EGRPRA Regulatory Review-Application and Reporting Requirements, 51582-51586 [05-17334]

Download as PDF 51582 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations The authorization to grant waivers is subject to the Commission’s determination that the waiver is in accordance with the protection of the public health and safety and the promotion of the common defense and security. The Commission has determined that there is no basis on which to conclude that these materials will not continue to be used in a manner that ensures that the public health and safety will be protected while this waiver is in effect. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 also specifically requires the Commission to consider, in promulgating regulations, the impact on the availability of radiopharmaceuticals to physicians and to patients the medical treatment of which relies on radiopharmaceuticals. The Commission believes that it is in the best interests of the country to allow continued use of the newly defined byproduct material in radiopharmaceuticals for medical purposes, and to allow the States to continue to regulate the newly defined byproduct material until the Commission can codify new regulations for these materials. In sum, the Commission currently does not have in place a specific set of regulations to oversee the use of byproduct material as defined in paragraphs (3) and (4) of section 11 e. of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as added by section 651(e) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Granting of the waiver set forth at the end of this document will allow, for the applicable waiver period, States to continue with their programs, persons engaged in activities involving the newly defined Atomic Energy Act byproduct material to continue their operations in a safe manner, and continued access to medical radiopharmaceuticals. This will also permit the Commission and States that currently do not have § 274i Agreement State regulatory programs, but wish to enter into an agreement with the NRC, to appropriately address the newly defined byproduct material. The Commission has determined that issuance of this waiver is in accordance with the protection of the public health and safety and the promotion of the common defense and security. byproduct material as defined in section 11 e.(3) and (4) of the Atomic Energy Act 1954, through August 7, 2006, unless terminated sooner if the Commission determines that an earlier termination is warranted; except that the requirements of the Department of Commerce relating to export of such material will continue to apply to such material during the waiver period; (2) To all persons that acquire, deliver, receive, possess, own, use, or transfer byproduct material as defined in section 11 e.(3) and (4) of the Atomic Energy Act 1954, through August 7, 2009, unless terminated sooner if the Commission determines that an earlier termination is warranted; and (3) To all States that have entered into an agreement with the Commission under section 274 b. of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2014(e)) and to States that have not entered into such an Agreement, through August 7, 2009, unless terminated sooner if the Commission determines that an earlier termination is warranted; except that such a waiver for an Agreement State will be terminated by the Commission, if the Commission makes the determinations required by section 651(e)(5)(B)(ii) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Waiver Except as required by section 651(e)(5)(B)(i)(I), the Commission hereby grants a waiver from the requirements of section 651(e) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, titled, ‘‘Treatment of Accelerator-Produced and Other Radioactive Material as Byproduct Material’’, as follows: (1) To all persons engaged in export from or import into the United States of AGENCY: VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:14 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 25th day of August, 2005. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Annette Vietti-Cook, Secretary of the Commission. [FR Doc. 05–17293 Filed 8–30–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Office of Thrift Supervision 12 CFR Parts 506, 516, 528, 543, 544, 545, 552, 559, 563, 563b, 567, 574, and 575 [No. 2005–34] RIN 1550–AB93 EGRPRA Regulatory Review— Application and Reporting Requirements Office of Thrift Supervision, Treasury (OTS). ACTION: Final rule. As a part of its review of regulations under section 2222 of the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104–208, Sept. 30, 1996) (EGRPRA), the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) is issuing a final rule, which reduces SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 regulatory burden on savings associations by updating and revising various application and reporting requirements. Specifically, the final rule: modifies the branch office and agency office application and notice requirements, harmonizes publication and public comment procedures for various applications and notices, and revises the meeting procedures. The final rule also eliminates various obsolete rules. DATES: This rule is effective on October 1, 2005. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josephine Battle, Program Analyst, Thrift Policy, (202) 906–6870; Donald Dwyer, Director, Applications, Examinations and Supervision Operations, (202) 906–6414; Karen Osterloh, Special Counsel, Regulations and Legislation Division, (202) 906– 6639; or Gary Jeffers, Senior Attorney, Business Transactions Division, (202) 906–6457, Office of Thrift Supervision, 1700 G Street, NW., Washington, DC 20552. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Introduction In 2003, OTS and the other federal banking agencies began a joint effort to review their rules and identify outdated or otherwise unnecessary regulatory requirements. This review is required by section 2222 of EGRPRA, which directs the banking agencies to jointly or individually categorize their regulations by type, provide notice and solicit public comment on the categories, request commenters to identify areas of the regulations that are outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome, and eliminate unnecessary regulations to the extent that such action is appropriate. 12 U.S.C. 3311. As part of this EGRPRA process, OTS, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency published a notice seeking comment on unnecessary regulatory burden in their rules governing application and reporting requirements.1 Based on the comments submitted in response to the notice and additional comments voiced at EGRPRA outreach meetings, OTS issued an interim final 1 68 FR 35589 (June 16, 2003). The June 2003 notice also addressed powers and activities and international operations. The agencies have published subsequent notices seeking comment on consumer protection provisions in lending-related rules at 69 FR 2852 (January 21, 2004); consumer protection provisions in other rules at 69 FR 43347 (July 20, 2004); and money laundering and safety and soundness and securities rules at 70 FR 5571 (February 3, 2005). E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations rule on November 24, 2004 making various changes to its application and reporting requirements. 69 FR 68257. The interim final rule: (1) Modified the branch office and agency office application and notice requirements, (2) harmonized publication and public comment procedures for various applications and notices, and (3) revised the informal and formal meeting procedures used in application processing. The interim final rule also eliminated various obsolete rules. These changes were designed to reduce burden to the extent consistent with the safe and sound supervision of the industry. The changes furthered the burden reduction efforts in various recent OTS rulemakings.2 II. Discussion of Comments OTS received numerous comments on the interim final rule from savings associations, trade associations, community organizations, and individuals. Many commenters filed joint comments on this interim final rule and a simultaneously published proposed rule on CRA. Commenters were divided regarding the changes to the informal and formal meeting procedures used in application processing. Otherwise, commenters generally supported the interim final rule. Commenters noted that the changes simplified and streamlined regulatory requirements and processes without compromising the safe and sound regulation of the industry. They commended the rule as a serious effort at regulatory burden reduction that was responsive to comments made in connection with the EGRPRA initiative. Commenters also observed that the changes in the interim final rule permit savings associations to conduct their business more flexibly, to compete more efficiently, and to focus their resources more effectively. Comments on specific aspects of the rule are discussed below. A. Branch and Home Offices As part of the EGRPRA initiative, OTS reviewed the application requirements that apply to branch and home offices operated by federal savings associations. The interim final rule made various changes to OTS rules to ease the regulatory burden of these applications and notices. Specifically, the interim final rule: • Eliminated application and notice requirements for re-designations of home and branch offices. 