms and conditions dictating the manner in which the derivative contract is to be settled are incorporated into the contract.


(n) Eligible guarantee has the same meaning as in § 217.2 of this chapter.


(o) Eligible guarantor has the same meaning as in § 217.2 of this chapter.


(p) Equity derivative has the same meaning as “equity derivative contract” in § 217.2 of this chapter.


(q) Exempt counterparty means an entity that is identified as exempt from the requirements of this subpart under § 238.157, or that is otherwise excluded from this subpart, including any sovereign entity assigned a zero percent risk weight under the standardized approach in 12 CFR part 217, subpart D.


(r) Financial entity means:


(1)(i) A bank holding company or an affiliate thereof; a savings and loan holding company; a U.S. intermediate holding company established or designated pursuant to 12 CFR 252.153; or a nonbank financial company supervised by the Board;


(ii) A depository institution as defined in section 3(c) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813(c)); an organization that is organized under the laws of a foreign country and that engages directly in the business of banking outside the United States; a federal credit union or state credit union as defined in section 2 of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. 1752(1) and (6)); a national association, state member bank, or state nonmember bank that is not a depository institution; an institution that functions solely in a trust or fiduciary capacity as described in section 2(c)(2)(D) of the Bank Holding Company Act (12 U.S.C. 1841(c)(2)(D)); an industrial loan company, an industrial bank, or other similar institution described in section 2(c)(2)(H) of the Bank Holding Company Act (12 U.S.C. 1841(c)(2)(H));


(iii) An entity that is state-licensed or registered as:


(A) A credit or lending entity, including a finance company; money lender; installment lender; consumer lender or lending company; mortgage lender, broker, or bank; motor vehicle title pledge lender; payday or deferred deposit lender; premium finance company; commercial finance or lending company; or commercial mortgage company; except entities registered or licensed solely on account of financing the entity’s direct sales of goods or services to customers;


(B) A money services business, including a check casher; money transmitter; currency dealer or exchange; or money order or traveler’s check issuer;


(iv) Any person registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as a swap dealer or major swap participant pursuant to the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 1 et seq.), or an entity that is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a security-based swap dealer or a major security-based swap participant pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.);


(v) A securities holding company as defined in section 618 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (12 U.S.C. 1850a); a broker or dealer as defined in sections 3(a)(4) and 3(a)(5) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(4)-(5)); an investment adviser as defined in section 202(a) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80b-2(a)); an investment company registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-1 et seq.); or a company that has elected to be regulated as a business development company pursuant to section 54(a) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-53(a));


(vi) A private fund as defined in section 202(a) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80b-2(a)); an entity that would be an investment company under section 3 of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-3) but for section 3(c)(5)(C); or an entity that is deemed not to be an investment company under section 3 of the Investment Company Act of 1940 pursuant to Investment Company Act Rule 3a-7 (17 CFR 270.3a-7) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission;


(vii) A commodity pool, a commodity pool operator, or a commodity trading advisor as defined, respectively, in sections 1a(10), 1a(11), and 1a(12) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 1a(10), 1a(11), and 1a(12)); a floor broker, a floor trader, or introducing broker as defined, respectively, in sections 1a(22), 1a(23) and 1a(31) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 1a(22), 1a(23), and 1a(31)); or a futures commission merchant as defined in section 1a(28) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 1a(28));


(viii) An employee benefit plan as defined in paragraphs (3) and (32) of section 3 of the Employee Retirement Income and Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1002);


(ix) An entity that is organized as an insurance company, primarily engaged in writing insurance or reinsuring risks underwritten by insurance companies, or is subject to supervision as such by a State insurance regulator or foreign insurance regulator;


(x) Any designated financial market utility, as defined in section 803 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (12 U.S.C. 5462); and


(xi) An entity that would be a financial entity described in paragraphs (r)(1)(i) through (x) of this section, if it were organized under the laws of the United States or any State thereof; and


(2) Provided that, for purposes of this subpart, “financial entity” does not include any counterparty that is a foreign sovereign entity or multilateral development bank.


(s) Foreign sovereign entity means a sovereign entity other than the United States government and the entity’s agencies, departments, ministries, and central bank collectively.


(t) Gross credit exposure means, with respect to any credit transaction, the credit exposure of the covered company before adjusting, pursuant to § 238.154, for the effect of any eligible collateral, eligible guarantee, eligible credit derivative, eligible equity derivative, other eligible hedge, and any unused portion of certain extensions of credit.


(u) Immediate family means the spouse of an individual, the individual’s minor children, and any of the individual’s children (including adults) residing in the individual’s home.


(v) Intraday credit exposure means credit exposure of a covered company to a counterparty that by its terms is to be repaid, sold, or terminated by the end of its business day in the United States.


(w) Investment grade has the same meaning as in § 217.2 of this chapter.


(x) Multilateral development bank has the same meaning as in § 217.2 of this chapter.


(y) Net credit exposure means, with respect to any credit transaction, the gross credit exposure of a covered company and all of its subsidiaries calculated under § 238.153, as adjusted in accordance with § 238.154.


(z) Qualifying central counterparty has the same meaning as in § 217.2 of this chapter.


(aa) Qualifying master netting agreement has the same meaning as in § 217.2 of this chapter.


(bb) Securities financing transaction means any repurchase agreement, reverse repurchase agreement, securities borrowing transaction, or securities lending transaction.


(cc) Short sale means any sale of a security which the seller does not own or any sale which is consummated by the delivery of a security borrowed by, or for the account of, the seller.


(dd) Sovereign entity means a central national government (including the U.S. government) or an agency, department, ministry, or central bank, but not including any political subdivision such as a state, province, or municipality.


(ee) Subsidiary. A company is a subsidiary of another company if:


(1) The company is consolidated by the other company under applicable accounting standards; or


(2) For a company that is not subject to principles or standards referenced in paragraph (ee)(1) of this section, consolidation would have occurred if such principles or standards had applied.


(ff) Tier 1 capital means common equity tier 1 capital and additional tier 1 capital, as defined in 12 CFR part 217 and as reported by the covered savings and loan holding company on the most recent FR Y-9C report on a consolidated basis.


(gg) Total consolidated assets. A company’s total consolidated assets are determined based on:


(1) The average of the company’s total consolidated assets in the four most recent consecutive quarters as reported quarterly on the FR Y-9C; or


(2) If the company has not filed an FR Y-9C for each of the four most recent consecutive quarters, the average of the company’s total consolidated assets, as reported on the company’s FR Y-9C, for the most recent quarter or consecutive quarters, as applicable.


§ 238.152 Credit exposure limits.

General limit on aggregate net credit exposure. No covered company may have an aggregate net credit exposure to any counterparty that exceeds 25 percent of the tier 1 capital of the covered company.


§ 238.153 Gross credit exposure.

(a) Calculation of gross credit exposure. The amount of gross credit exposure of a covered company to a counterparty with respect to a credit transaction is, in the case of:


(1) A deposit of the covered company held by the counterparty, loan by a covered company to the counterparty, and lease in which the covered company is the lessor and the counterparty is the lessee, equal to the amount owed by the counterparty to the covered company under the transaction.


(2) A debt security or debt investment held by the covered company that is issued by the counterparty, equal to:


(i) The market value of the securities, for trading and available-for-sale securities; and


(ii) The amortized purchase price of the securities or investments, for securities or investments held to maturity.


(3) An equity security held by the covered company that is issued by the counterparty, equity investment in a counterparty, and other direct investments in a counterparty, equal to the market value.


(4) A securities financing transaction must be valued using any of the methods that the covered company is authorized to use under 12 CFR part 217, subparts D and E to value such transactions:


(i)(A) As calculated for each transaction, in the case of a securities financing transaction between the covered company and the counterparty that is not subject to a bilateral netting agreement or does not meet the definition of “repo-style transaction” in § 217.2 of this chapter; or


(B) As calculated for a netting set, in the case of a securities financing transaction between the covered company and the counterparty that is subject to a bilateral netting agreement with that counterparty and meets the definition of “repo-style transaction” in § 217.2 of this chapter;


(ii) For purposes of paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section, the covered company must:


(A) Assign a value of zero to any security received from the counterparty that does not meet the definition of “eligible collateral” in § 238.151; and


(B) Include the value of securities that are eligible collateral received by the covered company from the counterparty (including any exempt counterparty), calculated in accordance with paragraphs (a)(4)(i) through (iv) of this section, when calculating its gross credit exposure to the issuer of those securities;


(iii) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a)(4)(i) and (ii) of this section and with respect to each credit transaction, a covered company’s gross credit exposure to a collateral issuer under this paragraph (a)(4) is limited to the covered company’s gross credit exposure to the counterparty on the credit transaction; and


(iv) In cases where the covered company receives eligible collateral from a counterparty in addition to the cash or securities received from that counterparty, the counterparty may reduce its gross credit exposure to that counterparty in accordance with § 238.154(b).


(5) A committed credit line extended by a covered company to a counterparty, equal to the face amount of the committed credit line.


(6) A guarantee or letter of credit issued by a covered company on behalf of a counterparty, equal to the maximum potential loss to the covered company on the transaction.


(7) A derivative transaction must be valued using any of the methods that the covered company is authorized to use under 12 CFR part 217, subparts D and E to value such transactions:


(i)(A) As calculated for each transaction, in the case of a derivative transaction between the covered company and the counterparty, including an equity derivative but excluding a credit derivative described in paragraph (a)(8) of this section, that is not subject to a qualifying master netting agreement; or


(B) As calculated for a netting set, in the case of a derivative transaction between the covered company and the counterparty, including an equity derivative but excluding a credit derivative described in paragraph (a)(8) of this section, that is subject to a qualifying master netting agreement.


(ii) In cases where a covered company is required to recognize an exposure to an eligible guarantor pursuant to § 238.154(d), the covered company must exclude the relevant derivative transaction when calculating its gross exposure to the original counterparty under this section.


(8) A credit derivative between the covered company and a third party where the covered company is the protection provider and the reference asset is an obligation or debt security of the counterparty, equal to the maximum potential loss to the covered company on the transaction.


(b) Investments in and exposures to securitization vehicles, investment funds, and other special purpose vehicles that are not subsidiaries. Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this section, a covered company must calculate pursuant to § 238.155 its gross credit exposure due to any investment in the debt or equity of, and any credit derivative or equity derivative between the covered company and a third party where the covered company is the protection provider and the reference asset is an obligation or equity security of, or equity investment in, a securitization vehicle, investment fund, and other special purpose vehicle that is not a subsidiary of the covered company.


(c) Attribution rule. Notwithstanding any other requirement in this subpart, a covered company must treat any transaction with any natural person or entity as a credit transaction with another party, to the extent that the proceeds of the transaction are used for the benefit of, or transferred to, the other party.


§ 238.154 Net credit exposure.

(a) In general. For purposes of this subpart, a covered company must calculate its net credit exposure to a counterparty by adjusting its gross credit exposure to that counterparty in accordance with the rules set forth in this section.


(b) Eligible collateral. (1) In computing its net credit exposure to a counterparty for any credit transaction other than a securities financing transaction, a covered company must reduce its gross credit exposure on the transaction by the adjusted market value of any eligible collateral.


(2) A covered company that reduces its gross credit exposure to a counterparty as required under paragraph (b)(1) of this section must include the adjusted market value of the eligible collateral, when calculating its gross credit exposure to the collateral issuer.


(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (b)(2) of this section, a covered company’s gross credit exposure to a collateral issuer under this paragraph (b) is limited to:


(i) Its gross credit exposure to the counterparty on the credit transaction, or


(ii) In the case of an exempt counterparty, the gross credit exposure that would have been attributable to that exempt counterparty on the credit transaction if valued in accordance with § 238.153(a).


(c) Eligible guarantees. (1) In calculating net credit exposure to a counterparty for any credit transaction, a covered company must reduce its gross credit exposure to the counterparty by the amount of any eligible guarantee from an eligible guarantor that covers the transaction.


(2) A covered company that reduces its gross credit exposure to a counterparty as required under paragraph (c)(1) of this section must include the amount of eligible guarantees when calculating its gross credit exposure to the eligible guarantor.


(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(2) of this section, a covered company’s gross credit exposure to an eligible guarantor with respect to an eligible guarantee under this paragraph (c) is limited to:


(i) Its gross credit exposure to the counterparty on the credit transaction prior to recognition of the eligible guarantee, or


(ii) In the case of an exempt counterparty, the gross credit exposure that would have been attributable to that exempt counterparty on the credit transaction prior to recognition of the eligible guarantee if valued in accordance with § 238.153(a).


(d) Eligible credit and equity derivatives. (1) In calculating net credit exposure to a counterparty for a credit transaction under this section, a covered company must reduce its gross credit exposure to the counterparty by:


(i) In the case of any eligible credit derivative from an eligible guarantor, the notional amount of the eligible credit derivative; or


(ii) In the case of any eligible equity derivative from an eligible guarantor, the gross credit exposure amount to the counterparty (calculated in accordance with § 238.153(a)(7)).


(2)(i) A covered company that reduces its gross credit exposure to a counterparty as provided under paragraph (d)(1) of this section must include, when calculating its net credit exposure to the eligible guarantor, including in instances where the underlying credit transaction would not be subject to the credit limits of § 238.152 (for example, due to an exempt counterparty), either


(A) In the case of any eligible credit derivative from an eligible guarantor, the notional amount of the eligible credit derivative; or


(B) In the case of any eligible equity derivative from an eligible guarantor, the gross credit exposure amount to the counterparty (calculated in accordance with § 238.153(a)(7)).


(ii) Notwithstanding paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section, in cases where the eligible credit derivative or eligible equity derivative is used to hedge covered positions that are subject to the Board’s market risk rule (12 CFR part 217, subpart F) and the counterparty on the hedged transaction is not a financial entity, the amount of credit exposure that a company must recognize to the eligible guarantor is the amount that would be calculated pursuant to § 238.153(a).


(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (d)(2) of this section, a covered company’s gross credit exposure to an eligible guarantor with respect to an eligible credit derivative or an eligible equity derivative this paragraph (d) is limited to:


(i) Its gross credit exposure to the counterparty on the credit transaction prior to recognition of the eligible credit derivative or the eligible equity derivative, or


(ii) In the case of an exempt counterparty, the gross credit exposure that would have been attributable to that exempt counterparty on the credit transaction prior to recognition of the eligible credit derivative or the eligible equity derivative if valued in accordance with § 238.153(a).


