Most bankers are familiar with the role of bank examiners in fostering a safe and sound banking system. Less well known is the world of regulatory applications in which banking organizations must notify or seek their regulator's approval to engage in new activities, expand through mergers and acquisitions, or establish new branches. These application requirements have arisen from a long history of banking legislation and encompass a variety of stakeholders.
The Federal Reserve is required to consider certain factors when assessing applications, including the financial condition of the applicant and the company to be acquired, the effectiveness of management, the organization's history of compliance with consumer laws, and any potential anti-competitive effects. Applications often include complex legal documents, which often must be shared with other regulators, and may be provided to the public upon request. As a result, applicants are often surprised at the number of copies and amount of paper they must provide when submitting applications.
On January 25, 2010, the Federal Reserve announced the availability of Electronic Applications, or "E-Apps," a new Internet-based system for financial institutions to submit regulatory filings. E-Apps allows firms and their representatives to file applications online, eliminating the time and expense of printing, copying, and mailing the documents. Registered users can access the system at any time to upload additional documents or create new filings. There are no fees for using E-Apps.
E-Apps has been designed to ensure the confidentiality of the data and the identity of individual filers. Institutions ready to start using E-Apps can find sign up forms at http://www.federalreserve.gov/bankinforeg/eappssignup.htm.
Additional information and resources can be found on the Federal Reserve's website at: http://www.federalreserve.gov/bankinforeg/eapps.htm.