2 See e.g., 69 FR 51155 (August 18, 2004); 69 FR 68257 (November 24, 2004); and 70 FR 10023 (March 2, 2005). VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:14 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 • Eliminated application and notice requirements for certain highly-rated federal savings associations. • Eliminated notice requirements for short-distance relocations of branches of federal savings associations. • Permitted federal savings associations incorporated under the laws of, organized in, or doing business in the District of Columbia to relocate home or branch offices and to establish branch offices under the same application and notice procedures applicable to other federal savings associations.3 • Eliminated the requirement that a federal savings association must file an application before it may open a drivein or pedestrian office near an existing branch or home office where a public entrance of another SAIF-insured institution is located closer to the drivein or pedestrian office than the public entrance to the thrift’s branch or home office. Commenters addressed various aspects of the interim final rule, but generally supported OTS changes. These comments are discussed below. 1. Elimination of branch and home office applications and notices for highly-rated federal savings associations. Several commenters addressed the elimination of the application and notice requirements for highly-rated federal savings associations. To qualify for this treatment, a federal savings association must meet certain standards designed to ensure that it is operated in a safe and sound manner and fulfills the CRA and other compliance requirements.4 In addition, the association must solicit comment by publishing a newspaper notice 3 Section 5(m)(1) of the Home Owners’ Loan Act (HOLA) states: (A) No savings association incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia or organized in the District or doing business in the District shall establish any branch or move its principal office or any branch without the Director’s prior written approval. (B) No savings association shall establish any branch in the District of Columbia or move its principal office or any branch in the District without the Director’s prior written approval. 12 U.S.C. 1464(m)(1). In the interim final rule, the Director granted his prior written approval for savings associations subject to section 5(m)(1) of the HOLA to establish and move branch and principal offices, providing they comply with the same application processes as other savings associations. 4 Specifically, the savings association: must receive a composite rating of 1 or 2, a CRA rating of satisfactory or outstanding, and a compliance rating of 1 or 2 during its most recent examination; must satisfy its capital requirements under 12 CFR part 567 before and after the establishment or relocation of the office; and must not be in troubled condition. PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 51583 indicating that it intends to re-locate its home or branch office or establish a new branch office. If a comment opposing the application is filed, the association is required to file an application or notice unless OTS determines that the comment raises issues that are not relevant to the branch and home office approval standards or determines that OTS action in response to the comment is not required. One commenter highlighted the importance of the newspaper notice requirement and the requirement for filing an application upon receipt of public comment in response to the newspaper notice. The commenter urged OTS to retain these requirements of the interim final rule. These requirements are retained in the final rule.5 The preamble to the interim final rule observed that branch offices can be costly to build and operate and that excessive growth can present supervisory issues. Accordingly, OTS specifically requested comment on whether it should require a highly-rated federal savings association to file an application or notice where its investment in branch and home offices exceeds a specified limit, or where the association is engaged in multiple branch expansions. Commenters generally opposed such a requirement. OTS has not included this limit in the final rule. Upon review, OTS has concluded that the proposed limitation is inconsistent with its objective of enhancing the flexibility and competitiveness of savings associations and the goal of focusing regulatory resources where they have the greatest impact on safety and soundness. OTS believes that the supervisory process, in conjunction with the existing investment limits in real estate, are sufficient to address safety and soundness issues raised by business expansion.6 2. Additional suggested requirements for federal thrifts that make branch or home office changes for which an application or notice is not required. One commenter was concerned that OTS might not be fully aware of new 5 The final rule makes one revision to the exemption for highly-rated federal savings associations. When an existing office is relocated, the prior OTS rule required the savings association to prominently post a notice of this fact in the existing office. See 12 CFR 545.95(b)(1)(ii)(2004). The interim final rule inadvertently eliminated the posting requirement for highly-rated federal savings associations. It has been restored in the final rule. 6 OTS regulations limit the amount of a federal savings association’s investment in real estate used for office and related facilities to the amount of its total capital. 12 CFR 560.37(2005). E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1 51584 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations branches where applications and notices are no longer required. To address this concern, the commenter suggested that OTS require a federal savings association to notify the appropriate regional office after a branch is opened. This requirement is unnecessary. OTS has revised its internal examination procedures to ensure that its branch and home office location information is accurate and that associations comply with all branching restrictions contained in the HOLA and OTS regulations. In addition, OTS continues to encourage all federal savings associations to consult with their appropriate regional office before they open or relocate any office for which a branch application or notice is not required.7 While federal savings associations are not required to file applications and notices for many branch office changes, OTS and others will continue to have access to information on branch offices. All savings associations annually must send branch office data to OTS. This data may be accessed on the OTS home page under Data and Research>Corporate Directories>Summary of Deposits (www.ots.treas.gov/ pagehtml.cfm?catNumber=25). Internet users may search for office deposits by institution, state, county or city. As a result, the general public, regulators, and bankers may: (1) Find the branches nearest to their home or office; (2) Evaluate an institution’s share of the deposits in a particular market area; and (3) Analyze deposit information on existing branches in a particular market. 3. Approval standards for branch and home offices. In addition to the burden-reducing changes described above, the interim final rule rewrote and substantially reorganized the branch and home office rules to provide greater clarity. The interim final rule restated the approval standards in the prior rule. The preamble noted that OTS considers other issues in its review of 7 One commenter asked whether an association could finalize an opening or relocation of a branch if it initiated a consultation, but the regional office indicated that it opposed the change. Under the new procedures, OTS does not have the ability to disapprove certain branch changes as a part of its application process. This, however, in no way impacts OTS’s supervisory responsibilities. Thus, if a regional office informs a savings association that a proposed branch change would raise significant safety and soundness concerns and the savings association ignores these concerns, OTS may take appropriate supervisory action. Of course, OTS may also take appropriate supervisory actions if it is not consulted prior to the proposed branch change, and later finds that the branching raises significant safety and soundness issues. VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:14 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 branch and home office applications, including compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 3421 et seq.) and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (16 U.S.C. 470). OTS requested comment on whether the final rule should cite these factors. Commenters urged OTS to include references to these laws in