(e) Other eligible hedges. In calculating net credit exposure to a counterparty for a credit transaction under this section, a covered company may reduce its gross credit exposure to the counterparty by the face amount of a short sale of the counterparty’s debt security or equity security, provided that:


(1) The instrument in which the covered company has a short position is junior to, or pari passu with, the instrument in which the covered company has the long position; and


(2) The instrument in which the covered company has a short position and the instrument in which the covered company has the long position are either both treated as trading or available-for-sale exposures or both treated as held-to-maturity exposures.


(f) Unused portion of certain extensions of credit. (1) In computing its net credit exposure to a counterparty for a committed credit line or revolving credit facility under this section, a covered company may reduce its gross credit exposure by the amount of the unused portion of the credit extension to the extent that the covered company does not have any legal obligation to advance additional funds under the extension of credit and the used portion of the credit extension has been fully secured by eligible collateral.


(2) To the extent that the used portion of a credit extension has been secured by eligible collateral, the covered company may reduce its gross credit exposure by the adjusted market value of any eligible collateral received from the counterparty, even if the used portion has not been fully secured by eligible collateral.


(3) To qualify for the reduction in net credit exposure under this paragraph, the credit contract must specify that any used portion of the credit extension must be fully secured by the adjusted market value of any eligible collateral.


(g) Credit transactions involving exempt counterparties. (1) A covered company’s credit transactions with an exempt counterparty are not subject to the requirements of this subpart, including but not limited to § 238.152.


(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (g)(1) of this section, in cases where a covered company has a credit transaction with an exempt counterparty and the covered company has obtained eligible collateral from that exempt counterparty or an eligible guarantee or eligible credit or equity derivative from an eligible guarantor, the covered company must include (for purposes of this subpart) such exposure to the issuer of such eligible collateral or the eligible guarantor, as calculated in accordance with the rules set forth in this section, when calculating its gross credit exposure to that issuer of eligible collateral or eligible guarantor.


(h) Currency mismatch adjustments. For purposes of calculating its net credit exposure to a counterparty under this section, a covered company must apply, as applicable:


(1) When reducing its gross credit exposure to a counterparty resulting from any credit transaction due to any eligible collateral and calculating its gross credit exposure to an issuer of eligible collateral, pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, the currency mismatch adjustment approach of § 217.37(c)(3)(ii) of this chapter; and


(2) When reducing its gross credit exposure to a counterparty resulting from any credit transaction due to any eligible guarantee, eligible equity derivative, or eligible credit derivative from an eligible guarantor and calculating its gross credit exposure to an eligible guarantor, pursuant to paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, the currency mismatch adjustment approach of § 217.36(f) of this chapter.


(i) Maturity mismatch adjustments. For purposes of calculating its net credit exposure to a counterparty under this section, a covered company must apply, as applicable, the maturity mismatch adjustment approach of § 217.36(d) of this chapter:


(1) When reducing its gross credit exposure to a counterparty resulting from any credit transaction due to any eligible collateral or any eligible guarantees, eligible equity derivatives, or eligible credit derivatives from an eligible guarantor, pursuant to paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section, and


(2) In calculating its gross credit exposure to an issuer of eligible collateral, pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, or to an eligible guarantor, pursuant to paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section; provided that


(3) The eligible collateral, eligible guarantee, eligible equity derivative, or eligible credit derivative subject to paragraph (i)(1) of this section:


(i) Has a shorter maturity than the credit transaction;


(ii) Has an original maturity equal to or greater than one year;


(iii) Has a residual maturity of not less than three months; and


(iv) The adjustment approach is otherwise applicable.


§ 238.155 Investments in and exposures to securitization vehicles, investment funds, and other special purpose vehicles that are not subsidiaries of the covered company.

(a) In general. (1) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:


(i) SPV means a securitization vehicle, investment fund, or other special purpose vehicle that is not a subsidiary of the covered company.


(ii) SPV exposure means an investment in the debt or equity of an SPV, or a credit derivative or equity derivative between the covered company and a third party where the covered company is the protection provider and the reference asset is an obligation or equity security of, or equity investment in, an SPV.


(2)(i) A covered company must determine whether the amount of its gross credit exposure to an issuer of assets in an SPV, due to an SPV exposure, is equal to or greater than 0.25 percent of the covered company’s tier 1 capital using one of the following two methods:


(A) The sum of all of the issuer’s assets (with each asset valued in accordance with § 238.153(a)) in the SPV; or


(B) The application of the look-through approach described in paragraph (b) of this section.


(ii) With respect to the determination required under paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section, a covered company must use the same method to calculate gross credit exposure to each issuer of assets in a particular SPV.


(iii) In making a determination under paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section, the covered company must consider only the credit exposure to the issuer arising from the covered company’s SPV exposure.


(iv) For purposes of this paragraph (a)(2), a covered company that is unable to identify each issuer of assets in an SPV must attribute to a single unknown counterparty the amount of its gross credit exposure to all unidentified issuers and calculate such gross credit exposure using one method in either paragraph (a)(2)(i)(A) or (a)(2)(i)(B) of this section.


(3)(i) If a covered company determines pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of this section that the amount of its gross credit exposure to an issuer of assets in an SPV is less than 0.25 percent of the covered company’s tier 1 capital, the amount of the covered company’s gross credit exposure to that issuer may be attributed to either that issuer of assets or the SPV:


(A) If attributed to the issuer of assets, the issuer of assets must be identified as a counterparty, and the gross credit exposure calculated under paragraph (a)(2)(i)(A) of this section to that issuer of assets must be aggregated with any other gross credit exposures (valued in accordance with § 238.153) to that same counterparty; and


(B) If attributed to the SPV, the covered company’s gross credit exposure is equal to the covered company’s SPV exposure, valued in accordance with § 238.153(a).


(ii) If a covered company determines pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of this section that the amount of its gross credit exposure to an issuer of assets in an SPV is equal to or greater than 0.25 percent of the covered company’s tier 1 capital or the covered company is unable to determine that the amount of the gross credit exposure is less than 0.25 percent of the covered company’s tier 1 capital:


(A) The covered company must calculate the amount of its gross credit exposure to the issuer of assets in the SPV using the look-through approach in paragraph (b) of this section;


(B) The issuer of assets in the SPV must be identified as a counterparty, and the gross credit exposure calculated in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section must be aggregated with any other gross credit exposures (valued in accordance with § 238.153) to that same counterparty; and


(C) When applying the look-through approach in paragraph (b) of this section, a covered company that is unable to identify each issuer of assets in an SPV must attribute to a single unknown counterparty the amount of its gross credit exposure, calculated in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section, to all unidentified issuers.


(iii) For purposes of this section, a covered company must aggregate all gross credit exposures to unknown counterparties for all SPVs as if the exposures related to a single unknown counterparty; this single unknown counterparty is subject to the limits of § 238.152 as if it were a single counterparty.


(b) Look-through approach. A covered company that is required to calculate the amount of its gross credit exposure with respect to an issuer of assets in accordance with this paragraph (b) must calculate the amount as follows:


(1) Where all investors in the SPV rank pari passu, the amount of the gross credit exposure to the issuer of assets is equal to the covered company’s pro rata share of the SPV multiplied by the value of the underlying asset in the SPV, valued in accordance with § 238.153(a); and


(2) Where all investors in the SPV do not rank pari passu, the amount of the gross credit exposure to the issuer of assets is equal to:


(i) The pro rata share of the covered company’s investment in the tranche of the SPV; multiplied by


(ii) The lesser of:


(A) The market value of the tranche in which the covered company has invested, except in the case of a debt security that is held to maturity, in which case the tranche must be valued at the amortized purchase price of the securities; and


(B) The value of each underlying asset attributed to the issuer in the SPV, each as calculated pursuant to § 238.153(a).


(c) Exposures to third parties. (1) Notwithstanding any other requirement in this section, a covered company must recognize, for purposes of this subpart, a gross credit exposure to each third party that has a contractual obligation to provide credit or liquidity support to an SPV whose failure or material financial distress would cause a loss in the value of the covered company’s SPV exposure.


(2) The amount of any gross credit exposure that is required to be recognized to a third party under paragraph (c)(1) of this section is equal to the covered company’s SPV exposure, up to the maximum contractual obligation of that third party to the SPV, valued in accordance with § 238.153(a). (This gross credit exposure is in addition to the covered company’s gross credit exposure to the SPV or the issuers of assets of the SPV, calculated in accordance with paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section.)


(3) A covered company must aggregate the gross credit exposure to a third party recognized in accordance with paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of this section with its other gross credit exposures to that third party (that are unrelated to the SPV) for purposes of compliance with the limits of § 238.152.


§ 238.156 Aggregation of exposures to more than one counterparty due to economic interdependence or control relationships.

(a) In general. (1) If a covered company has an aggregate net credit exposure to any counterparty that exceeds 5 percent of its tier 1 capital, the covered company must assess its relationship with the counterparty under paragraph (b)(2) of this section to determine whether the counterparty is economically interdependent with one or more other counterparties of the covered company and under paragraph (c)(1) of this section to determine whether the counterparty is connected by a control relationship with one or more other counterparties.


(2) If, pursuant to an assessment required under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the covered company determines that one or more of the factors of paragraph (b)(2) or (c)(1) of this section are met with respect to one or more counterparties, or the Board determines pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section that one or more other counterparties of a covered company are economically interdependent or that one or more other counterparties of a covered company are connected by a control relationship, the covered company must aggregate its net credit exposure to the counterparties for all purposes under this subpart, including, but not limited to, § 238.152.


(3) In connection with any request pursuant to paragraph (b)(3) or (c)(2) of this section, the Board may require the covered company to provide additional information.


(b) Aggregation of exposures to more than one counterparty due to economic interdependence. (1) For purposes of this paragraph, two counterparties are economically interdependent if the failure, default, insolvency, or material financial distress of one counterparty would cause the failure, default, insolvency, or material financial distress of the other counterparty, taking into account the factors in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.


(2) A covered company must assess whether the financial distress of one counterparty (counterparty A) would prevent the ability of the other counterparty (counterparty B) to fully and timely repay counterparty B’s liabilities and whether the insolvency or default of counterparty A is likely to be associated with the insolvency or default of counterparty B and, therefore, these counterparties are economically interdependent, by evaluating the following:


(i) Whether 50 percent or more of one counterparty’s gross revenue is derived from, or gross expenditures are directed to, transactions with the other counterparty;


(ii) Whether counterparty A has fully or partly guaranteed the credit exposure of counterparty B, or is liable by other means, in an amount that is 50 percent or more of the covered company’s net credit exposure to counterparty A;


(iii) Whether 25 percent or more of one counterparty’s production or output is sold to the other counterparty, which cannot easily be replaced by other customers;


(iv) Whether the expected source of funds to repay the loans of both counterparties is the same and neither counterparty has another independent source of income from which the loans may be serviced and fully repaid;
1
and




1 An employer will not be treated as a source of repayment under this paragraph because of wages and salaries paid to an employee.


(v) Whether two or more counterparties rely on the same source for the majority of their funding and, in the event of the common provider’s default, an alternative provider cannot be found.


(3)(i) Notwithstanding paragraph (b)(2) of this section, if a covered company determines that one or more of the factors in paragraph (b)(2) is met, the covered company may request in writing a determination from the Board that those counterparties are not economically interdependent and that the covered company is not required to aggregate those counterparties.


(ii) Upon a request by a covered company pursuant to paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the Board may grant temporary relief to the covered company and not require the covered company to aggregate one counterparty with another counterparty provided that the counterparty could promptly modify its business relationships, such as by reducing its reliance on the other counterparty, to address any economic interdependence concerns, and provided that such relief is in the public interest and is consistent with the purpose of this subpart.


(c) Aggregation of exposures to more than one counterparty due to certain control relationships. (1) For purposes of this subpart, one counterparty (counterparty A) is deemed to control the other counterparty (counterparty B) if:


(i) Counterparty A owns, controls, or holds with the power to vote 25 percent or more of any class of voting securities of counterparty B; or


(ii) Counterparty A controls in any manner the election of a majority of the directors, trustees, or general partners (or individuals exercising similar functions) of counterparty B.


(2)(i) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(1) of this section, if a covered company determines that one or more of the factors in paragraph (c)(1) is met, the covered company may request in writing a determination from the Board that counterparty A does not control counterparty B and that the covered company is not required to aggregate those counterparties.


(ii) Upon a request by a covered company pursuant to paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the Board may grant temporary relief to the covered company and not require the covered company to aggregate counterparty A with counterparty B provided that, taking into account the specific facts and circumstances, such indicia of control does not result in the entities being connected by control relationships for purposes of this subpart, and provided that such relief is in the public interest and is consistent with the purpose of this subpart.


(d) Board determinations for aggregation of counterparties due to economic interdependence or control relationships. The Board may determine, after notice to the covered company and opportunity for hearing, that one or more counterparties of a covered company are:


(1) Economically interdependent for purposes of this subpart, considering the factors in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, as well as any other indicia of economic interdependence that the Board determines in its discretion to be relevant; or


(2) Connected by control relationships for purposes of this subpart, considering the factors in paragraph (c)(1) of this section and whether counterparty A:


(i) Controls the power to vote 25 percent or more of any class of voting securities of Counterparty B pursuant to a voting agreement;


(ii) Has significant influence on the appointment or dismissal of counterparty B’s administrative, management, or governing body, or the fact that a majority of members of such body have been appointed solely as a result of the exercise of counterparty A’s voting rights; or


(iii) Has the power to exercise a controlling influence over the management or policies of counterparty B.


(e) Board determinations for aggregation of counterparties to prevent evasion. Notwithstanding paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, a covered company must aggregate its exposures to a counterparty with the covered company’s exposures to another counterparty if the Board determines in writing after notice and opportunity for hearing, that the exposures to the two counterparties must be aggregated to prevent evasions of the purposes of this subpart, including, but not limited to § 238.156.


§ 238.157 Exemptions.

