Financial Update (April-June 1996)

The Docket

The following is a summary of recent Federal Reserve Board or Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta actions. To obtain a copy of any of these announcements, contact the Atlanta Fed Service Department at (404) 498-8474. Information regarding the submission of public comment is included in the announcements.

On Feb. 1, the Board issued a revised list of marginable over-the-counter (OTC) stocks. The new list became effective Feb. 12.

On Feb. 1, the Board, along with other banking agencies, issued a final rule amending its risk-based capital guidelines to modify the definition of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) group of countries. The final rules became effective April 1.

On Feb. 16, the Board announced a final rule establishing the criteria for evaluating a foreign bank's operation in the United States. The rule, which amends Regulation K, International Banking Operations, applies to foreign banks that are not subject to comprehensive supervision or regulation on a consolidated basis by their home country supervisors. The final rule became effective March 25.

On March 8, the Board announced the distribution of the 1995 Uniform Bank Performance Report (UBPR) to all insured commercial banks and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation—insured savings banks (FDIC-ISB). The public may purchase the report, which is designed for use by bank examiners, financial analysts, and bank managers as a summary and analysis of banks' and FDIC-ISBs' financial performance and trends. The UBPR State Peer Group Ratio Distribution Report and the UBPR State Average Ratio Distribution Report also are available.

On March 26, the Board and the Department of Treasury issued amendments to their rule that requires enhanced record keeping related to certain funds transfers by financial institutions in accordance with the Bank Secrecy Act. The changes are intended to reduce the confusion of banks and nonbank financial institutions as to the applicability of the record-keeping rule and to reduce the cost of complying with the rule. The Board and Treasury also deferred the effective date of the record-keeping rule from April 1 to May 28.

On March 28, the Board published final revisions to its official staff commentary to Regulation Z, Truth in Lending. The changes provide guidance mainly on issues relating to reverse mortgages and mortgages bearing rates above a certain percentage or fees above a certain amount. The update also addresses general interest issues such as a card issuer's responsibilities when a cardholder asserts a claim or defense relating to a merchant dispute. The final rule became effective April 1 but compliance is optional until Oct. 1.

On April 1, the Atlanta Fed announced that it has revised group definitions for banks to keep the appropriate portions of banks in the three groups. Group 1 will consist of member banks having a combined capital and surplus of more than $80 million (formerly more than $40 million). Group 2 will consist of member banks with combined capital and surplus from $8 million to $80 million (formerly $5.2 million to $40 million). Group 3 banks will consist of those with a combined capital and surplus of less than $8 million (formerly less than $5.2 million).

On April 3, the Board requested comment on proposed amendments to Regulation E, Electronic Fund Transfers, governing services that offer consumers electronic access to funds through stored-value cards.

The proposed amendments would require card issuers to give consumers initial disclosures for stored-value accounts that track transactions but do not require on-line authorization for each card use. These accounts would be exempt from other Regulation E requirements.

For stored-value accounts that operate more like debit cards, with on-line authorization, the amendments would modify some rules.

The amendments also would exempt any stored-value card that has a maximum value of $100.

The proposal also would allow electronic disclosures and notices between financial institutions and consumers in place of paper and would set longer error-resolution periods for new accounts.

Comment is requested by Aug. 1.

On April 3, the board announced modifications to the Fedwire Third-Party Access Policy establishing requirements for third-party access arrangements involving a service provider located outside the United States.

On April 5, the Board released an official staff commentary on Regulation C, Home Mortgage Disclosure.

Return to Index