the final rule. These commenters observed that a comprehensive rule would enable savings associations to address all issues appropriately in their initial applications and to avoid processing delays. OTS has revised the final rule to state specifically that OTS will review branch and home office applications and notices under the NEPA and NHPA. One commenter suggested that the final rule should set out the standards that OTS will consider in determining whether an application has sufficiently addressed NEPA. OTS declines to put this level of detail into its rules because most branch and home office changes have little impact on the environment and because guidance on these matters is provided in OTS Handbooks and in other agencies’ rules.8 B. Agency Offices The interim final rule also revised OTS agency office rules. Under the prior rule, a federal savings association could establish or maintain an agency office to service and originate (but not approve) loans and contracts; to manage or sell real estate owned by the federal savings association; and to conduct fiduciary activities or activities ancillary to the association’s fiduciary business. See 12 CFR 545.96 (2004). All other activities at agency offices, however, required prior OTS approval. Before the interim final rule, most requests for additional activities at agency offices involved the approval of loans and contracts. Because these requests did not present any supervisory concerns and imposed an unnecessary burden on federal savings associations, the interim final rule permitted savings associations to conduct these activities without prior OTS approval. Commenters generally supported this 8 Applications Processing Handbook, Branch Activity Guidelines, § 100.8–100.9 (An institution should provide a statement of the impact of the proposed branch or office change on the human environment, including information on changes in the air and/or water quality, noise levels, energy consumption, congestion of population, solid waste disposal, or environmental integrity of private land within the meaning of the NEPA, 42 USC 4321– 4347. To review the NEPA, implementing regulations, and other information, refer to the Web sites for the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) at http://www.whitehouse.gov/ceq or NEPAnet at http://ceq.eh.doe.gov/nepa/ nepanet.htm. PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 rule change, and OTS has adopted it as final. The interim final rule asked whether there were other activities that should be added to the list of permissible agency office activities. One commenter observed that deposit marketing activities and other activities that support the deposit business (but do not involve the taking of deposits), do not present safety and soundness concerns and should be added to the list of permissible agency office activities. The final rule does not include the suggested change. It is unclear what activities are encompassed within the phrase ‘‘deposit marketing and other activities in support of deposit business.’’ In light of this ambiguity and because taking deposits is an integral part of a savings association’s branch activities, OTS will continue to consider these activities on a case-by-case basis. OTS notes, however, that a federal savings association that wants to make advertising materials or deposit applications available in an existing agency office would generally not be required to file an additional agency notice. C. Application Processing 12 CFR part 516 contains OTS procedures for processing applications, notices, and other filings. While the rules in part 516 are applicable to most applications, regulations for specific types of applications may prescribe different processing procedures and timeframes.9 OTS reviewed the various processing procedures and timeframes, and amended the rules to synchronize and harmonize these procedures and to reduce confusion. These changes included: • Conforming the timing requirements for publications of newspaper notices under the mutual to stock conversion rules and the change of control rules to those applicable to other applications. • Establishing a uniform public comment period for all applications. This comment period extends for 30 days after the date of publication of the initial public notice. • Providing OTS with discretion to consider or reject late-filed comments. • Eliminating duplicative or unnecessarily burdensome rules in the OTS acquisition of control regulations and mutual holding company reorganization procedures, and clarifying the scope of application of certain procedures under the Bank Merger Act rules. 9 12 E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM CFR 516.1(b)(4) and (c) (2005). 31AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations Commenters generally supported these amendments. Accordingly, OTS adopts the interim rule without change.10 D. Application Processing—Formal and Informal Meetings OTS rules at 12 CFR part 516, subpart D provide for meetings in connection with OTS applications. Under the prior rule, OTS was generally required to arrange an informal meeting to discuss issues raised in an application if any commenter on the application requested the meeting. Following that informal meeting, OTS was generally required to arrange a formal meeting, if an informal meeting participant requested the meeting.11 The interim final rule eliminated the requirement that OTS must hold formal and informal meetings whenever a commenter requests the meeting. Under the interim final rule, OTS will grant meeting requests only when it finds that written submissions are insufficient to address facts or issues raised by an application, or it otherwise determines that a meeting will benefit its decisionmaking process. OTS may limit the issues to be considered at the meeting to issues that OTS decides are relevant or material. Savings association and trade association commenters generally supported this rule change. Community groups and individual commenters, however, opposed this change. These commenters argued that the informal and formal meeting process provided an opportunity for community groups and thrifts to meet with the agency to discuss CRA and anti-predatory lending matters. They asserted that written comments or one meeting did not ensure that these issues are adequately vetted. The interim final rule appropriately balanced the interests of applicants and public commenters by providing OTS with the discretion to conduct a meeting whenever it finds that written submissions are insufficient to address facts or issues raised by an application, or it otherwise determines that a meeting will benefit its decision-making process. The rule preserves the ability of community groups and others to communicate their concerns to the agency. The interim final rule specifically permits commenters to file 10 Commenters suggested several changes already included in the interim final rule. For example, the interim final rule eliminated the requirement for publication of holding company applications in the ‘‘business section’’ of a newspaper, and conformed the publication requirements for all applications to the extent permitted by statute. 11 12 CFR 516.170 and 516.180 (2004). VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:14 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 written comments, to request a meeting, to submit a written description of the nature of the issues or facts they wish to discuss at the meeting, and to explain the reasons why written submissions are insufficient to adequately address these issues and facts. Based on these submissions, OTS will be able to consider the circumstances of each application and determine whether a meeting is necessary to further explore CRA, fair lending compliance, and other issues. This process conforms closely to the procedures used by the other banking agencies in their application proceedings. OTS believes that the interim final rule appropriately addressed the needs of all parties and adopts it as final without change. E. Nondiscriminatory Advertising OTS’s former rule at 12 CFR 528.4 (2004) required savings associations to include facsimiles of the equal housing lender logotype and legend in all advertising ‘‘other than for savings.’’ Because this requirement required a logotype in advertising for lending unrelated to housing, such as credit card loans, commercial loans, and educational loans, the interim final rule amended § 528.4 to require displays of the equal housing logotype and legend only in advertisements for loans for the purpose of purchasing, constructing, improving, repairing, or maintaining a dwelling or loans secured by a dwelling. Several commenters supported this change. One, however, noted that the equal housing logotype is an important symbol regarding the commitment to non-discrimination. This commenter argued that the logotype should be displayed on advertisements for all lending. The equal housing lender logotype does not provide relevant information to individuals shopping for loans unrelated to housing. As a result, the former rule imposed an unnecessary burden on thrifts who must provide the information, and on consumers who must process this information in addition to the volume of other data that they receive in connection with consumer and commercial loan applications. Accordingly, OTS continues to believe that the former rule was too broad, imposed unnecessary burdens, and should be eliminated. OTS notes that this rule is consistent with related rules issued by the other banking agencies, which require the display of the equal housing lender logotype and legend only with respect to advertisements for housing-related loans.12 12 Compare PO 00000 12 CFR 338.8 (2005) (FDIC). Frm 00027 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 51585 F. Other Changes In addition to the burden-reducing changes discussed above, the interim final rule eliminated the following regulations: • 12 CFR 545.74 (2004). This rule imposed various requirements on securities brokerage activities of service corporations. The requirements were obsolete, conflicted with the current law and guidance, and were confusing to the industry. • 12 CFR 563.181 (2004). This rule required mutual savings associations to report changes in control. It implemented section 407 of the National Housing Act, which was repealed in 1989.13 • 12 CFR 563.183 (2004). This rule required savings associations and savings and loan holding companies to report changes of chief executive officers and directors that occur within stated time periods before or after a change of control. This rule implemented 12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(12), which requires notices under more limited circumstances.14 OTS will rely on the more limited statutory requirements. • 12 CFR 567.13 (2004). This rule addressed capital maintenance agreements and was obsolete in light of other statutory and regulatory protections.15 No commenter objected to these deletions and revisions. Accordingly, OTS adopts these rule changes as final. III. Regulatory Analysis A. Paperwork Reduction Act The information collection requirements contained in the final rule are virtually identical to those included in the November 24, 2004 interim final rule. While OTS has modified the requirements in minor ways, the burden on respondents remains unchanged from those in the earlier rule. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved these collections of information on November 18, 2004 under OMB Control No. 1550–0005; on January 7, 2005 under OMB Control No. 1550–0014; and on January 19, 2005 under OMB Control Nos. 1550–0006, 1550–0011, 1550–0013, 1550–0015, 1550–0016, 1550–0018, 1550–0056 and 13 Title IV of the National Housing Act, including section 407, was repealed in 1989. Pub. L. 101–73, Title IV, § 407, Aug. 9, 1989, 103 Stat. 363. 14 The statute, for example, does not require any reports from savings and loan holding companies, and requires thrift reports only for changes of officers and directors that follow a change of control. 15 See e.g., 12 U.S.C. 1831o(e)(2)(C) (prompt corrective action) and OTS implementing regulations at 12 CFR 565.5 (2005). E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1 51586 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations 1550–0072. Respondents/recordkeepers are not required to respond to any collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. B. Regulatory Flexibility Act Pursuant to section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, OTS certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The rule makes various changes to OTS application and reporting requirements that reduce regulatory burdens on all savings associations, including small savings associations. These changes will not have a significant impact on small institutions. Accordingly, OTS has determined that regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. C. Executive Order 12866 The Director of OTS has determined that this final rule does not constitute a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ for purposes of Executive Order 12866. D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, Pub. L. 104–4 (Unfunded Mandates Act) requires an agency to prepare a budgetary impact statement before promulgating a rule that includes a federal mandate that may result in expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year. If a budgetary impact statement is required, section 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Act also requires an agency to identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives before promulgating a rule. The final rule makes various changes that should reduce regulatory burdens on all savings associations. Accordingly, OTS has determined that this rule will not result in expenditures by State, local, and tribal governments, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more and that a budgetary impact statement is not required. List of Subjects 12 CFR Part 506 Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. 12 CFR Part 516 Administrative practice and procedure, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations. 12 CFR Part 528 Advertising, Aged, Civil rights, Credit, Equal employment opportunity, Fair VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:14 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 housing, Home mortgage disclosure, Individuals with disabilities, Marital status discrimination, Mortgages, Religious discrimination, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations, Sex discrimination, Signs and symbols. 12 CFR Parts 543 and 544 Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations. 12 CFR Part 545 Accounting, Consumer protection, Credit, Electronic funds transfers, Investments, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations. 12 CFR Parts 552 and 563b Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations, Securities. 2. Amend § 545.93 by redesignating paragraph (b)(3)(iii) as paragraph (b)(3)(iv) and adding a new paragraph (b)(3)(iii) to read as follows: I § 545.93 Application and notice requirements for branch and home offices. * * * * * (b) * * * (3) * * * (iii) If you intend to change the location of an existing office, you posted a notice of your intent in a prominent location in the existing office to be relocated. You must post the notice for 30 days from the date of publication of the initial public notice described in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section. * * * * * I 3. Amend § 545.95 by revising the heading and adding a new paragraph (b)(1)(iii) to read as follows: 12 CFR Part 559 Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations, Subsidiaries. § 545.95 What processing procedures apply to my home or branch office application or notice? * 12 CFR Part 563 Accounting, Advertising, Crime, Currency, Investments, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations, Securities, Surety bonds. 12 CFR Part 567 Capital, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations. 12 CFR Part 574 Administrative practice and procedure, Holding companies, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations, Securities. 12 CFR Part 575 Authority and Issuance Accordingly, the interim final rule amending 12 CFR parts 506, 516, 528, 543, 544, 545, 552, 559, 563, 563b, 567, 574, and 575, which was published at 69 FR 68239 on November 24, 2004, is adopted as final with the following changes: I PART 545—FEDERAL SAVINGS ASSOCIATIONS—OPERATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 545 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 12 U.S.C. 1462a, 1463, 1464, and 1828. Frm 00028 Fmt 4700 Dated: August 25, 2005. By the Office of Thrift Supervision. John M. Reich, Director. [FR Doc. 05–17334 Filed 8–30–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6720–01–P FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 615 Administrative practice and procedure, Capital, Holding companies, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations, Securities. PO 00000 * * * * (b) * * * (1) * * * (iii) OTS will review the application or notice under the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 3421 et seq.) and the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470). * * * * * Sfmt 4700 RIN 3052–AC22 Funding and Fiscal Affairs, Loan Policies and Operations, and Funding Operations; Investments, Liquidity, and Divestiture Farm Credit Administration. Final rule. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we, or our) issues this final rule amending our liquidity reserve requirement for the banks of the Farm Credit System (System) to ensure the banks have adequate liquidity. The final rule increases the minimum liquidity reserve requirement to 90 days, increases the eligible investment limit to 35 percent of total outstanding loans and requires Farm Credit banks to develop and maintain liquidity E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 168 (Wednesday, August 31, 2005)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 51582-51586]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-17334]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Office of Thrift Supervision

