Transactions Between Member Banks and Their Affiliates: Exemption for Certain Purchases of Asset-Backed Commercial Paper by a Member Bank From an Affiliate
To reduce liquidity and other strains being experienced by money market mutual funds, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) adopted on September 19, 2008, the Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Money Market Mutual Fund Lending Facility (AMLF), that enables depository institutions and bank holding companies to borrow from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston on a non-recourse basis if they use the proceeds of the loan to purchase certain types of asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP) from money market mutual funds. To facilitate use of the AMLF by member banks, the Board also has adopted regulatory exemptions for member banks from certain provisions of sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act and the Board's Regulation W. The exemptions increase the capacity of a member bank to purchase ABCP from affiliated money market mutual funds in connection with the AMLF.
Transactions Between Member Banks and Their Affiliates: Exemption for Certain Securities Financing Transactions Between a Member Bank and an Affiliate
In light of the continuing unusual and exigent circumstances in the financial markets, the Board has adopted a regulatory exemption for member banks from certain provisions of section 23A of the Federal Reserve Act and the Board's Regulation W. The exemption increases the capacity of member banks, subject to certain conditions designed to help ensure the safety and soundness of the banks, to enter into securities financing transactions with affiliates.
Risk-Based Capital Guidelines; Leverage Capital Guidelines
To reduce liquidity and other strains being experienced by money market mutual funds, the Federal Reserve System adopted on September 19, 2008, the Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Money Market Mutual Fund Lending Facility (AMLF) that enables depository institutions and bank holding companies to borrow from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston on a nonrecourse basis if they use the proceeds of the loan to purchase certain types of asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP) from money market mutual funds. To facilitate this Federal Reserve lending program, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) also adopted an exemption from its leverage and risk- based capital rules for ABCP held by a state member bank or bank holding company as a result of its participation in this program.
Reserve Requirements of Depository Institutions
The Board is requesting public comment on proposed amendments to Regulation D, Reserve Requirements of Depository Institutions, to authorize the establishment of limited-purpose accounts at Federal Reserve Banks (``Reserve Banks'') for the maintenance of excess balances of eligible institutions (both as defined in Regulation D). These excess balance accounts (``EBAs'') would contain only the excess balances of the eligible institutions participating in such accounts, although the participating eligible institutions (``EBA Participants'') would authorize another institution (``EBA Agent'') to manage the EBA on their behalf. The authorization of EBAs is intended to allow eligible institutions to earn interest on their excess balances at the excess balance rate in an account relationship directly with the Federal Reserve Bank as counterparty without disrupting established business relationships with their correspondents. Continuing strains in financial markets and the configuration of interest rates support the implementation of EBAs; however, the Board will evaluate the continuing need for EBAs when more normal market functioning is restored. The Board seeks comment on all aspects of the proposal.
Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices
The Board, OTS, and NCUA (collectively, the Agencies) are exercising their authority under section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act to prohibit unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The final rule prohibits institutions from engaging in certain acts or practices in connection with consumer credit card accounts. The final rule relates to other Board rules under the Truth in Lending Act, which are published elsewhere in today's Federal Register. Because the Board has proposed new rules regarding overdraft services for deposit accounts under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act elsewhere in today's Federal Register, the Agencies are not taking action on overdraft services at this time. A secondary basis for OTS's rule is the Home Owners' Loan Act.
Truth in Lending
The Board is amending Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), and the staff commentary to the regulation, following a comprehensive review of TILA's rules for open-end (revolving) credit that is not home-secured. Consumer testing was conducted as a part of the review. Except as otherwise noted, the changes apply solely to open-end credit. Disclosures accompanying credit card applications and solicitations must highlight fees and reasons penalty rates might be applied, such as for paying late. Creditors are required to summarize key terms at account opening and when terms are changed. Specific fees are identified that must be disclosed to consumers in writing before an account is opened, and creditors are given flexibility regarding how and when to disclose other fees imposed as part of the open-end plan. Costs for interest and fees are separately identified for the cycle and year to date. Creditors are required to give 45 days' advance notice prior to certain changes in terms and before the rate applicable to a consumer's account is increased as a penalty. Rules of general applicability such as the definition of open-end credit, dispute resolution procedures, and payment processing limitations apply to all open-end plans, including home-equity lines of credit. Rules regarding the disclosure of debt cancellation and debt suspension agreements are revised for both closed-end and open-end credit transactions. Loans taken against employer-sponsored retirement plans are exempt from TILA coverage.