(a) Exempted exposure categories. The following categories of credit transactions are exempt from the limits on credit exposure under this subpart:


(1) Any direct claim on, and the portion of a claim that is directly and fully guaranteed as to principal and interest by, the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, only while operating under the conservatorship or receivership of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and any additional obligation issued by a U.S. government-sponsored entity as determined by the Board;


(2) Intraday credit exposure to a counterparty;


(3) Any trade exposure to a qualifying central counterparty related to the covered company’s clearing activity, including potential future exposure arising from transactions cleared by the qualifying central counterparty and pre-funded default fund contributions;


(4) Any credit transaction with the Bank for International Settlements, the International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Finance Corporation, the International Development Association, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, or the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes;


(5) Any credit transaction with the European Commission or the European Central Bank; and


(6) Any transaction that the Board exempts if the Board finds that such exemption is in the public interest and is consistent with the purpose of this subpart.


(b) Exemption for Federal Home Loan Banks. For purposes of this subpart, a covered company does not include any Federal Home Loan Bank.


(c) Additional exemptions by the Board. The Board may, by regulation or order, exempt transactions, in whole or in part, from the definition of the term “credit exposure,” if the Board finds that the exemption is in the public interest.


§ 238.158 Compliance.

(a) Scope of compliance. (1) Using all available data, including any data required to be maintained or reported to the Federal Reserve under this subpart, a covered company must comply with the requirements of this subpart on a daily basis at the end of each business day.


(2) A covered company must report its compliance to the Federal Reserve as of the end of the quarter, unless the Board determines and notifies that company in writing that more frequent reporting is required.


(3) In reporting its compliance, a covered company must calculate and include in its gross credit exposure to an issuer of eligible collateral or eligible guarantor the amounts of eligible collateral, eligible guarantees, eligible equity derivatives, and eligible credit derivatives that were provided to the covered company in connection with credit transactions with exempt counterparties, valued in accordance with and as required by § 238.154(b) through (d) and § 238.154 (g).


(b) Qualifying master netting agreement. With respect to any qualifying master netting agreement, a covered company must establish and maintain procedures that meet or exceed the requirements of § 217.3(d) of this chapter to monitor possible changes in relevant law and to ensure that the agreement continues to satisfy these requirements.


(c) Noncompliance. (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, if a covered company is not in compliance with this subpart with respect to a counterparty solely due to the circumstances listed in paragraphs (c)(2)(i) through (v) of this section, the covered company will not be subject to enforcement actions for a period of 90 days (or, with prior notice to the company, such shorter or longer period determined by the Board, in its sole discretion, to be appropriate to preserve the safety and soundness of the covered company), if the covered company uses reasonable efforts to return to compliance with this subpart during this period. The covered company may not engage in any additional credit transactions with such a counterparty in contravention of this rule during the period of noncompliance, except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.


(2) A covered company may request a special temporary credit exposure limit exemption from the Board. The Board may grant approval for such exemption in cases where the Board determines that such credit transactions are necessary or appropriate to preserve the safety and soundness of the covered company. In acting on a request for an exemption, the Board will consider the following:


(i) A decrease in the covered company’s capital stock and surplus;


(ii) The merger of the covered company with another covered company;


(iii) A merger of two counterparties; or


(iv) An unforeseen and abrupt change in the status of a counterparty as a result of which the covered company’s credit exposure to the counterparty becomes limited by the requirements of this section; or


(v) Any other factor(s) the Board determines, in its discretion, is appropriate.


(d) Other measures. The Board may impose supervisory oversight and additional reporting measures that it determines are appropriate to monitor compliance with this subpart. Covered companies must furnish, in the manner and form prescribed by the Board, such information to monitor compliance with this subpart and the limits therein as the Board may require.


Subpart R – Company-Run Stress Test Requirements for Foreign Savings and Loan Holding Companies With Total Consolidated Assets Over $250 Billion


Source:84 FR 59095, Nov. 1, 2019, unless otherwise noted.

§ 238.160 Definitions.

For purposes of this subpart, the following definitions apply:


(a) Foreign savings and loan holding company means a savings and loan holding company as defined in section 10 of the Home Owners’ Loan Act (12 U.S.C. 1467a(a)) that is incorporated or organized under the laws of a country other than the United States.


(b) Pre-provision net revenue means revenue less expenses before adjusting for total loan loss provisions.


(c) Stress test cycle has the same meaning as in subpart O of this part.


(d) Total loan loss provisions means the amount needed to make reserves adequate to absorb estimated credit losses, based upon management’s evaluation of the loans and leases that the company has the intent and ability to hold for the foreseeable future or until maturity or payoff, as determined under applicable accounting standards.


§ 238.161 Applicability.

(a) Applicability for foreign savings and loan holding companies with total consolidated assets of more than $250 billion – (1) General. A foreign savings and loan holding company must comply with the stress test requirements set forth in this section beginning on the first day of the ninth quarter following the date on which its average total consolidated assets exceed $250 billion.


(2) Cessation of requirements. A foreign savings and loan holding company will remain subject to requirements of this subpart until the date on which the foreign savings and loan holding company’s total consolidated assets are below $250 billion for each of four most recent calendar quarters.


(b) [Reserved]


§ 238.162 Capital stress testing requirements.

(a) In general. (1) A foreign savings and loan holding company subject to this subpart must:


(i) Be subject on a consolidated basis to a capital stress testing regime by its home-country supervisor that meets the requirements of paragraph (a)(2) of this section; and


(ii) Conduct such stress tests or be subject to a supervisory stress test and meet any minimum standards set by its home-country supervisor with respect to the stress tests.


(2) The capital stress testing regime of a foreign savings and loan holding company’s home-country supervisor must include:


(i) A supervisory capital stress test conducted by the relevant home-country supervisor or an evaluation and review by the home-country supervisor of an internal capital adequacy stress test conducted by the foreign savings and loan holding company, conducted on at least a biennial basis; and


(ii) Requirements for governance and controls of stress testing practices by relevant management and the board of directors (or equivalent thereof).


(b) Additional standards. (1) Unless the Board otherwise determines in writing, a foreign savings and loan holding company that does not meet each of the requirements in paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) of this section must:


(i) Conduct an annual stress test of its U.S. subsidiaries to determine whether those subsidiaries have the capital necessary to absorb losses as a result of adverse economic conditions; and


(ii) Report on at least a biennial basis a summary of the results of the stress test to the Board that includes a description of the types of risks included in the stress test, a description of the conditions or scenarios used in the stress test, a summary description of the methodologies used in the stress test, estimates of aggregate losses, pre-provision net revenue, total loan loss provisions, net income before taxes and pro forma regulatory capital ratios required to be computed by the home-country supervisor of the foreign savings and loan holding company and any other relevant capital ratios, and an explanation of the most significant causes for any changes in regulatory capital ratios.


(2) An enterprise-wide stress test that is approved by the Board may meet the stress test requirement of paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section.


Subpart S – Capital Planning and Stress Capital Buffer Requirement


Source:86 FR 7943, Feb. 3, 2021, unless otherwise noted.

§ 238.170 Capital planning and stress capital buffer requirement.

(a) Purpose. This section establishes capital planning and prior notice and approval requirements for capital distributions by certain savings and loan holding companies. This section also establishes the Board’s process for determining the stress capital buffer requirement applicable to these savings and loan holding companies.


(b) Scope and reservation of authority – (1) Applicability. Except as provided in § 238.170(c), this section applies to:


(i) Any top-tier covered savings and loan holding company domiciled in the United States with average total consolidated assets of $100 billion or more ($100 billion asset threshold); and


(ii) Any other covered savings and loan holding company domiciled in the United States that is made subject to this section, in whole or in part, by order of the Board.


(2) Average total consolidated assets. For purposes of this section, average total consolidated assets means the average of the total consolidated assets as reported by a covered savings and loan holding company on its Consolidated Financial Statements for Holding Companies (FR Y-9C) for the four most recent consecutive quarters. If the covered savings and loan holding company has not filed the FR Y-9C for each of the four most recent consecutive quarters, average total consolidated assets means the average of the company’s total consolidated assets, as reported on the company’s FR Y-9C, for the most recent quarter or consecutive quarters, as applicable. Average total consolidated assets are measured on the as-of date of the most recent FR Y-9C used in the calculation of the average.


(3) Ongoing applicability. A covered savings and loan holding company (including any successor covered savings and loan holding company) that is subject to any requirement in this section shall remain subject to such requirements unless and until its total consolidated assets fall below $100 billion for each of four consecutive quarters, as reported on the FR Y-9C and effective on the as-of date of the fourth consecutive FR Y-9C.


(4) Reservation of authority. Nothing in this section shall limit the authority of the Federal Reserve to issue or enforce a capital directive or take any other supervisory or enforcement action, including an action to address unsafe or unsound practices or conditions or violations of law.


(5) Application of this section by order. The Board may apply this section, in whole or in part, to a covered savings and loan holding company by order based on the institution’s size, level of complexity, risk profile, scope of operations, or financial condition.


(c) Transition periods for certain covered savings and loan holding companies. (1) A covered savings and loan holding company that meets the $100 billion asset threshold (as measured under paragraph (b) of this section) on or before September 30 of a calendar year must comply with the requirements of this section beginning on January 1 of the next calendar year, unless that time is extended by the Board in writing. Notwithstanding the previous sentence, the Board will not provide a covered savings and loan holding company with notice of its stress capital buffer requirement until the first year in which the Board conducts an analysis of the covered savings and loan company pursuant to 12 CFR 238.132.


(2) A covered savings and loan holding company that meets the $100 billion asset threshold after September 30 of a calendar year must comply with the requirements of this section beginning on January 1 of the second calendar year after the covered savings and loan holding company meets the $100 billion asset threshold, unless that time is extended by the Board in writing. Notwithstanding the previous sentence, the Board will not provide a covered savings and loan holding company with notice of its stress capital buffer requirement until the first year in which the Board conducts an analysis of the covered savings and loan holding company pursuant to 12 CFR 238.132.


(3) The Board, or the appropriate Reserve Bank with the concurrence of the Board, may require a covered savings and loan holding company described in paragraph (c)(1) or (2) of this section to comply with any or all of the requirements of this section if the Board, or appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence of the Board, determines that the requirement is appropriate on a different date based on the company’s risk profile, scope of operation, or financial condition and provides prior notice to the company of the determination.


(d) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:


(1) Advanced approaches means the risk-weighted assets calculation methodologies at 12 CFR part 217, subpart E, as applicable.


(2) Average total nonbank assets means the average of the total nonbank assets, calculated in accordance with the instructions to the FR Y-9LP, for the four most recent calendar quarters or, if the covered savings and loan holding company has not filed the FR Y-9LP for each of the four most recent calendar quarters, for the most recent quarter or quarters, as applicable.


(3) Capital action means any issuance of a debt or equity capital instrument, any capital distribution, and any similar action that the Federal Reserve determines could impact a covered savings and loan holding company’s consolidated capital.


(4) Capital distribution means a redemption or repurchase of any debt or equity capital instrument, a payment of common or preferred stock dividends, a payment that may be temporarily or permanently suspended by the issuer on any instrument that is eligible for inclusion in the numerator of any minimum regulatory capital ratio, and any similar transaction that the Federal Reserve determines to be in substance a distribution of capital.


(5) Capital plan means a written presentation of a covered savings and loan holding company’s capital planning strategies and capital adequacy process that includes the mandatory elements set forth in paragraph (e)(2) of this section.


(6) Capital plan cycle means the period beginning on January 1 of a calendar year and ending on December 31 of that year.


(7) Capital policy means a covered savings and loan holding company’s written principles and guidelines used for capital planning, capital issuance, capital usage and distributions, including internal capital goals; the quantitative or qualitative guidelines for capital distributions; the strategies for addressing potential capital shortfalls; and the internal governance procedures around capital policy principles and guidelines.


(8) Category IV savings and loan holding company means a covered savings and loan holding company identified as a Category IV banking organization pursuant to 12 CFR 238.10.


(9) Common equity tier 1 capital has the same meaning as under 12 CFR part 217.


(10) Effective capital distribution limitations means any limitations on capital distributions established by the Board by order or regulation, including pursuant to 12 CFR 217.11, provided that, for any limitations based on risk-weighted assets, such limitations must be calculated using the standardized approach, as set forth in 12 CFR part 217, subpart D.


(11) Final planned capital distributions means the planned capital distributions included in a capital plan that include the adjustments made pursuant to paragraph (h) of this section, if any.


(12) Internal baseline scenario means a scenario that reflects the covered savings and loan holding company’s expectation of the economic and financial outlook, including expectations related to the covered saving and loan holding company’s capital adequacy and financial condition.


(13) Internal stress scenario means a scenario designed by a covered savings and loan holding company that stresses the specific vulnerabilities of the covered savings and loan holding company’s risk profile and operations, including those related to the covered savings and loan holding company’s capital adequacy and financial condition.


(14) Planning horizon means the period of at least nine consecutive quarters, beginning with the quarter preceding the quarter in which the covered savings and loan holding company submits its capital plan, over which the relevant projections extend.


(15) Regulatory capital ratio means a capital ratio for which the Board has established minimum requirements for the covered savings and loan holding company by regulation or order, including, as applicable, the covered savings and loan holding company’s regulatory capital ratios calculated under 12 CFR part 217 and the deductions required under 12 CFR 248.12; except that the covered savings and loan holding company shall not use the advanced approaches to calculate its regulatory capital ratios.


(16) Severely adverse scenario means a set of conditions that affect the U.S. economy or the financial condition of a covered company and that overall are significantly more severe than those associated with the baseline scenario and may include trading or other additional components.


(17) Stress capital buffer requirement means the amount calculated under paragraph (f) of this section.


(18) Supervisory stress test means a stress test conducted using a severely adverse scenario and the assumptions contained in 12 CFR part 238, subpart O.


(e) Capital planning requirements and procedures – (1) Annual capital planning. (i) A covered savings and loan holding company must develop and maintain a capital plan.


(ii) A covered savings and loan holding company must submit its complete capital plan to the Board and the appropriate Reserve Bank by April 5 of each calendar year, or such later date as directed by the Board or by the appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence of the Board.


(iii) The covered savings and loan holding company’s board of directors or a designated committee thereof must at least annually and prior to submission of the capital plan under paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section:


(A) Review the robustness of the covered savings and loan holding company’s process for assessing capital adequacy;


(B) Ensure that any deficiencies in the covered savings and loan holding company’s process for assessing capital adequacy are appropriately remedied; and


(C) Approve the covered savings and loan holding company’s capital plan.