12 CFR Parts 506, 516, 528, 543, 544, 545, 552, 559, 563, 563b, 
567, 574, and 575

[No. 2005-34]
RIN 1550-AB93


EGRPRA Regulatory Review--Application and Reporting Requirements

AGENCY: Office of Thrift Supervision, Treasury (OTS).

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: As a part of its review of regulations under section 2222 of 
the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 
(Pub. L. 104-208, Sept. 30, 1996) (EGRPRA), the Office of Thrift 
Supervision (OTS) is issuing a final rule, which reduces regulatory 
burden on savings associations by updating and revising various 
application and reporting requirements. Specifically, the final rule: 
modifies the branch office and agency office application and notice 
requirements, harmonizes publication and public comment procedures for 
various applications and notices, and revises the meeting procedures. 
The final rule also eliminates various obsolete rules.

DATES: This rule is effective on October 1, 2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josephine Battle, Program Analyst, 
Thrift Policy, (202) 906-6870; Donald Dwyer, Director, Applications, 
Examinations and Supervision Operations, (202) 906-6414; Karen 
Osterloh, Special Counsel, Regulations and Legislation Division, (202) 
906-6639; or Gary Jeffers, Senior Attorney, Business Transactions 
Division, (202) 906-6457, Office of Thrift Supervision, 1700 G Street, 
NW., Washington, DC 20552.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

    In 2003, OTS and the other federal banking agencies began a joint 
effort to review their rules and identify outdated or otherwise 
unnecessary regulatory requirements. This review is required by section 
2222 of EGRPRA, which directs the banking agencies to jointly or 
individually categorize their regulations by type, provide notice and 
solicit public comment on the categories, request commenters to 
identify areas of the regulations that are outdated, unnecessary, or 
unduly burdensome, and eliminate unnecessary regulations to the extent 
that such action is appropriate. 12 U.S.C. 3311. As part of this EGRPRA 
process, OTS, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the 
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Office of the 
Comptroller of the Currency published a notice seeking comment on 
unnecessary regulatory burden in their rules governing application and 
reporting requirements.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 68 FR 35589 (June 16, 2003). The June 2003 notice also 
addressed powers and activities and international operations. The 
agencies have published subsequent notices seeking comment on 
consumer protection provisions in lending-related rules at 69 FR 
2852 (January 21, 2004); consumer protection provisions in other 
rules at 69 FR 43347 (July 20, 2004); and money laundering and 
safety and soundness and securities rules at 70 FR 5571 (February 3, 
2005).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on the comments submitted in response to the notice and 
additional comments voiced at EGRPRA outreach meetings, OTS issued an 
interim final

[[Page 51583]]

rule on November 24, 2004 making various changes to its application and 
reporting requirements. 69 FR 68257. The interim final rule: (1) 
Modified the branch office and agency office application and notice 
requirements, (2) harmonized publication and public comment procedures 
for various applications and notices, and (3) revised the informal and 
formal meeting procedures used in application processing. The interim 
final rule also eliminated various obsolete rules. These changes were 
designed to reduce burden to the extent consistent with the safe and 
sound supervision of the industry. The changes furthered the burden 
reduction efforts in various recent OTS rulemakings.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ See e.g., 69 FR 51155 (August 18, 2004); 69 FR 68257 
(November 24, 2004); and 70 FR 10023 (March 2, 2005).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. Discussion of Comments

    OTS received numerous comments on the interim final rule from 
savings associations, trade associations, community organizations, and 
individuals. Many commenters filed joint comments on this interim final 
rule and a simultaneously published proposed rule on CRA.
    Commenters were divided regarding the changes to the informal and 
formal meeting procedures used in application processing. Otherwise, 
commenters generally supported the interim final rule. Commenters noted 
that the changes simplified and streamlined regulatory requirements and 
processes without compromising the safe and sound regulation of the 
industry. They commended the rule as a serious effort at regulatory 
burden reduction that was responsive to comments made in connection 
with the EGRPRA initiative. Commenters also observed that the changes 
in the interim final rule permit savings associations to conduct their 
business more flexibly, to compete more efficiently, and to focus their 
resources more effectively. Comments on specific aspects of the rule 
are discussed below.