Electronic Fund Transfers
The Board is proposing to amend Regulation E, which implements the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, and the official staff commentary to the regulation, which interprets the requirements of Regulation E. The proposal would limit the ability of a financial institution to assess an overdraft fee for paying automated teller machine (ATM) withdrawals and one-time debit card transactions that overdraw a consumer's account, unless the consumer is given notice of the right to opt out of the payment of such overdrafts, and the consumer does not opt out. As an alternative approach, the proposal would limit the ability of a financial institution to assess an overdraft fee for paying ATM withdrawals and one-time debit card transactions that overdraw a consumer's account, unless the consumer affirmatively consents, or opts in, to the institution's payment of overdrafts for these transactions. In addition, the proposal would prohibit financial institutions from assessing an overdraft fee if the overdraft would not have occurred but for a debit hold placed on funds in the consumer's account that exceeds the actual amount of the transaction.
Truth in Savings
The Federal Reserve Board (Board) is amending Regulation DD, which implements the Truth in Savings Act, and the official staff commentary to the regulation to require all depository institutions to disclose aggregate overdraft fees on periodic statements, and not solely institutions that promote the payment of overdrafts. The final rule also addresses balance disclosures provided to consumers through automated systems. In addition, the Board is separately issuing a proposed rulemaking, published in today's Federal Register, to incorporate the notice requirements into Regulation E that were previously proposed under Regulation DD.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Joint Comment Request
In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), the OCC, the Board, and the FDIC (the ``agencies'') may not conduct or sponsor, and the respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. On September 23, 2008, the agencies, under the auspices of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), requested public comment for 60 days on a proposal to extend, with revision, the Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income (Call Report), which are currently approved collections of information. After considering the comments received on the proposal, the FFIEC and the agencies will move forward with the most of the reporting changes, with limited modifications in response to certain comments, on the phased-in basis that had been proposed. The FFIEC and the agencies are continuing to evaluate certain other proposed revisions in light of the comments received thereon and will not implement these revisions on their proposed effective dates.
Regulation CC; Docket No. R-1348; Availability of Funds and Collection of Checks
The Board of Governors (Board) is amending the routing number guide to next-day availability checks and local checks in Regulation CC to delete the reference to the Charlotte branch office of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and to reassign the Federal Reserve routing symbols currently listed under that office to the head office of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. These amendments reflect the restructuring of check-processing operations within the Federal Reserve System.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Joint Comment Request
In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), the OCC, the Board, and the FDIC (the ``agencies'') may not conduct or sponsor, and the respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. On September 2, 2008, the agencies, under the auspices of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), published a notice in the Federal Register (73 FR 51300) requesting public comment on the extension, without revision, of the currently approved information collections, the Country Exposure Report (FFIEC 009) and the Country Exposure Information Report (FFIEC 009a). The comment period for this notice expired on November 3, 2008. No comments were received. The agencies are now submitting requests to OMB for approval of the extension, without revision, of the FFIEC 009 and FFIEC 009a reports.
Community Reinvestment Act; Interagency Questions and Answers Regarding Community Reinvestment; Notice
The OCC, Board, FDIC, and OTS (the agencies) are adopting as final the Interagency Questions and Answers Regarding Community Reinvestment (Questions and Answers) that were proposed on July 11, 2007. In response to comments received, the agencies clarified several of the new and revised questions and answers that were proposed and are withdrawing the proposed revisions to an existing question and answer. Also, in response to comments we received, the agencies are proposing a new question and answer that would provide examples of how an institution can determine that community services it provides are targeted to low- and moderate-income individuals. The agencies are also proposing to revise two existing questions and answers to allow pro rata consideration in certain circumstances for an activity that provides affordable housing targeted to low-or moderate-income individuals. The agencies invite public comment on these proposed new and revised questions and answers.