(2) Mandatory elements of capital plan. A capital plan must contain at least the following elements:


(i) An assessment of the expected uses and sources of capital over the planning horizon that reflects the covered savings and loan holding company’s size, complexity, risk profile, and scope of operations, assuming both expected and stressful conditions, including:


(A) Estimates of projected revenues, losses, reserves, and pro forma capital levels, including regulatory capital ratios, and any additional capital measures deemed relevant by the covered savings and loan holding company, over the planning horizon under a range of scenarios, including:


(1) If the covered savings and loan holding company is a Category IV savings and loan holding company, the Internal baseline scenario and at least one Internal stress scenario, as well as any additional scenarios, based on financial conditions or the macroeconomic outlook, or based on the covered savings and loan holding company’s financial condition, size, complexity, risk profile, or activities, or risks to the U.S. economy, that the Federal Reserve may provide the covered savings and loan holding company after giving notice to the covered savings and loan holding company; or


(2) If the covered savings and loan holding company is not a Category IV savings and loan holding company, any scenarios provided by the Federal Reserve, the Internal baseline scenario, and at least one Internal stress scenario;


(B) A discussion of the results of any stress test required by law or regulation, and an explanation of how the capital plan takes these results into account; and


(C) A description of all planned capital actions over the planning horizon. Planned capital actions must be consistent with effective capital distribution limitations, except as may be adjusted pursuant to paragraph (h) of this section. In determining whether a covered savings and loan holding company’s planned capital distributions are consistent with effective capital distribution limitations, a covered savings and loan holding company must assume that any countercyclical capital buffer amount currently applicable to the covered savings and loan holding company remains at the same level, except that the covered savings and loan holding company must reflect any increases or decreases in the countercyclical capital buffer amount that have been announced by the Board at the times indicated by the Board’s announcement for when such increases or decreases will take effect.


(ii) A detailed description of the covered savings and loan holding company’s process for assessing capital adequacy, including:


(A) A discussion of how the covered savings and loan holding company will, under expected and stressful conditions, maintain capital commensurate with its risks, maintain capital above the regulatory capital ratios, and serve as a source of strength to its subsidiary depository institutions;


(B) A discussion of how the covered savings and loan holding company will, under expected and stressful conditions, maintain sufficient capital to continue its operations by maintaining ready access to funding, meeting its obligations to creditors and other counterparties, and continuing to serve as a credit intermediary;


(iii) The covered savings and loan holding company’s capital policy; and


(iv) A discussion of any expected changes to the covered savings and loan holding company’s business plan that are likely to have a material impact on the covered savings and loan holding company’s capital adequacy or liquidity.


(3) Data collection. Upon the request of the Board or appropriate Reserve Bank, the covered savings and loan holding company shall provide the Federal Reserve with information regarding:


(i) The covered savings and loan holding company’s financial condition, including its capital;


(ii) The covered savings and loan holding company’s structure;


(iii) Amount and risk characteristics of the covered savings and loan holding company’s on- and off-balance sheet exposures, including exposures within the covered savings and loan holding company’s trading account, other trading-related exposures (such as counterparty-credit risk exposures) or other items sensitive to changes in market factors, including, as appropriate, information about the sensitivity of positions to changes in market rates and prices;


(iv) The covered savings and loan holding company’s relevant policies and procedures, including risk management policies and procedures;


(v) The covered savings and loan holding company’s liquidity profile and management;


(vi) The loss, revenue, and expense estimation models used by the covered savings and loan holding company for stress scenario analysis, including supporting documentation regarding each model’s development and validation; and


(vii) Any other relevant qualitative or quantitative information requested by the Board or by the appropriate Reserve Bank to facilitate review of the covered savings and loan holding company’s capital plan under this section.


(4) Resubmission of a capital plan. (i) A covered savings and loan holding company must update and resubmit its capital plan to the appropriate Reserve Bank within 30 calendar days of the occurrence of one of the following events:


(A) The covered savings and loan holding company determines there has been or will be a material change in the covered savings and loan holding company’s risk profile, financial condition, or corporate structure since the covered savings and loan holding company last submitted the capital plan to the Board and the appropriate Reserve Bank under this section; or


(B) The Board, or the appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence of the Board, directs the covered savings and loan holding company in writing to revise and resubmit its capital plan for any of the following reasons:


(1) The capital plan is incomplete or the capital plan, or the covered savings and loan holding company’s internal capital adequacy process, contains material weaknesses;


(2) There has been, or will likely be, a material change in the covered savings and loan holding company’s risk profile (including a material change in its business strategy or any risk exposure), financial condition, or corporate structure;


(3) The Internal stress scenario(s) are not appropriate for the covered savings and loan holding company’s business model and portfolios, or changes in financial markets or the macro-economic outlook that could have a material impact on a covered savings and loan holding company’s risk profile and financial condition require the use of updated scenarios; or


(ii) The Board, or the appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence of the Board, may extend the 30-day period in paragraph (e)(4)(i) of this section for up to an additional 60 calendar days, or such longer period as the Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank, with concurrence of the Board, determines appropriate.


(iii) Any updated capital plan must satisfy all the requirements of this section; however, a covered savings and loan holding company may continue to rely on information submitted as part of a previously submitted capital plan to the extent that the information remains accurate and appropriate.


(5) Confidential treatment of information submitted. The confidentiality of information submitted to the Board under this section and related materials shall be determined in accordance with applicable exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(b)) and the Board’s Rules Regarding Availability of Information (12 CFR part 261).


(f) Calculation of the stress capital buffer requirement – (1) General. The Board will determine the stress capital buffer requirement that applies under 12 CFR 217.11 pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section. For each covered savings and loan holding company that is not a Category IV savings and loan holding company, the Board will calculate the covered savings and loan holding company’s stress capital buffer requirement annually. For each Category IV savings and loan holding company, the Board will calculate the covered savings and loan holding company’s stress capital buffer requirement biennially, occurring in each calendar year ending in an even number, and will adjust the covered savings and loan holding company’s stress capital buffer requirement biennially, occurring in each calendar year ending in an odd number. Notwithstanding the previous sentence, the Board will calculate the stress capital buffer requirement of a Category IV savings and loan holding company in a year ending in an odd number with respect to which that company makes an election pursuant to 12 CFR 238.132(c)(2)(ii).


(2) Stress capital buffer requirement calculation. A covered savings and loan holding company’s stress capital buffer requirement is equal to the greater of:


(i) The following calculation:


(A) The ratio of a covered savings and loan holding company’s common equity tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets, as calculated under 12 CFR part 217, subpart D, as of the final quarter of the previous capital plan cycle, unless otherwise determined by the Board; minus


(B) The lowest projected ratio of the covered savings and loan holding company’s common equity tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets, as calculated under 12 CFR part 217, subpart D, in any quarter of the planning horizon under a supervisory stress test; plus


(C) The ratio of:


(1) The sum of the covered savings and loan holding company’s planned common stock dividends (expressed as a dollar amount) for each of the fourth through seventh quarters of the planning horizon; to


(2) The risk-weighted assets of the covered savings and loan holding company in the quarter in which the covered savings and loan holding company had its lowest projected ratio of common equity tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets, as calculated under 12 CFR part 217, subpart D, in any quarter of the planning horizon under a supervisory stress test; and


(ii) 2.5 percent.


(3) Recalculation of stress capital buffer requirement. If a covered savings and loan holding company resubmits its capital plan pursuant to paragraph (e)(4) of this section, the Board may recalculate the covered savings and loan holding company’s stress capital buffer requirement. The Board will provide notice of whether the covered savings and loan holding company’s stress capital buffer requirement will be recalculated within 75 calendar days after the date on which the capital plan is resubmitted, unless the Board provides notice to the company that it is extending the time period.


(4) Adjustment of stress capital buffer requirement. In each calendar year in which the Board does not calculate a Category IV savings and loan holding company’s stress capital buffer requirement pursuant to paragraph (f)(1) of this section, the Board will adjust the Category IV savings and loan holding company’s stress capital buffer requirement to be equal to the result of the calculation set forth in paragraph (f)(2) of this section, using the same values that were used to calculate the stress capital buffer requirement most recently provided to the covered savings and loan holding company, except that the value used in paragraph (f)(2)(i)(C)(1) of the calculation will be equal to the covered savings and loan holding company’s planned common stock dividends (expressed as a dollar amount) for each of the fourth through seventh quarters of the planning horizon as set forth in the capital plan submitted by the covered savings and loan holding company in the calendar year in which the Board adjusts the covered savings and loan holding company’s stress capital buffer requirement.


(g) Review of capital plans by the Federal Reserve. The Board, or the appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence of the Board, will consider the following factors in reviewing a covered savings and loan holding company’s capital plan:


(1) The comprehensiveness of the capital plan, including the extent to which the analysis underlying the capital plan captures and addresses potential risks stemming from activities across the covered savings and loan holding company and the covered savings and loan holding company’s capital policy;


(2) The reasonableness of the covered savings and loan holding company’s capital plan, the assumptions and analysis underlying the capital plan, and the robustness of its capital adequacy process;


(3) Relevant supervisory information about the covered savings and loan holding company and its subsidiaries;


(4) The covered savings and loan holding company’s regulatory and financial reports, as well as supporting data that would allow for an analysis of the covered savings and loan holding company’s loss, revenue, and reserve projections;


(5) The results of any stress tests conducted by the covered savings and loan holding company or the Federal Reserve; and


(6) Other information requested or required by the Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank, as well as any other information relevant, or related, to the savings and loan holding company’s capital adequacy.


(h) Federal Reserve notice of stress capital buffer requirement; final planned capital distributions – (1) Notice. The Board will provide a covered savings and loan holding company with notice of its stress capital buffer requirement and an explanation of the results of the supervisory stress test. Unless otherwise determined by the Board, notice will be provided by June 30 of the calendar year in which the capital plan was submitted pursuant to paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section or within 90 calendar days of receiving notice that the Board will recalculate the covered savings and loan holding company’s stress capital buffer requirement pursuant to paragraph (f)(3) of this section.


(2) Response to notice – (i) Request for reconsideration of stress capital buffer requirement. A covered savings and loan holding company may request reconsideration of a stress capital buffer requirement provided under paragraph (h)(1) of this section. To request reconsideration of a stress capital buffer requirement, a covered savings and loan holding company must submit to the Board a request pursuant to paragraph (i) of this section.


(ii) Adjustments to planned capital distributions. Within two business days of receipt of notice of a stress capital buffer requirement under paragraph (h)(1) or (i)(5) of this section, as applicable, a covered savings and loan holding company must:


(A) Determine whether the planned capital distributions for the fourth through seventh quarters of the planning horizon under the Internal baseline scenario would be consistent with effective capital distribution limitations assuming the stress capital buffer requirement provided by the Board under paragraph (h)(1) or (i)(5) of this section, as applicable, in place of any stress capital buffer requirement in effect; and


(1) If the planned capital distributions for the fourth through seventh quarters of the planning horizon under the Internal baseline scenario would not be consistent with effective capital distribution limitations assuming the stress capital buffer requirement provided by the Board under paragraph (h)(1) or (i)(5) of this section, as applicable, in place of any stress capital buffer requirement in effect, the covered savings and loan holding company must adjust its planned capital distributions such that its planned capital distributions would be consistent with effective capital distribution limitations assuming the stress capital buffer requirement provided by the Board under paragraph (h)(1) or (i)(5) of this section, as applicable, in place of any stress capital buffer requirement in effect; or


(2) If the planned capital distributions for the fourth through seventh quarters of the planning horizon under the Internal baseline scenario would be consistent with effective capital distribution limitations assuming the stress capital buffer requirement provided by the Board under paragraph (h)(1) or (i)(5) of this section, as applicable, in place of any stress capital buffer requirement in effect, the covered savings and loan holding company may adjust its planned capital distributions. A covered savings and loan holding company may not adjust its planned capital distributions to be inconsistent with the effective capital distribution limitations assuming the stress capital buffer requirement provided by the Board under paragraph (h)(1) or (i)(5) of this section, as applicable; and


(B) Notify the Board of any adjustments made to planned capital distributions for the fourth through seventh quarters of the planning horizon under the Internal baseline scenario.


(3) Final planned capital distributions. The Board will consider the planned capital distributions, including any adjustments made pursuant to paragraph (h)(2)(ii) of this section, to be the covered savings and loan holding company’s final planned capital distributions on the later of:


(i) The expiration of the time for requesting reconsideration under paragraph (i) of this section; and


(ii) The expiration of the time for adjusting planned capital distributions pursuant to paragraph (h)(2)(ii) of this section.


(4) Effective date of final stress capital buffer requirement. (i) The Board will provide a savings and loan holding company with its final stress capital buffer requirement and confirmation of the covered savings and loan holding company’s final planned capital distributions by August 31 of the calendar year that a capital plan was submitted pursuant to paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section, unless otherwise determined by the Board. A stress capital buffer requirement will not be considered final so as to be agency action subject to judicial review under 5 U.S.C. 704 during the pendency of a request for reconsideration made pursuant to paragraph (i) of this section or before the time for requesting reconsideration has expired.


(ii) Unless otherwise determined by the Board, a covered savings and loan holding company’s final planned capital distributions and final stress capital buffer requirement shall:


(A) Be effective on October 1 of the calendar year in which a capital plan was submitted pursuant to paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section; and


(B) Remain in effect until superseded.


(5) Publication. With respect to any covered savings and loan holding company subject to this section, the Board may disclose publicly any or all of the following:


(i) The stress capital buffer requirement provided to a covered savings and loan holding company under paragraph (h)(1) or (i)(5) of this section;


(ii) Adjustments made pursuant to paragraph (h)(2)(ii);


(iii) A summary of the results of the supervisory stress test; and


(iv) Other information.


(i) Administrative remedies; request for reconsideration. The following requirements and procedures apply to any request under this paragraph (i):


(1) General. To request reconsideration of a stress capital buffer requirement, provided under paragraph (h) of this section, a covered savings and loan holding company must submit a written request for reconsideration.


(2) Timing of request. A request for reconsideration of a stress capital buffer requirement, provided under paragraph (h) of this section, must be received within 15 calendar days of receipt of a notice of a covered savings and loan holding company’s stress capital buffer requirement.