A. Branch and Home Offices

    As part of the EGRPRA initiative, OTS reviewed the application 
requirements that apply to branch and home offices operated by federal 
savings associations. The interim final rule made various changes to 
OTS rules to ease the regulatory burden of these applications and 
notices. Specifically, the interim final rule:
     Eliminated application and notice requirements for re-
designations of home and branch offices.
     Eliminated application and notice requirements for certain 
highly-rated federal savings associations.
     Eliminated notice requirements for short-distance 
relocations of branches of federal savings associations.
     Permitted federal savings associations incorporated under 
the laws of, organized in, or doing business in the District of 
Columbia to relocate home or branch offices and to establish branch 
offices under the same application and notice procedures applicable to 
other federal savings associations.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Section 5(m)(1) of the Home Owners' Loan Act (HOLA) states:
    (A) No savings association incorporated under the laws of the 
District of Columbia or organized in the District or doing business 
in the District shall establish any branch or move its principal 
office or any branch without the Director's prior written approval.
    (B) No savings association shall establish any branch in the 
District of Columbia or move its principal office or any branch in 
the District without the Director's prior written approval. 12 
U.S.C. 1464(m)(1).
    In the interim final rule, the Director granted his prior 
written approval for savings associations subject to section 5(m)(1) 
of the HOLA to establish and move branch and principal offices, 
providing they comply with the same application processes as other 
savings associations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Eliminated the requirement that a federal savings 
association must file an application before it may open a drive-in or 
pedestrian office near an existing branch or home office where a public 
entrance of another SAIF-insured institution is located closer to the 
drive-in or pedestrian office than the public entrance to the thrift's 
branch or home office.
    Commenters addressed various aspects of the interim final rule, but 
generally supported OTS changes. These comments are discussed below.
1. Elimination of branch and home office applications and notices for 
highly-rated federal savings associations.
    Several commenters addressed the elimination of the application and 
notice requirements for highly-rated federal savings associations. To 
qualify for this treatment, a federal savings association must meet 
certain standards designed to ensure that it is operated in a safe and 
sound manner and fulfills the CRA and other compliance requirements.\4\ 
In addition, the association must solicit comment by publishing a 
newspaper notice indicating that it intends to re-locate its home or 
branch office or establish a new branch office. If a comment opposing 
the application is filed, the association is required to file an 
application or notice unless OTS determines that the comment raises 
issues that are not relevant to the branch and home office approval 
standards or determines that OTS action in response to the comment is 
not required.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Specifically, the savings association: must receive a 
composite rating of 1 or 2, a CRA rating of satisfactory or 
outstanding, and a compliance rating of 1 or 2 during its most 
recent examination; must satisfy its capital requirements under 12 
CFR part 567 before and after the establishment or relocation of the 
office; and must not be in troubled condition.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    One commenter highlighted the importance of the newspaper notice 
requirement and the requirement for filing an application upon receipt 
of public comment in response to the newspaper notice. The commenter 
urged OTS to retain these requirements of the interim final rule. These 
requirements are retained in the final rule.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ The final rule makes one revision to the exemption for 
highly-rated federal savings associations. When an existing office 
is relocated, the prior OTS rule required the savings association to 
prominently post a notice of this fact in the existing office. See 
12 CFR 545.95(b)(1)(ii)(2004). The interim final rule inadvertently 
eliminated the posting requirement for highly-rated federal savings 
associations. It has been restored in the final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The preamble to the interim final rule observed that branch offices 
can be costly to build and operate and that excessive growth can 
present supervisory issues. Accordingly, OTS specifically requested 
comment on whether it should require a highly-rated federal savings 
association to file an application or notice where its investment in 
branch and home offices exceeds a specified limit, or where the 
association is engaged in multiple branch expansions. Commenters 
generally opposed such a requirement.
    OTS has not included this limit in the final rule. Upon review, OTS 
has concluded that the proposed limitation is inconsistent with its 
objective of enhancing the flexibility and competitiveness of savings 
associations and the goal of focusing regulatory resources where they 
have the greatest impact on safety and soundness. OTS believes that the 
supervisory process, in conjunction with the existing investment limits 
in real estate, are sufficient to address safety and soundness issues 
raised by business expansion.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ OTS regulations limit the amount of a federal savings 
association's investment in real estate used for office and related 
facilities to the amount of its total capital. 12 CFR 560.37(2005).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Additional suggested requirements for federal thrifts that make 
branch or home office changes for which an application or notice is not 
required.
    One commenter was concerned that OTS might not be fully aware of 
new

[[Page 51584]]

branches where applications and notices are no longer required. To 
address this concern, the commenter suggested that OTS require a 
federal savings association to notify the appropriate regional office 
after a branch is opened.
    This requirement is unnecessary. OTS has revised its internal 
examination procedures to ensure that its branch and home office 
location information is accurate and that associations comply with all 
branching restrictions contained in the HOLA and OTS regulations. In 
addition, OTS continues to encourage all federal savings associations 
to consult with their appropriate regional office before they open or 
relocate any office for which a branch application or notice is not 
required.\7\ While federal savings associations are not required to 
file applications and notices for many branch office changes, OTS and 
others will continue to have access to information on branch offices. 
All savings associations annually must send branch office data to OTS. 
This data may be accessed on the OTS home page under Data and 
Research>Corporate Directories>Summary of Deposits (www.ots.treas.gov/
pagehtml.cfm?catNumber=25). Internet users may search for office 
deposits by institution, state, county or city. As a result, the 
general public, regulators, and bankers may: (1) Find the branches 
nearest to their home or office; (2) Evaluate an institution's share of 
the deposits in a particular market area; and (3) Analyze deposit 
information on existing branches in a particular market.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ One commenter asked whether an association could finalize an 
opening or relocation of a branch if it initiated a consultation, 
but the regional office indicated that it opposed the change. Under 
the new procedures, OTS does not have the ability to disapprove 
certain branch changes as a part of its application process. This, 
however, in no way impacts OTS's supervisory responsibilities. Thus, 
if a regional office informs a savings association that a proposed 
branch change would raise significant safety and soundness concerns 
and the savings association ignores these concerns, OTS may take 
appropriate supervisory action. Of course, OTS may also take 
appropriate supervisory actions if it is not consulted prior to the 
proposed branch change, and later finds that the branching raises 
significant safety and soundness issues.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Approval standards for branch and home offices.
    In addition to the burden-reducing changes described above, the 
interim final rule rewrote and substantially reorganized the branch and 
home office rules to provide greater clarity. The interim final rule 
restated the approval standards in the prior rule.
    The preamble noted that OTS considers other issues in its review of 
branch and home office applications, including compliance with the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 3421 et seq.) and 
the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (16 U.S.C. 470). OTS 
requested comment on whether the final rule should cite these factors. 
Commenters urged OTS to include references to these laws in the final 
rule. These commenters observed that a comprehensive rule would enable 
savings associations to address all issues appropriately in their 
initial applications and to avoid processing delays. OTS has revised 
the final rule to state specifically that OTS will review branch and 
home office applications and notices under the NEPA and NHPA.
    One commenter suggested that the final rule should set out the 
standards that OTS will consider in determining whether an application 
has sufficiently addressed NEPA. OTS declines to put this level of 
detail into its rules because most branch and home office changes have 
little impact on the environment and because guidance on these matters 
is provided in OTS Handbooks and in other agencies' rules.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ Applications Processing Handbook, Branch Activity 
Guidelines, Sec.  100.8-100.9 (An institution should provide a 
statement of the impact of the proposed branch or office change on 
the human environment, including information on changes in the air 
and/or water quality, noise levels, energy consumption, congestion 
of population, solid waste disposal, or environmental integrity of 
private land within the meaning of the NEPA, 42 USC 4321-4347. To 
review the NEPA, implementing regulations, and other information, 
refer to the Web sites for the Council on Environmental Quality 
(CEQ) at http://www.whitehouse.gov/ceq or NEPAnet at http://
ceq.eh.doe.gov/nepa/nepanet.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Agency Offices