(3) Contents of request. (i) A request for reconsideration must include a detailed explanation of why reconsideration should be granted (that is, why a stress capital buffer requirement should be reconsidered). With respect to any information that was not previously provided to the Federal Reserve in the covered savings and loan holding company’s capital plan, the request should include an explanation of why the information should be considered.


(ii) A request for reconsideration may include a request for an informal hearing on the covered savings and loan holding company’s request for reconsideration.


(4) Hearing. (i) The Board may, in its sole discretion, order an informal hearing if the Board finds that a hearing is appropriate or necessary to resolve disputes regarding material issues of fact.


(ii) An informal hearing shall be held within 30 calendar days of a request, if granted, provided that the Board may extend this period upon notice to the requesting party.


(5) Response to request. Within 30 calendar days of receipt of the covered savings and loan holding company’s request for reconsideration of its stress capital buffer requirement submitted under paragraph (i)(2) of this section or within 30 days of the conclusion of an informal hearing conducted under paragraph (i)(4) of this section, the Board will notify the company of its decision to affirm or modify the covered savings and loan holding company’s stress capital buffer requirement, provided that the Board may extend this period upon notice to the covered savings and loan holding company.


(6) Distributions during the pendency of a request for reconsideration. During the pendency of the Board’s decision under paragraph (i)(5) of this section, the covered savings and loan holding company may make capital distributions that are consistent with effective distribution limitations, unless prior approval is required under paragraph (j)(1) of this section.


(j) Approval requirements for certain capital actions – (1) Circumstances requiring approvalResubmission of a capital plan. Unless it receives prior approval pursuant to paragraph (j)(3) of this section, a covered savings and loan holding company may not make a capital distribution (excluding any capital distribution arising from the issuance of a capital instrument eligible for inclusion in the numerator of a regulatory capital ratio) if the capital distribution would occur after the occurrence of an event requiring resubmission under paragraph (e)(4)(i)(A) or (B) of this section.


(2) Contents of request. A request for a capital distribution under this section must contain the following information:


(i) The covered savings and loan holding company’s capital plan or a discussion of changes to the covered savings and loan holding company’s capital plan since it was last submitted to the Federal Reserve;


(ii) The purpose of the transaction;


(iii) A description of the capital distribution, including for redemptions or repurchases of securities, the gross consideration to be paid and the terms and sources of funding for the transaction, and for dividends, the amount of the dividend(s); and


(iv) Any additional information requested by the Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank (which may include, among other things, an assessment of the covered savings and loan holding company’s capital adequacy under a severely adverse scenario, a revised capital plan, and supporting data).


(3) Approval of certain capital distributions. (i) The Board, or the appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence of the Board, will act on a request for prior approval of a capital distribution within 30 calendar days after the receipt of all the information required under paragraph (j)(2) of this section.


(ii) In acting on a request for prior approval of a capital distribution, the Board, or appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence of the Board, will apply the considerations and principles in paragraph (g) of this section, as appropriate. In addition, the Board, or the appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence of the Board, may disapprove the transaction if the covered savings and loan holding company does not provide all of the information required to be submitted under paragraph (j)(2) of this section.


(4) Disapproval and hearing. (i) The Board, or the appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence of the Board, will notify the covered savings and loan holding company in writing of the reasons for a decision to disapprove any proposed capital distribution. Within 15 calendar days after receipt of a disapproval by the Board, the covered savings and loan holding company may submit a written request for a hearing.


(ii) The Board may, in its sole discretion, order an informal hearing if the Board finds that a hearing is appropriate or necessary to resolve disputes regarding material issues of fact. An informal hearing shall be held within 30 calendar days of a request, if granted, provided that the Board may extend this period upon notice to the requesting party.


(iii) Written notice of the final decision of the Board shall be given to the covered savings and loan holding company within 60 calendar days of the conclusion of any informal hearing ordered by the Board, provided that the Board may extend this period upon notice to the requesting party.


(iv) While the Board’s decision is pending and until such time as the Board, or the appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence of the Board, approves the capital distribution at issue, the covered savings and loan holding company may not make such capital distribution.


(k) Post notice requirement. A covered savings and loan holding company must notify the Board and the appropriate Reserve Bank within 15 days of making a capital distribution if:


(1) The capital distribution was approved pursuant to paragraph (j)(3) of this section; or


(2) The dollar amount of the capital distribution will exceed the dollar amount of the covered savings and loan holding company’s final planned capital distributions, as measured on an aggregate basis beginning in the fourth quarter of the planning horizon through the quarter at issue.


PART 239 – MUTUAL HOLDING COMPANIES (REGULATION MM)


Authority:12 U.S.C. 1462, 1462a, 1464, 1467a, 1828, and 2901.


Source:Reg. MM, 76 FR 56357, Sept. 13, 2011, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A – General Provisions

§ 239.1 Authority, purpose, and scope.

(a) Authority. This part is issued by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Board”) under section 10(g) and (o) of the Home Owners’ Loan Act (“HOLA”).


(b) Purpose. The principal purposes of this part are to:


(1) Regulate the reorganization of mutual savings associations to mutual holding companies and the creation of subsidiary holding companies of mutual holding companies;


(2) Define and regulate the operations of mutual holding companies and subsidiary holding companies of mutual holding companies; and


(3) Set forth the procedures for securing approval for these transactions.


(c) Scope. Except as the Board may otherwise determine, the reorganization of mutual savings associations into mutual holding companies, any related stock issuances by subsidiary holding companies, and the conversion of mutual holding companies into stock form are exclusively governed by the provisions of this part, and no mutual savings association shall reorganize to a mutual holding company, no subsidiary holding company of a mutual holding company shall issue minority stock, and no mutual holding company shall convert into stock form without the prior written approval of the Board. The Board may grant a waiver in writing from any requirement of this part for good cause shown.


§ 239.2 Definitions.

As used in this part and in the forms under this part, the following definitions apply, unless the context otherwise requires:


(a) Acquiree association means any savings association, other than a resulting association, that:


(1) Is acquired by a mutual holding company as part of, and concurrently with, a mutual holding company reorganization; and


(2) Is in the mutual form immediately prior to such acquisition.


(b) Acting in concert has the same meaning as in § 238.31(b) of this chapter.


(c) Affiliate has the same meaning as in § 238.2(a) of this chapter.


(d) Associate of a person is:


(1) A corporation or organization (other than the mutual holding company, subsidiary holding company, or any majority-owned subsidiaries of such holding companies), if the person is a senior officer or partner, or beneficially owns, directly or indirectly, 10 percent or more of any class of equity securities of the corporation or organization.


(2) A trust or other estate, if the person has a substantial beneficial interest in the trust or estate or is a trustee or fiduciary of the trust or estate. For purposes of §§ 239.59(k), 239.59(m), 239.59(n), 239.59(o), 239.59(p), 239.63(b), a person who has a substantial beneficial interest in the mutual holding company or subsidiary holding company’s tax-qualified or non-tax-qualified employee stock benefit plan, or who is a trustee or a fiduciary of the plan, is not an associate of the plan. For the purposes of § 239.59(k), the mutual holding company or subsidiary holding company’s tax-qualified employee stock benefit plan is not an associate of a person.


(3) Any natural person who is related by blood or marriage to such person and:


(i) Who lives in the same home as the person; or


(ii) Who is a director or senior officer of the mutual holding company, subsidiary holding company, or other subsidiary.


(e) Company means any corporation, partnership, trust, association, joint venture, pool, syndicate, unincorporated organization, joint-stock company or similar organization, as defined in paragraph (u) of this section; but a company does not include:


(1) The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Resolution Trust Corporation, or any Federal Home Loan Bank, or


(2) Any company the majority of shares of which is owned by:


(i) The United States or any State,


(ii) An officer of the United States or any State in his or her official capacity, or


(iii) An instrumentality of the United States or any State.


(f) Control has the same meaning as in § 238.2(e) of this chapter.


(g) Default means any adjudication or other official determination of a court of competent jurisdiction or other public authority pursuant to which a conservator, receiver, or other legal custodian is appointed for a mutual holding company or subsidiary savings association of a mutual holding company.


(h) Demand accounts mean non-interest-bearing demand deposits that are subject to check or to withdrawal or transfer on negotiable or transferable order to the savings association and that are permitted to be issued by statute, regulation, or otherwise and are payable on demand.


(i) Insider means any officer or director of a company or of any affiliate of such company, and any person acting in concert with any such officer or director.


(j) Member means any depositor or borrower of a mutual savings association that is entitled, under the charter of the savings association, to vote on matters affecting the association, and any depositor or borrower of a subsidiary savings association of a mutual holding company that is entitled, under the charter of the mutual holding company, to vote on matters affecting the mutual holding company.


(k) Mutual holding company means a holding company organized in mutual form under this part, and unless otherwise indicated, a subsidiary holding company controlled by a mutual holding company, organized under this part.


(l) Parent means any company which directly or indirectly controls any other company or companies.


(m) Person includes an individual, bank, corporation, partnership, trust, association, joint venture, pool, syndicate, sole proprietorship, unincorporated organization, or any other form of entity.


(n) Reorganization Notice means a notice of a proposed mutual holding company reorganization that is in the form and contains the information required by the Board.


(o) Reorganization Plan means a plan to reorganize into the mutual holding company format containing the information required by § 239.6.


(p) Reorganizing association means a mutual savings association that proposes to reorganize to become a mutual holding company pursuant to this part.


(q) Resulting association means a savings association in the stock form that is organized as a subsidiary of a reorganizing association to receive the substantial part of the assets and liabilities (including all deposit accounts) of the reorganizing association upon consummation of the reorganization.


(r) Savings account means any withdrawable account, except a demand account, a tax and loan account, a note account, a United States Treasury general account, or a United States Treasury time deposit-open account.


(s) Savings Association has the same meaning as in § 238.2(l) of this chapter.


(t) Savings and loan holding company has the same meaning as specified in section 10(a)(1) of the HOLA and § 238.2(m) of this chapter.


(u) Similar organization for purposes of paragraph (e) of this section means a combination of parties with the potential for or practical likelihood of continuing rather than temporary existence, where the parties thereto have knowingly and voluntarily associated for a common purpose pursuant to identifiable and binding relationships which govern the parties with respect to either:


(1) The transferability and voting of any stock or other indicia of participation in another entity, or


(2) Achievement of a common or shared objective, such as to collectively manage or control another entity.


(v) Stock means common or preferred stock, or any other type of equity security, including (without limitation) warrants or options to acquire common or preferred stock, or other securities that are convertible into common or preferred stock.


(w) Stock Issuance Plan means a plan, submitted pursuant to § 239.24 and containing the information required by § 239.25, providing for the issuance of stock by a subsidiary holding company.


(x) Subsidiary means any company which is owned or controlled directly or indirectly by a person, and includes any service corporation owned in whole or in part by a savings association, or a subsidiary of such service corporation.


(y) Subsidiary holding company means a federally chartered stock holding company controlled by a mutual holding company that owns the stock of a savings association whose depositors have membership rights in the parent mutual holding company.


(z) Tax and loan account means an account, the balance of which is subject to the right of immediate withdrawal, established for receipt of payments of Federal taxes and certain United States obligations. Such accounts are not savings accounts or savings deposits.


(aa) Tax-qualified employee stock benefit plan means any defined benefit plan or defined contribution plan, such as an employee stock ownership plan, stock bonus plan, profit-sharing plan, or other plan, and a related trust, that is qualified under sec. 401 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 401).


(bb) United States Treasury General Account means an account maintained in the name of the United States Treasury the balance of which is subject to the right of immediate withdrawal, except in the case of the closure of the member, and in which a zero balance may be maintained. Such accounts are not savings accounts or savings deposits.


(cc) United States Treasury Time Deposit Open Account means a non-interest-bearing account maintained in the name of the United States Treasury which may not be withdrawn prior to the expiration of 30 days’ written notice from the United States Treasury, or such other period of notice as the Treasury may require. Such accounts are not savings accounts or savings deposits.


Subpart B – Mutual Holding Companies

§ 239.3 Mutual holding company reorganizations.

(a) A mutual savings association may not reorganize to become a mutual holding company, or join in a mutual holding company reorganization as an acquiree association, unless it satisfies the following conditions:


(1) A Reorganization Plan is approved by a majority of the board of directors of the reorganizing association and any acquiree association;


(2) A Reorganization Notice is filed with the Board pursuant to § 238.14 of this chapter;


(3) The Reorganization Plan is submitted to the members of the reorganizing association and any acquiree association pursuant and is approved by a majority of the total votes of the members of each association eligible to be cast at a meeting held at the call of each association’s directors in accordance with the procedures prescribed by each association’s charter and bylaws; and


(4) All necessary regulatory approvals have been obtained and all conditions imposed by the Board have been satisfied.


(b) Upon receipt of an application under this section, the Reserve Bank will promptly furnish notice and a copy of the Reorganization Plan to the primary federal supervisor of any savings association involved in the transaction. The primary supervisor will have 30 calendar days from the date of the letter giving notice in which to submit its views and recommendations to the Board.


§ 239.4 Grounds for disapproval of reorganizations.

(a) Basic standards. The Board may disapprove a proposed mutual holding company reorganization filed pursuant to § 239.3(a) if:


(1) Disapproval is necessary to prevent unsafe or unsound practices;


(2) The financial or managerial resources of the reorganizing association or any acquiree association warrant disapproval;


(3) The proposed capitalization of the mutual holding company fails to meet the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section;


(4) A stock issuance is proposed in connection with the reorganization pursuant to § 239.24 that fails to meet the standards established by that section;


(5) The reorganizing association or any acquiree association fails to furnish the information required to be included in the Reorganization Notice or any other information requested by the Board in connection with the proposed reorganization; or


(6) The proposed reorganization would violate any provision of law, including (without limitation) § 239.3(a) and (c) (regarding board of directors and membership approval) or § 239.5(a) (regarding continuity of membership rights).


(b) Capitalization. (1) The Board shall disapprove a proposal by a reorganizing association or any acquiree association to capitalize a mutual holding company in an amount in excess of a nominal amount if immediately following the reorganization, the resulting association or the acquiree association would fail to be “adequately capitalized” under the regulatory capital requirements applicable to the savings association.


(2) Proposals by reorganizing associations and acquiree associations to capitalize mutual holding companies shall also comply with any applicable statutes, and with regulations or written policies of the Comptroller of the Currency or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, as applicable, governing capital distributions by savings associations in effect at the time of the reorganization.