    The interim final rule also revised OTS agency office rules. Under 
the prior rule, a federal savings association could establish or 
maintain an agency office to service and originate (but not approve) 
loans and contracts; to manage or sell real estate owned by the federal 
savings association; and to conduct fiduciary activities or activities 
ancillary to the association's fiduciary business. See 12 CFR 545.96 
(2004). All other activities at agency offices, however, required prior 
OTS approval.
    Before the interim final rule, most requests for additional 
activities at agency offices involved the approval of loans and 
contracts. Because these requests did not present any supervisory 
concerns and imposed an unnecessary burden on federal savings 
associations, the interim final rule permitted savings associations to 
conduct these activities without prior OTS approval. Commenters 
generally supported this rule change, and OTS has adopted it as final.
    The interim final rule asked whether there were other activities 
that should be added to the list of permissible agency office 
activities. One commenter observed that deposit marketing activities 
and other activities that support the deposit business (but do not 
involve the taking of deposits), do not present safety and soundness 
concerns and should be added to the list of permissible agency office 
activities.
    The final rule does not include the suggested change. It is unclear 
what activities are encompassed within the phrase ``deposit marketing 
and other activities in support of deposit business.'' In light of this 
ambiguity and because taking deposits is an integral part of a savings 
association's branch activities, OTS will continue to consider these 
activities on a case-by-case basis. OTS notes, however, that a federal 
savings association that wants to make advertising materials or deposit 
applications available in an existing agency office would generally not 
be required to file an additional agency notice.

C. Application Processing

    12 CFR part 516 contains OTS procedures for processing 
applications, notices, and other filings. While the rules in part 516 
are applicable to most applications, regulations for specific types of 
applications may prescribe different processing procedures and 
timeframes.\9\ OTS reviewed the various processing procedures and 
timeframes, and amended the rules to synchronize and harmonize these 
procedures and to reduce confusion. These changes included:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ 12 CFR 516.1(b)(4) and (c) (2005).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Conforming the timing requirements for publications of 
newspaper notices under the mutual to stock conversion rules and the 
change of control rules to those applicable to other applications.
     Establishing a uniform public comment period for all 
applications. This comment period extends for 30 days after the date of 
publication of the initial public notice.
     Providing OTS with discretion to consider or reject late-
filed comments.
     Eliminating duplicative or unnecessarily burdensome rules 
in the OTS acquisition of control regulations and mutual holding 
company reorganization procedures, and clarifying the scope of 
application of certain procedures under the Bank Merger Act rules.

[[Page 51585]]

    Commenters generally supported these amendments. Accordingly, OTS 
adopts the interim rule without change.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ Commenters suggested several changes already included in 
the interim final rule. For example, the interim final rule 
eliminated the requirement for publication of holding company 
applications in the ``business section'' of a newspaper, and 
conformed the publication requirements for all applications to the 
extent permitted by statute.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

D. Application Processing--Formal and Informal Meetings

    OTS rules at 12 CFR part 516, subpart D provide for meetings in 
connection with OTS applications. Under the prior rule, OTS was 
generally required to arrange an informal meeting to discuss issues 
raised in an application if any commenter on the application requested 
the meeting. Following that informal meeting, OTS was generally 
required to arrange a formal meeting, if an informal meeting 
participant requested the meeting.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ 12 CFR 516.170 and 516.180 (2004).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The interim final rule eliminated the requirement that OTS must 
hold formal and informal meetings whenever a commenter requests the 
meeting. Under the interim final rule, OTS will grant meeting requests 
only when it finds that written submissions are insufficient to address 
facts or issues raised by an application, or it otherwise determines 
that a meeting will benefit its decision-making process. OTS may limit 
the issues to be considered at the meeting to issues that OTS decides 
are relevant or material.
    Savings association and trade association commenters generally 
supported this rule change. Community groups and individual commenters, 
however, opposed this change. These commenters argued that the informal 
and formal meeting process provided an opportunity for community groups 
and thrifts to meet with the agency to discuss CRA and anti-predatory 
lending matters. They asserted that written comments or one meeting did 
not ensure that these issues are adequately vetted.
    The interim final rule appropriately balanced the interests of 
applicants and public commenters by providing OTS with the discretion 
to conduct a meeting whenever it finds that written submissions are 
insufficient to address facts or issues raised by an application, or it 
otherwise determines that a meeting will benefit its decision-making 
process. The rule preserves the ability of community groups and others 
to communicate their concerns to the agency. The interim final rule 
specifically permits commenters to file written comments, to request a 
meeting, to submit a written description of the nature of the issues or 
facts they wish to discuss at the meeting, and to explain the reasons 
why written submissions are insufficient to adequately address these 
issues and facts. Based on these submissions, OTS will be able to 
consider the circumstances of each application and determine whether a 
meeting is necessary to further explore CRA, fair lending compliance, 
and other issues. This process conforms closely to the procedures used 
by the other banking agencies in their application proceedings. OTS 
believes that the interim final rule appropriately addressed the needs 
of all parties and adopts it as final without change.

E. Nondiscriminatory Advertising

    OTS's former rule at 12 CFR 528.4 (2004) required savings 
associations to include facsimiles of the equal housing lender logotype 
and legend in all advertising ``other than for savings.'' Because this 
requirement required a logotype in advertising for lending unrelated to 
housing, such as credit card loans, commercial loans, and educational 
loans, the interim final rule amended Sec.  528.4 to require displays 
of the equal housing logotype and legend only in advertisements for 
loans for the purpose of purchasing, constructing, improving, 
repairing, or maintaining a dwelling or loans secured by a dwelling.
    Several commenters supported this change. One, however, noted that 
the equal housing logotype is an important symbol regarding the 
commitment to non-discrimination. This commenter argued that the 
logotype should be displayed on advertisements for all lending.
    The equal housing lender logotype does not provide relevant 
information to individuals shopping for loans unrelated to housing. As 
a result, the former rule imposed an unnecessary burden on thrifts who 
must provide the information, and on consumers who must process this 
information in addition to the volume of other data that they receive 
in connection with consumer and commercial loan applications. 
Accordingly, OTS continues to believe that the former rule was too 
broad, imposed unnecessary burdens, and should be eliminated. OTS notes 
that this rule is consistent with related rules issued by the other 
banking agencies, which require the display of the equal housing lender 
logotype and legend only with respect to advertisements for housing-
related loans.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ Compare 12 CFR 338.8 (2005) (FDIC).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