(c) Presumptive disqualifiers – (1) Managerial resources. The factors specified in § 238.15(d)(1)(i) through (vi) of this chapter shall give rise to a rebuttable presumption that the managerial resources test of paragraph (a)(2) of this section is not met. For this purpose, each place the term acquiror appears in § 238.15(d)(1)(i) through (vi) of this chapter, it shall be read to mean the reorganizing association or any acquiree association, and the reference in § 238.15(d)(1)(v) of this chapter to filings under this part shall be deemed to include filings under either part 238 of this chapter or this part.


(2) Safety and soundness and financial resources. Failure by a reorganizing association and any acquiree association to submit a business plan in connection with a Reorganization Notice, or submission of a business plan that projects activities that are inconsistent with the credit and lending needs of the reorganizing association or acquiree association’s proposed market area or that fails to demonstrate that the capital of the mutual holding company will be deployed in a safe and sound manner, shall give rise to a rebuttable presumption that the safety and soundness and financial resources tests of paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section are not met.


(d) Failure of the Board to act on a Reorganization Notice within the prescribed time period. A proposed reorganization that obtains regulatory clearance from the Board due to the operation of § 238.14 of this chapter may take place in the manner proposed, subject to the following conditions:


(1) The reorganization shall be consummated within one year of the date of the expiration of the Board’s review period under § 238.14 of this chapter;


(2) The mutual holding company shall not be capitalized in an amount in excess of what is permissible under § 239.4(b);


(3) No request for regulatory waivers or forbearances shall be deemed granted;


(4) The following information shall be submitted within the specified time frames:


(i) On the business day prior to the date of the reorganization, the chief financial officers of the reorganizing association and any acquiree association shall certify to the Board in writing that no material adverse events or material adverse changes have occurred with respect to the financial condition or operations of their respective associations since the date of the financial statements submitted with the Reorganization Notice;


(ii) No later than thirty days after the reorganization, the mutual holding company shall file with the Board a certification by legal counsel stating the effective date of the reorganization, the exact number of shares of stock of the resulting association and any acquiree association acquired by the mutual holding company and by any other persons, and that the reorganization has been consummated in accordance with § 239.3 and all other applicable laws and regulations and the Reorganization Notice;


(iii) No later than thirty days after the reorganization, the mutual holding company shall file with the Board an opinion from its independent auditors certifying that the reorganization was consummated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles; and


(iv) No later than thirty days after the reorganization, the mutual holding company shall file with the Board a certification stating that the mutual holding company will not deviate materially, or cause its subsidiary savings associations to deviate materially, from the business plan submitted in connection with the Reorganization Notice, unless prior written approval from the Board is obtained.


§ 239.5 Membership rights.

(a) Depositors and borrowers of resulting associations, acquiree associations, and associations in mutual form when acquired. The charter of a mutual holding company must:


(1) Confer upon existing and future depositors of the resulting association the same membership rights in the mutual holding company as were conferred upon depositors by the charter of the reorganizing association as in effect immediately prior to the reorganization;


(2) Confer upon existing and future depositors of any acquiree association or any association that is in the mutual form when acquired by the mutual holding company the same membership rights in the mutual holding company as were conferred upon depositors by the charter of the acquired association immediately prior to acquisition, provided that if the acquired association is merged into another association from which the mutual holding company draws members, the depositors of the acquired association shall receive the same membership rights as the depositors of the association into which the acquired association is merged;


(3) Confer upon the borrowers of the resulting association who are borrowers at the time of reorganization the same membership rights in the mutual holding company as were conferred upon them by the charter of the reorganizing association immediately prior to reorganization, but shall not confer any membership rights in connection with any borrowings made after the reorganization; and


(4) Confer upon the borrowers of any acquiree association or any association that is in the mutual form when acquired by the mutual holding company who are borrowers at the time of the acquisition the same membership rights in the mutual holding company as were conferred upon them by the charter of the acquired association immediately prior to acquisition, but shall not confer any membership rights in connection with any borrowings made after the acquisition, provided that if the acquired association is merged into another association from which the mutual holding company draws members, the borrowers of the acquired association shall instead receive the same grandfathered membership rights as the borrowers of the association into which the acquired association is merged received at the time that association became a subsidiary of the mutual holding company.


(b) Depositors and borrowers of associations in the stock form when acquired. A mutual holding company that acquires a savings association in the stock form, other than a resulting association or an acquiree association, shall not confer any membership rights upon the depositors and borrowers of such association, unless such association is merged into an association from which the mutual holding company draws members, in which case the depositors of the stock association shall receive the same membership rights as other depositors of the association into which the stock association is merged.


§ 239.6 Contents of Reorganization Plans.

Each Reorganization Plan shall contain a complete description of all significant terms of the proposed reorganization, shall attach and incorporate any Stock Issuance Plan proposed in connection with the Reorganization Plan, and shall:


(a) Provide for amendment of the charter and bylaws of the reorganizing association to read in the form of the charter and bylaws of a mutual holding company, and attach and incorporate such charter and bylaws;


(b) Provide for the organization of the resulting association, which shall be an interim federal or state subsidiary savings association of the reorganizing association, and attach and incorporate the proposed charter and bylaws of such association;


(c) If the reorganizing association proposes to form a subsidiary holding company, provide for the organization of a subsidiary holding company and attach and incorporate the proposed charter and bylaws of such subsidiary holding company.


(d) Provide for amendment of the charter and bylaws of any acquiree association to read in the form of the charter and bylaws of a state or federal savings association in the stock form, and attach and incorporate such charter and bylaws;


(e) Provide that, upon consummation of the reorganization, substantially all of the assets and liabilities (including all savings accounts, demand accounts, tax and loan accounts, United States Treasury General Accounts, or United States Treasury Time Deposit Open Accounts, as those terms are defined in this part) of the reorganizing association shall be transferred to the resulting association, which shall thereupon become an operating subsidiary savings association of the mutual holding company;


(f) Provide that all assets, rights, obligations, and liabilities of whatever nature of the reorganizing association that are not expressly retained by the mutual holding company shall be deemed transferred to the resulting association;


(g) Provide that each depositor in the reorganizing association or any acquiree association immediately prior to the reorganization shall upon consummation of the reorganization receive, without payment, an identical account in the resulting association or the acquiree association, as the case may be (Appropriate modifications should be made to this provision if savings associations are being merged as a part of the reorganization);


(h) Provide that the Reorganization Plan as adopted by the boards of directors of the reorganizing association and any acquiree association may be substantively amended by those boards of directors as a result of comments from regulatory authorities or otherwise prior to the solicitation of proxies from the members of the reorganizing association and any acquiree association to vote on the Reorganization Plan and at any time thereafter with the concurrence of the Board; and that the reorganization may be terminated by the board of directors of the reorganizing association or any acquiree association at any time prior to the meeting of the members of the association called to consider the Reorganization Plan and at any time thereafter with the concurrence of the Board;


(i) Provide that the Reorganization Plan shall be terminated if not completed within a specified period of time (The time period shall not be more than 24 months from the date upon which the members of the reorganizing association or the date upon which the members of any acquiree association, whichever is earlier, approve the Reorganization Plan and may not be extended by the reorganizing or acquiree association); and


(j) Provide that the expenses incurred in connection with the reorganization shall be reasonable.


§ 239.7 Acquisition and disposition of savings associations, savings and loan holding companies, and other corporations by mutual holding companies.

(a) Acquisitions – (1) Stock savings associations. A mutual holding company may not acquire control of a savings association that is in the stock form unless the necessary approvals are obtained from the Board, including approval pursuant to § 238.11 of this chapter.


(2) Mutual savings associations. A mutual holding company may not acquire a savings association in the mutual form by merger of such association into any subsidiary savings association of such holding company from which the parent mutual holding company draws members or into an interim subsidiary savings association of the mutual holding company, unless:


(i) The proposed acquisition is approved by a majority of the board of directors of the mutual association;


(ii) The proposed acquisition is submitted to the mutual association’s members and is approved by a majority of the total votes of the association’s members eligible to be cast at a meeting held at the call of the association’s directors in accordance with the procedures prescribed by the association’s charter and bylaws;


(iii) The necessary approvals are obtained from the Board, including approval pursuant to § 238.11 of this chapter, and any other approvals required to form an interim association, to amend the charter and bylaws of the association being acquired, and/or to amend the charter and bylaws of the mutual holding company consistent with § 239.6(a); and


(iv) The approval of the members of the mutual holding company is obtained, if the Board advises the mutual holding company in writing that such approval will be required.


(3) Mutual holding companies. A mutual holding company that is not a subsidiary holding company may not acquire control of another mutual holding company, including a subsidiary holding company, by merging with or into such company, unless the necessary approvals are obtained from the Board, including approval pursuant to § 238.11 of this chapter. The approval of the members of the mutual holding companies shall also be obtained if the Board advises the mutual holding companies in writing that such approval will be required.


(4) Stock holding companies. A mutual holding company may not acquire control of a savings and loan holding company in the stock form that is not a subsidiary holding company, unless the necessary approvals are obtained from the Board, including approval pursuant to § 238.11 of this chapter. The acquired holding company may be held as a subsidiary of the mutual holding company or merged into the mutual holding company.


(5) Non-controlling acquisitions of savings association stock. A mutual holding company may acquire non-controlling amounts of the stock of savings associations and savings and loan holding companies subject to the restrictions imposed by 12 U.S.C. 1467a(e) and (q) and §§ 238.41 and 238.11 of this chapter.


(6) Other corporations. A mutual holding company may not acquire control of, or make non-controlling investments in the stock of, any corporation other than a savings association or savings and loan holding company unless:


(i)(A) Such corporation is engaged exclusively in activities that are permissible for mutual holding companies pursuant to § 239.8(a); or


(B) It is lawful for the stock of such corporation to be purchased by a federal savings association under the applicable regulations of the Comptroller of the Currency or by a state savings association under the applicable regulations of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the laws of any state where any subsidiary savings association of the mutual holding company has its home office; and


(ii) Such corporation is not controlled, directly or indirectly, by a subsidiary savings association of the mutual holding company.


(b) Dispositions. (1) A mutual holding company shall provide written notice to the appropriate Reserve Bank at least 30 days prior to the effective date of any direct or indirect transfer of any of the stock that it holds in a subsidiary holding company, a resulting association, an acquiree association, or any subsidiary savings association that was in the mutual form when acquired by the mutual holding company, including stock transferred in connection with a pledge pursuant to § 239.8(b) or any transfer of all or a substantial portion of the assets or liabilities of any such subsidiary holding company or association. Any such disposition shall comply with the requirements of this part, as appropriate, and with any other applicable statute or regulation.


(2) A mutual holding company may, subject to applicable laws and regulations, transfer any or all of the stock or cause or permit the transfer of any or all of the assets and liabilities of:


(i) Any subsidiary savings association that was in the stock form when acquired, provided such association is not a resulting association or an acquiree association;


(ii) Any subsidiary holding company acquired pursuant to paragraph (a)(4) of this section; or


(iii) Any corporation other than a savings association or savings and loan holding company.


(3) A mutual holding company may, subject to applicable laws and regulations, transfer any stock acquired pursuant to paragraph (a)(5) of this section.


(4) No transfer authorized by this section may be made to any insider of the mutual holding company, any associate of an insider of the mutual holding company, or any tax-qualified or non-tax-qualified employee stock benefit plan of the mutual holding company unless the mutual holding company provides notice to the appropriate Reserve Bank at least 30 days prior to the effective date of the proposed transfer. This notice shall be in addition to any other application or notice required under applicable laws or regulations, including those imposed by this part or Regulation LL.


§ 239.8 Operating restrictions.

(a) Activities restrictions. A mutual holding company may engage in any business activity specified in 12 U.S.C. 1467a(c)(2) or (c)(9)(A)(ii). In addition, the business activities of subsidiaries of mutual holding companies may include the activities specified in § 239.7(a)(6). A mutual holding company or its subsidiaries may engage in the foregoing activities only upon compliance with the procedures specified in §§ 238.53(c) or 238.54(b) of this chapter.


(b) Pledging stock. (1) No mutual holding company may pledge the stock of its resulting association, an acquiree association, or any subsidiary savings association that was in the mutual form when acquired by the mutual holding company (or its parent mutual holding company), unless the proceeds of the loan secured by the pledge are infused into the association whose stock is pledged. No mutual holding company may pledge the stock of its subsidiary holding company unless the proceeds of the loan secured by the pledge are infused into any subsidiary savings association of the subsidiary holding company that is a resulting association, an acquiree association, or a subsidiary savings association that was in the mutual form when acquired by the subsidiary holding company (or its parent mutual holding company). In the event the subsidiary holding company has more than one subsidiary savings association, the loan proceeds shall, unless otherwise approved by the Board, be infused in equal amounts to each subsidiary savings association. Any amount of the stock of such association or subsidiary holding company may be pledged for these purposes. Nothing in this paragraph shall be deemed to prohibit:


(i) The payment of dividends from a subsidiary savings association to its mutual holding company parent to the extent otherwise permissible; or


(ii) The payment of dividends from a subsidiary holding company to its mutual holding company parent to the extent otherwise permissible; or


(iii) A mutual holding company from pledging the stock of more than one subsidiary savings association provided that the stock pledged of each such subsidiary association is proportionate to the proceeds of the loan infused into each subsidiary association.


(2) Any mutual holding company that fails to make any payment on a loan secured by the pledge of stock pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section on or before the date on which such payment is due shall, on the first day after such payment is due, provide written notice of nonpayment to the appropriate Reserve Bank.


(c) Restrictions on stock repurchases. (1) No subsidiary holding company that has any stockholders other than its parent mutual holding company may repurchase any share of stock within one year of its date of issuance (which may include the time period the shares issued by the savings association were outstanding if the subsidiary holding company was formed after the initial issuance by the savings association), unless the repurchase:


(i) Is in compliance with the requirements set forth in § 239.63;


(ii) Is part of a general repurchase made on a pro rata basis pursuant to an offer approved by the Board and made to all stockholders of the association or subsidiary holding company (except that the parent mutual holding company may be excluded from the repurchase with the Board’s approval);


(iii) Is limited to the repurchase of qualifying shares of a director; or


(iv) Is purchased in the open market by a tax-qualified or non-tax-qualified employee stock benefit plan of the savings association (or of a subsidiary holding company) in an amount reasonable and appropriate to fund such plan.


(2) No mutual holding company may purchase shares of its subsidiary savings association or subsidiary holding company within one year after a stock issuance, except if the purchase complies with § 239.63. For purposes of this section, the reference in § 239.63 to five percent refers to minority shareholders.


(d) Restrictions on waiver of dividends. (1) A mutual holding company may waive the right to receive any dividend declared by a subsidiary of the mutual holding company, if –


(i) No insider of the mutual holding company, associate of an insider, or tax-qualified or non-tax-qualified employee stock benefit plan of the mutual holding company holds any share of the stock in the class of stock to which the waiver would apply; or


(ii) The mutual holding company gives written notice to the Board of the intent of the mutual holding company to waive the right to receive dividends, not later than 30 days before the date of the proposed date of payment of the dividend, and the Board does not object to the waiver.


(2) A notice of a waiver under paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section shall include a copy of the resolution of the board of directors of the mutual holding company together with any supporting materials relied upon by the board of directors of the mutual holding company, concluding that the proposed dividend waiver is consistent with the fiduciary duties of the board of directors to the mutual members of the mutual holding company.


The resolution shall include:


(i) A description of the conflict of interest that exists because of a mutual holding company director’s ownership of stock in the subsidiary declaring dividends and any actions the mutual holding company and board of directors have taken to eliminate the conflict of interest, such as waiver by the directors of their right to receive dividends;


(ii) A finding by the mutual holding company’s board of directors that the waiver of dividends is consistent with the board of directors’ fiduciary duties despite any conflict of interest;


(iii) If the mutual holding company has pledged the stock of a subsidiary holding company or subsidiary savings association as collateral for a loan made to the mutual holding company, or is subject to any other loan agreement, an affirmation that the mutual holding company is able to meet the terms of the loan agreement; and


(iv) An affirmation that a majority of the mutual members of the mutual holding company eligible to vote have, within the 12 months prior to the declaration date of the dividend by the subsidiary of the mutual holding company, approved a waiver of dividends by the mutual holding company, and any proxy statement used in connection with the member vote contained –


(A) A detailed description of the proposed waiver of dividends by the mutual holding company and the reasons the board of directors requested the waiver of dividends;


(B) The disclosure of any mutual holding company director’s ownership of stock in the subsidiary declaring dividends and any actions the mutual holding company and board of directors have taken to eliminate the conflict of interest, such as the directors waiving their right to receive dividends; and


(C) A provision providing that the proxy concerning the waiver of dividends given by the mutual members may be used for no more than 12 months from the date it is given.


(3) The Board may not object to a waiver of dividends under paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section if:


(i) The waiver would not be detrimental to the safe and sound operation of the savings association;


(ii) The board of directors of the mutual holding company expressly determines that a waiver of the dividend by the mutual holding company is consistent with the fiduciary duties of the board of directors to the mutual members of the mutual holding company; and


(iii) The mutual holding company has, prior to December 1, 2009 –


(A) Reorganized into a mutual holding company under section 10(o) of HOLA;


(B) Issued minority stock either from its mid-tier stock holding company or its subsidiary stock savings association; and


(C) Waived dividends it had a right to receive from the subsidiary stock savings association.


(4) For a mutual holding company that does not meet each of the conditions in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, the Board will not object to a waiver of dividends under paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section if – :


(i) The savings association currently operates in a manner consistent with the safe and sound operation of a savings association, and the waiver is not detrimental to the safe and sound operation of the savings association;


(ii) If the mutual holding company has pledged the stock of a subsidiary holding company or subsidiary savings association as collateral for a loan made to the mutual holding company, or is subject to any other loan agreement, an affirmation that the mutual holding company is able to meet the terms of the loan agreement;


(iii) Within the 12 months prior to the declaration date of the dividend by the subsidiary of the mutual holding company, a majority of the mutual members of the mutual holding company has approved the waiver of dividends by the mutual holding company. Any proxy statement used in connection with the member vote must contain –


(A) A detailed description of the proposed waiver of dividends by the mutual holding company and the reasons the board of directors requested the waiver of dividends;


(B) The disclosure of any mutual holding company director’s ownership of stock in the subsidiary declaring dividends and any actions the mutual holding company and board of directors have taken to eliminate the conflict of interest, such as the directors waiving their right to receive dividends; and


(C) A provision providing that the proxy concerning the waiver of dividends given by the mutual members may be used for no more than 12 months from the date it is given;


(iv) The board of directors of the mutual holding company expressly determines that the waiver of dividends is consistent with the board of directors’ fiduciary duties despite any conflict of interest;


(v)(A) A majority of the entire board of directors of the mutual holding company approves the waiver of dividends and any director with direct or indirect ownership, control, or the power to vote shares of the subsidiary declaring the dividend, or who otherwise directly or indirectly benefits through an associate from the waiver of dividends, has abstained from the board vote; or


(B) Each officer or director of the mutual holding company or its affiliates, associate of such officer or director, and any tax-qualified or non-tax-qualified employee stock benefit plan in which such officer or director participates that holds any share of the stock in the class of stock to which the waiver would apply waives the right to receive any dividend declared by a subsidiary of the mutual holding company;


(vi) The Board does not object to the amount of dividends declared by a subsidiary of the mutual holding company. In reviewing whether a declaration by a subsidiary of the mutual holding company is appropriate, the Board may consider, among other factors, the reasonableness of the entire dividend distribution declared if the waiver is not approved;


(vii) The waived dividends are excluded from the capital accounts of the subsidiary holding company or savings association, as applicable, for purposes of calculating any future dividend payments;


(viii) The mutual holding company appropriately accounts for all waived dividends in a manner that permits the Board to consider the waived dividends in evaluating the proposed exchange ratio in the event of a full conversion of the mutual holding company to stock form; and


(ix) The mutual holding company complies with such other conditions as the Board may require to prevent conflicts of interest or actions detrimental to the safe and sound operation of the savings association.


(5) Valuation. (i) The Board will consider waived dividends in determining an appropriate exchange ratio in the event of a full conversion to stock form.


(ii) In the case of a savings association that has reorganized into a mutual holding company, has issued minority stock from a mid-tier stock holding company or a subsidiary stock savings association of the mutual holding company, and has waived dividends it had a right to receive from a subsidiary savings association before December 1, 2009, the Board shall not consider waived dividends in determining an appropriate exchange ratio in the event of a full conversion to stock form.


(e) Restrictions on issuance of stock to insiders. A subsidiary of a mutual holding company that is not a savings association or subsidiary holding company may issue stock to any insider, associate of an insider or tax-qualified or non-tax-qualified employee stock benefit plan of the mutual holding company or any subsidiary of the mutual holding company, provided that such persons or plans provide written notice to the appropriate Reserve Bank at least 30 days prior to the stock issuance, and the Reserve Bank or the Board does not object to the subsequent stock issuance. Subsidiary holding companies may issue stock to such persons only in accordance with § 239.24.


(f) Applicability of rules governing savings and loan holding companies. Except as expressly provided in this part, mutual holding companies shall be subject to the provisions of 12 U.S.C. 1467a and 3201 et seq. and the provisions of parts 207, 228, and 238 of this chapter.


(g) Separate vote for charitable organization contribution. In a mutual holding company stock issuance, a separate vote of a majority of the outstanding shares of common stock held by stockholders other than the mutual holding company or subsidiary holding company must approve any charitable organization contribution.


§ 239.9 Conversion or liquidation of mutual holding companies.

(a) Conversion – (1) Generally. A mutual holding company may convert to the stock form in accordance with the rules and regulations set forth in subpart E of this part.


(2) Exchange of subsidiary savings association or subsidiary holding company stock. Any stock issued by a subsidiary savings association, or by a subsidiary holding company pursuant to § 239.24, of a mutual holding company to persons other than the parent mutual holding company may be exchanged for the stock issued by the successor to parent mutual holding company in connection with the conversion of the parent mutual holding company to stock form. The parent mutual holding company and the subsidiary holding company must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Board that the basis for the exchange is fair and reasonable.


(3) If a subsidiary holding company or subsidiary savings association has issued shares to an entity other than the mutual holding company, the conversion of the mutual holding company to stock form may not be consummated unless a majority of the shares issued to entities other than the mutual holding company vote in favor of the conversion. This requirement applies in addition to any otherwise required account holder or shareholder votes.


(b) Involuntary liquidation. (1) The Board may file a petition with the federal bankruptcy courts requesting the liquidation of a mutual holding company pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1467a(o)(9) and title 11, United States Code, upon the occurrence of any of the following events:


(i) The default of the resulting association, any acquiree association, or any subsidiary savings association of the mutual holding company that was in the mutual form when acquired by the mutual holding company;


(ii) The default of the parent mutual holding company or its subsidiary holding company; or


(iii) Foreclosure on any pledge by the mutual holding company of subsidiary savings association stock or subsidiary holding company stock.


(2) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the net proceeds of any liquidation of any mutual holding company shall be transferred to the members of the mutual holding company and, if applicable, the stock holders of the subsidiary holding company in accordance with the charter of the mutual holding company and, if applicable, the charter of the subsidiary holding company.


(3) If the FDIC incurs a loss as a result of the default of any subsidiary savings association of a mutual holding company and that mutual holding company is liquidated pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the FDIC shall succeed to the membership interests of the depositors of such savings association in the mutual holding company to the extent of the FDIC’s loss.


(c) Voluntary liquidation. The provisions of § 239.16 shall apply to mutual holding companies.


§ 239.10 Procedural requirements.

(a) Proxies and proxy statements – (1) Solicitation of proxies. The provisions of §§ 239.56 and 239.57(a) through (d) and (f) through (h) shall apply to all solicitations of proxies by any person in connection with any membership vote required by this part. Proxy materials must be in the form specified by the Board and contain the information specified in §§ 239.57(b) and 239.57(d), to the extent such information is relevant to the action that members are being asked to approve, with such additions, deletions, and other modifications as are required under this part, or as are necessary or appropriate under the disclosure standard set forth in § 239.57(f). File proxies and proxy statements in accordance with § 239.55(c) and address them to the appropriate Reserve Bank. For purposes of this paragraph, the term conversion, as it appears in the provisions of part subpart E of this part, refers to the reorganization, the stock issuance, or other corporate action, as appropriate.


(2) Additional proxy disclosure requirements. In addition to the requirements in paragraph (a) of this section, all proxies requesting accountholder approval of a mutual holding company reorganization shall address in detail:


(i) The reasons for the reorganization, including the relative advantages and disadvantages of undertaking the transaction proposed instead of a standard conversion;


(ii) Whether management believes the reorganization is in the best interests of the association and its accountholders and the basis of that belief;


(iii) The fiduciary duties owed to accountholders by the association’s officers and directors and why the reorganization is in accord with those duties and is otherwise equitable to the accountholders and the association;


(iv) Any compensation agreements that will be entered into by management in connection with the reorganization; and


(v) Whether the mutual holding company intends to waive dividends, the implications to accountholders, and the reasons such waivers are consistent with the fiduciary duties of the directors of the mutual holding company.


(3) Nonconforming minority stock issuances. Subsidiary holding companies proposing non-conforming minority stock issuances pursuant to § 239.24(c)(6)(ii) must include in the proxy materials to accountholders seeking approval of a proposed reorganization an additional disclosure statement that serves as a cover sheet that clearly addresses:


(i) The consequences to accountholders of voting to approve a reorganization in which their subscription rights are prioritized differently and potentially eliminated; and


(ii) Any intent by the mutual holding company to waive dividends, and the implications to accountholders.


(4) Use of “running” proxies. Unless otherwise prohibited, a mutual holding company may make use of any proxy conferring general authority to vote on any and all matters at any meeting of members, provided that the member granting such proxy has been furnished a proxy statement regarding the matters and the member does not grant a later-dated proxy to vote at the meeting at which the matter will be considered or attend such meeting and vote in person, and further provided that “running” proxies or similar proxies may not be used to vote for a mutual holding company reorganization, mutual-to-stock conversion undertaken by a mutual holding company, dividend waiver, or any other material transaction. Subject to the limitations set forth in this paragraph, any proxy conferring on the board of directors or officers of a mutual savings association general authority to cast a member’s votes on any and all matters presented to the members shall be deemed to cover the member’s votes as a member of the mutual holding company and such authority shall be conferred on the board of directors or officers of a mutual holding company.


(b) Applications under this part. Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, any application, notice or certification required to be filed with the Board under this part must be filed in accordance with § 238.14 of this chapter. The Board will review any filing made under this part in accordance with § 238.14 of this chapter.


(c) Reorganization Notices and stock issuance applications – (1) Contents. Each Reorganization Notice submitted to the appropriate Reserve Bank pursuant to § 239.3(a) and each application for approval of the issuance of stock submitted to the appropriate Reserve Bank pursuant to § 239.24(a) shall be in the form and contain the information specified by the Board.


(2) Filing instructions. Any Reorganization Notice submitted under § 239.3(a) must be filed in accordance with § 238.14 of this chapter. Any stock issuance application submitted pursuant to § 239.24(a) shall be filed in accordance with § 239.55.


(3) Public notice, public comment, and meetings. Mutual holding company reorganizations are subject to applicable public notice, public comment, and meeting requirements under the Bank Merger Act regulations at § 238.11(e) of this chapter and the Savings and Loan Holding Company Act regulations at § 238.14 of this chapter.


(d) Amendments. Any mutual holding company may amend any notice or application submitted pursuant to this part or file additional information with respect thereto upon request of the Board or upon the mutual holding company’s own initiative.


(e) Time-frames. All Reorganization Notices and applications filed pursuant to this part must be processed in accordance with the processing procedures at § 238.14 of this chapter. Any related approvals requested in connection with Reorganization Notices or applications for approval of stock issuances (including, without limitation, requests for approval to transfer assets to resulting associations, to acquire acquiree associations, and to organize resulting associations or interim associations, and requests for approval of charters, bylaws, and stock forms) shall be processed pursuant to the procedures specified in this section in conjunction with the Reorganization Notice or stock issuance application to which they pertain, rather than pursuant to any inconsistent procedures specified elsewhere in this chapter. The approval standards for all such related applications, however, shall remain unchanged. The review by the Board of any materials used in connection with the issuance of stock under § 239.24 must not be subject to the applications processing time-frames set forth in §§ 238.14(f) and (g) of this chapter.