F. Other Changes

    In addition to the burden-reducing changes discussed above, the 
interim final rule eliminated the following regulations:
     12 CFR 545.74 (2004). This rule imposed various 
requirements on securities brokerage activities of service 
corporations. The requirements were obsolete, conflicted with the 
current law and guidance, and were confusing to the industry.
     12 CFR 563.181 (2004). This rule required mutual savings 
associations to report changes in control. It implemented section 407 
of the National Housing Act, which was repealed in 1989.\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ Title IV of the National Housing Act, including section 
407, was repealed in 1989. Pub. L. 101-73, Title IV, Sec.  407, Aug. 
9, 1989, 103 Stat. 363.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     12 CFR 563.183 (2004). This rule required savings 
associations and savings and loan holding companies to report changes 
of chief executive officers and directors that occur within stated time 
periods before or after a change of control. This rule implemented 12 
U.S.C. 1817(j)(12), which requires notices under more limited 
circumstances.\14\ OTS will rely on the more limited statutory 
requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ The statute, for example, does not require any reports from 
savings and loan holding companies, and requires thrift reports only 
for changes of officers and directors that follow a change of 
control.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     12 CFR 567.13 (2004). This rule addressed capital 
maintenance agreements and was obsolete in light of other statutory and 
regulatory protections.\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ See e.g., 12 U.S.C. 1831o(e)(2)(C) (prompt corrective 
action) and OTS implementing regulations at 12 CFR 565.5 (2005).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    No commenter objected to these deletions and revisions. 
Accordingly, OTS adopts these rule changes as final.

III. Regulatory Analysis

A. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The information collection requirements contained in the final rule 
are virtually identical to those included in the November 24, 2004 
interim final rule. While OTS has modified the requirements in minor 
ways, the burden on respondents remains unchanged from those in the 
earlier rule. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved these 
collections of information on November 18, 2004 under OMB Control No. 
1550-0005; on January 7, 2005 under OMB Control No. 1550-0014; and on 
January 19, 2005 under OMB Control Nos. 1550-0006, 1550-0011, 1550-
0013, 1550-0015, 1550-0016, 1550-0018, 1550-0056 and

[[Page 51586]]

1550-0072. Respondents/recordkeepers are not required to respond to any 
collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB 
control number.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Pursuant to section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, OTS 
certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. The rule makes 
various changes to OTS application and reporting requirements that 
reduce regulatory burdens on all savings associations, including small 
savings associations. These changes will not have a significant impact 
on small institutions. Accordingly, OTS has determined that regulatory 
flexibility analysis is not required.

C. Executive Order 12866

    The Director of OTS has determined that this final rule does not 
constitute a ``significant regulatory action'' for purposes of 
Executive Order 12866.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, Pub. L. 
104-4 (Unfunded Mandates Act) requires an agency to prepare a budgetary 
impact statement before promulgating a rule that includes a federal 
mandate that may result in expenditure by State, local, and tribal 
governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 
million or more in any one year. If a budgetary impact statement is 
required, section 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Act also requires an 
agency to identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory 
alternatives before promulgating a rule. The final rule makes various 
changes that should reduce regulatory burdens on all savings 
associations. Accordingly, OTS has determined that this rule will not 
result in expenditures by State, local, and tribal governments, or by 
the private sector, of $100 million or more and that a budgetary impact 
statement is not required.

List of Subjects

12 CFR Part 506

    Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

12 CFR Part 516

    Administrative practice and procedure, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Savings associations.

12 CFR Part 528

    Advertising, Aged, Civil rights, Credit, Equal employment 
opportunity, Fair housing, Home mortgage disclosure, Individuals with 
disabilities, Marital status discrimination, Mortgages, Religious 
discrimination, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings 
associations, Sex discrimination, Signs and symbols.

12 CFR Parts 543 and 544

    Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations.

12 CFR Part 545

    Accounting, Consumer protection, Credit, Electronic funds 
transfers, Investments, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Savings associations.

12 CFR Parts 552 and 563b

    Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations, 
Securities.

12 CFR Part 559

    Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations, 
Subsidiaries.

12 CFR Part 563

    Accounting, Advertising, Crime, Currency, Investments, Reporting 
and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations, Securities, 
Surety bonds.

12 CFR Part 567

    Capital, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings 
associations.

12 CFR Part 574

    Administrative practice and procedure, Holding companies, Reporting 
and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations, Securities.

12 CFR Part 575

    Administrative practice and procedure, Capital, Holding companies, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations, 
Securities.

Authority and Issuance

0
Accordingly, the interim final rule amending 12 CFR parts 506, 516, 
528, 543, 544, 545, 552, 559, 563, 563b, 567, 574, and 575, which was 
published at 69 FR 68239 on November 24, 2004, is adopted as final with 
the following changes:

PART 545--FEDERAL SAVINGS ASSOCIATIONS--OPERATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 545 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 12 U.S.C. 1462a, 1463, 1464, and 1828.


0
2. Amend Sec.  545.93 by redesignating paragraph (b)(3)(iii) as 
paragraph (b)(3)(iv) and adding a new paragraph (b)(3)(iii) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  545.93  Application and notice requirements for branch and home 
offices.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (3) * * *
    (iii) If you intend to change the location of an existing office, 
you posted a notice of your intent in a prominent location in the 
existing office to be relocated. You must post the notice for 30 days 
from the date of publication of the initial public notice described in 
paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section.
* * * * *

0
3. Amend Sec.  545.95 by revising the heading and adding a new 
paragraph (b)(1)(iii) to read as follows:


Sec.  545.95  What processing procedures apply to my home or branch 
office application or notice?

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (iii) OTS will review the application or notice under the National 
Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 3421 et seq.) and the National 
Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470).
* * * * *

    Dated: August 25, 2005.

    By the Office of Thrift Supervision.
John M. Reich,
Director.
[FR Doc. 05-17334 Filed 8-30-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6720-01-P