(f) Disclosure. The rules governing disclosure of any notice or application submitted pursuant to this part, or any public comment submitted pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section, shall be the same as set forth in § 238.14(b) of this chapter for notices, applications, and public comments filed under § 238.14 of this chapter.


(g) Appeals. Any party aggrieved by a final action by the Board which approves or disapproves any application or notice pursuant to this part may obtain review of such action in accordance with 12 U.S.C. 1467a(j).


(h) Federal preemption. This part preempts state law with regard to the creation and regulation of mutual holding companies.


§ 239.11 Subsidiary holding companies.

(a) Subsidiary holding companies. A mutual holding company may establish a subsidiary holding company as a direct subsidiary to hold 100 percent of the stock of its subsidiary savings association. The formation and operation of the subsidiary holding company may not be utilized as a means to evade or frustrate the purposes of this part. The subsidiary holding company may be established either at the time of the initial mutual holding company reorganization or at a subsequent date, subject to the approval of the Board.


(b) Stock issuances. §§ 239.24 and 239.25 apply to issuance of stock by a subsidiary holding company. In the case of a stock issuance by a subsidiary holding company, the aggregate amount of outstanding common stock of the association owned or controlled by persons other than the subsidiary holding company’s mutual holding company parent at the close of the proposed issuance shall be less than 50 percent of the subsidiary holding company’s total outstanding common stock.


(c) Charters and bylaws for subsidiary holding companies. The charter and bylaws of a subsidiary holding company shall be in the form set forth in Appendices B and D, respectively.


§ 239.12 Communication between members of a mutual holding company.

(a) Right of communication with other members. A member of a mutual holding company has the right to communicate, as prescribed in paragraph (b) of this section, with other members of the mutual holding company regarding any matter related to the mutual holding company’s affairs, except for “improper” communications, as defined in paragraph (c) of this section. The mutual holding company may not defeat that right by redeeming a savings member’s savings account in the subsidiary savings association.


(b) Member communication procedures. If a member of a mutual holding company desires to communicate with other members, the following procedures shall be followed:


(1) The member shall give the mutual holding company a written request to communicate;


(2) If the proposed communication is in connection with a meeting of the mutual holding company’s members, the request shall be given at least thirty days before the annual meeting or 10 days before a special meeting;


(3) The request shall contain –


(i) The member’s full name and address;


(ii) The nature and extent of the member’s interest in the mutual holding company at the time the information is given;


(iii) A copy of the proposed communication; and


(iv) If the communication is in connection with a meeting of the members, the date of the meeting;


(4) The mutual holding company shall reply to the request within either –


(i) Fourteen days;


(ii) Ten days, if the communication is in connection with the annual meeting; or


(iii) Three days, if the communication is in connection with a special meeting;


(5) The reply shall provide either –


(i) The number of the mutual holding company’s members and the estimated reasonable cost to the mutual holding company of mailing to them the proposed communication; or


(ii) Notification that the mutual holding company has determined not to mail the communication because it is “improper”, as defined in paragraph (c) of this section;


(6) After receiving the amount of the estimated costs of mailing and sufficient copies of the communication, the mutual holding company shall mail the communication to all members, by a class of mail specified by the requesting member, either –


(i) Within fourteen days;


(ii) Within seven days, if the communication is in connection with the annual meeting;


(iii) As soon as practicable before the meeting, if the communication is in connection with a special meeting; or


(iv) On a later date specified by the member;


(7) If the mutual holding company refuses to mail the proposed communication, it shall return the requesting member’s materials together with a written statement of the specific reasons for refusal, and shall simultaneously send to the appropriate Reserve Bank a copy of each of the requesting member’s materials, the mutual holding company’s written statement, and any other relevant material. The materials shall be sent within:


(i) Fourteen days,


(ii) Ten days if the communication is in connection with the annual meeting, or


(iii) Three days, if the communication is in connection with a special meeting, after the mutual holding company receives the request for communication.


(c) Improper communication. A communication is an “improper communication” if it contains material which:


(1) At the time and in the light of the circumstances under which it is made:


(i) Is false or misleading with respect to any material fact; or


(ii) Omits a material fact necessary to make the statements therein not false or misleading, or necessary to correct a statement in an earlier communication on the same subject which has become false or misleading;


(2) Relates to a personal claim or a personal grievance, or is solicitous of personal gain or business advantage by or on behalf of any party;


(3) Relates to any matter, including a general economic, political, racial, religious, social, or similar cause, that is not significantly related to the business of the mutual holding company or is not within the control of the mutual holding company; or


(4) Directly or indirectly and without expressed factual foundation:


(i) Impugns character, integrity, or personal reputation,


(ii) Makes charges concerning improper, illegal, or immoral conduct, or


(iii) Makes statements impugning the stability and soundness of the mutual holding company.


§ 239.13 Charters.

(a) Charters. The charter of a mutual holding company shall be in the form set forth in appendix A of this part and may be amended pursuant to this paragraph. The Board may amend the form of charter set forth in appendix A to this part.


(b) Corporate title. The corporate title of each mutual holding company shall include the term “mutual” or the abbreviation “M.H.C.”


(c) Availability of charter. A mutual holding company shall make available to its members at all times in the offices of each subsidiary savings association from which the mutual holding company draws members a true copy of its charter, including any amendments, and shall deliver such a copy to any member upon request.


§ 239.14 Charter amendments.

(a) General. In order to adopt a charter amendment, a mutual holding company must comply with the following requirements:


(1) Board of directors approval. The board of directors of the mutual holding company must adopt a resolution proposing the charter amendment that states the text of such amendment;


(2) Form of filing

(i) Application requirement. If the proposed charter amendment would render more difficult or discourage a merger, proxy contest, the assumption of control by a mutual account holder of the mutual holding company, or the removal of incumbent management; or involve a significant issue of law or policy; then, the mutual holding shall submit the charter amendment to the appropriate Reserve Bank for approval. Applications submitted under this paragraph are subject to the processing procedures at § 238.14 of this chapter.


(ii) Notice requirement. If the proposed charter amendment does not implicate paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section and is permissible under all applicable laws, rules and regulations, the mutual holding company shall submit the proposed amendment to the appropriate Reserve Bank at least 30 days prior to the effective date of the proposed charter amendment.


(b) Approval. Any charter amendment filed pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section shall automatically be approved 30 days from the date of filing of such amendment with the appropriate Reserve Bank, provided that the mutual holding company follows the requirements of its charter in adopting such amendment, unless the Reserve Bank or the Board notifies the mutual holding company prior to the expiration of such 30-day period that such amendment is rejected or is deemed to be filed under the provisions of paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section. Notwithstanding anything in paragraph (a) of this section to the contrary, the following charter amendments, including the adoption of the Federal mutual holding company charter as set forth in appendix A, shall be effective and deemed approved at the time of adoption, if adopted without change and filed with Board, within 30 days after adoption, provided the mutual holding company follows the requirements of its charter in adopting such amendments.


(1) Title change. (i) Subject to § 239.13 and this paragraph (b), a mutual holding company may amend its charter by substituting a new corporate title in section 1 of its charter.


(ii) Prior to changing its corporate title, a mutual holding company must file with the Board a written notice indicating the intended change. The Board shall provide to the mutual holding company a timely written acknowledgment stating when the notice was received. If, within 30 days of receipt of notice, the Board does not notify the mutual holding company of its objection to the corporate title change on the grounds that the title misrepresents the nature of the institution or the services it offers, the mutual holding company may change its title by amending its charter in accordance with § 239.14(b) or § 239.22 and the amendment provisions of its charter.


(2) Maximum number of votes. A mutual holding company may amend section 5 of its charter by substituting the maximum number of votes per member to any number from 1 to 1000.


(c) Reissuance of charter. A mutual holding company that has amended its charter may apply to have its charter, including the amendments, reissued by the Board. Such request for reissuance should be filed with the appropriate Reserve Bank.


§ 239.15 Bylaws.

(a) General. A mutual holding company shall operate under bylaws that contain provisions that comply with all requirements specified by the Board, the provisions of this section, the mutual holding company’s charter, and all other applicable laws, rules, and regulations provided that, a bylaw provision inconsistent with the provisions of this section may be adopted with the approval of the Board. Bylaws may be adopted, amended or repealed by a majority of the votes cast by the members at a legal meeting or a majority of the mutual holding company’s board of directors. Throughout this section, the term “trustee” may be substituted for the term “director” as relevant.


(b) The following requirements are applicable to mutual holding companies:


(1) Annual meetings of members. A mutual holding company shall provide for and conduct an annual meeting of its members for the election of directors and at which any other business of the mutual holding company may be conducted. Such meeting shall be held, as designated by its board of directors, at a location within the state that constitutes the principal place of business of the subsidiary savings association, or at any other convenient place the board of directors may designate, and at a date and time within 150 days after the end of the mutual holding company’s fiscal year. At each annual meeting, the officers shall make a full report of the financial condition of the mutual holding company and of its progress for the preceding year and shall outline a program for the succeeding year.


(2) Special meetings of members. Procedures for calling any special meeting of the members and for conducting such a meeting shall be set forth in the bylaws. The subject matter of such special meeting must be established in the notice for such meeting. The board of directors of the mutual holding company or the holders of 10 percent or more of the voting capital shall be entitled to call a special meeting. For purposes of this section, “voting capital” means FDIC-insured deposits as of the voting record date.


(3) Notice of meeting of members. Notice specifying the date, time, and place of the annual or any special meeting and adequately describing any business to be conducted shall be published for two successive weeks immediately prior to the week in which such meeting shall convene in a newspaper of general circulation in the city or county in which the principal place of business of the subsidiary savings association is located, or mailed postage prepaid at least 15 days and not more than 45 days prior to the date on which such meeting shall convene to each of its members of record at the last address appearing on the books of the mutual holding company. A similar notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place in each of the offices of the subsidiary savings association during the 14 days immediately preceding the date on which such meeting shall convene. The bylaws may permit a member to waive in writing any right to receive personal delivery of the notice. When any meeting is adjourned for 30 days or more, notice of the adjournment and reconvening of the meeting shall be given as in the case of the original meeting.


(4) Fixing of record date. For the purpose of determining members entitled to notice of or to vote at any meeting of members or any adjournment thereof, or in order to make a determination of members for any other proper purpose, the bylaws shall provide for the fixing of a record date and a method for determining from the books of the subsidiary savings association the members entitled to vote. Such date shall be not more than 60 days or fewer than 10 days prior to the date on which the action, requiring such determination of members, is to be taken. The same determination shall apply to any adjourned meeting.


(5) Member quorum. Any number of members present and voting, represented in person or by proxy, at a regular or special meeting of the members shall constitute a quorum. A majority of all votes cast at any meeting of the members shall determine any question, unless otherwise required by regulation. At any adjourned meeting, any business may be transacted that might have been transacted at the meeting as originally called. Members present at a duly constituted meeting may continue to transact business until adjournment.


(6) Voting by proxy. Procedures shall be established for voting at any annual or special meeting of the members by proxy pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Board, including the placing of such proxies on file with the secretary of the mutual holding company, for verification, prior to the convening of such meeting. Proxies may be given telephonically or electronically as long as the holder uses a procedure for verifying the identity of the member. All proxies with a term greater than eleven months or solicited at the expense of the subsidiary savings association must run to the board of directors as a whole, or to a committee appointed by a majority of such board.


(7) Communications between members. Provisions relating to communications between members shall be consistent with § 239.12. No member, however, shall have the right to inspect or copy any portion of any books or records of a mutual holding company containing:


(i) A list of depositors in or borrowers from the subsidiary savings association;


(ii) Their addresses;


(iii) Individual deposit or loan balances or records; or


(iv) Any data from which such information could be reasonably constructed.


(8) Number of directors, membership. The bylaws shall set forth a specific number of directors, not a range. The number of directors shall be not fewer than five nor more than fifteen, unless a higher or lower number has been authorized by the Board. Each director of the mutual holding company shall be a member of the mutual holding company. Directors may be elected for periods of one to three years and until their successors are elected and qualified, but if a staggered board is chosen, provision shall be made for the election of approximately one-third or one-half of the board each year, as appropriate.


(9) Meetings of the board. The board of directors shall determine the place, frequency, time, procedure for notice, which shall be at least 24 hours unless waived by the directors, and waiver of notice for all regular and special meetings. The meetings shall be under the direction of a chairman, appointed annually by the board; or in the absence of the chairman, the meetings shall be under the direction of the president. The board also may permit telephonic participation at meetings. The bylaws may provide for action to be taken without a meeting if unanimous written consent is obtained for such action. A majority of the authorized directors shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The act of a majority of the directors present at any meeting at which there is a quorum shall be the act of the board.


(10) Officers, employees, and agents. (i) The bylaws shall contain provisions regarding the officers of the mutual holding company, their functions, duties, and powers. The officers of the mutual holding company shall consist of a president, one or more vice presidents, a secretary, and a treasurer or comptroller, each of whom shall be elected annually by the board of directors. Such other officers and assistant officers and agents as may be deemed necessary may be elected or appointed by the board of directors or chosen in such other manner as may be prescribed in the bylaws. Any two or more offices may be held by the same person, except the offices of president and secretary.


(ii) All officers and agents of the mutual holding company, as between themselves and the mutual holding company, shall have such authority and perform such duties in the management of the mutual holding company as may be provided in the bylaws, or as may be determined by resolution of the board of directors not inconsistent with the bylaws. In the absence of any such provision, officers shall have such powers and duties as generally pertain to their respective offices. Any officer may be removed by the board of directors with or without cause, but such removal, other than for cause, shall be without prejudice to the contractual rights, if any, of the officer so removed.


(iii) Any indemnification provision must provide that any indemnification is subject to applicable Federal law, rules, and regulations.


(11) Vacancies, resignation or removal of directors. Members of the mutual holding company shall elect directors by ballot: Provided, that in the event of a vacancy on the board, the board of directors may, by their affirmative vote, fill such vacancy, even if the remaining directors constitute less than a quorum. A director elected to fill a vacancy shall be elected to serve only until the next election of directors by the members. The bylaws shall set out the procedure for the resignation of a director, which shall be by written notice or by any other procedure established in the bylaws. Directors may be removed only for cause as defined in § 239.41, by a vote of the holders of a majority of