Financial Update (January-March 1999)


Cover Story

Default-Risky Securities

ACH Survey

New ACH Trends

Direct Payment

Board of Directors Announcements


Did You Know?

Data Bank

The Docket

T he following is a summary of recent Federal Reserve actions. To obtain a copy of any of these announcements, contact the Atlanta Fed Service Department at (404) 498-8474. Please give the docket number or circular letter number (if applicable) when calling to request a copy. The date on the circular letter may not be the same as the Federal Reserve Board announcement.

Sept. 24 The Federal Reserve Board published final rules under Regulations E, M and DD. For Regulation E, Electronic Fund Transfers, the final rule revised the time periods for investigating errors involving point-of-sale debit cards and foreign-initiated transactions. The final rule became effective Sept. 24, 1998, and compliance is optional until April 1, 1999. For Regulation M, Consumer Leasing, the final rule requires lessors to provide consumers with uniform cost and other disclosures about consumer lease transactions. The final rule went into effect Sept. 24, 1998, and compliance is optional until Oct. 1, 1999. For Regulation DD, the final rule implements amendments to the Truth in Savings Act enacted as part of the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996. The law modifies the rules for indoor lobby signs, eliminates subsequent disclosure requirements for automatically renewable time accounts with terms of one month or less, and repeals the civil liability provisions as of Sept. 30, 2001. The final rule went into effect Sept. 24, 1998.
Circular letter 541-98

Sept. 25 The Federal Reserve Board published a final rule to amend Regulation C, which implements the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. The amendments modify the loan application register to prepare for Year 2000 data systems conversion, delete the requirement to enter the reporting institution's parent company on the transmittal sheets, and make certain of other technical changes to the regulation and reporting forms. The rule went into effect Sept. 24, 1998. The amendments apply to data collected for calendar year 1998, to be reported by March 1, 1999.
Circular letter 538-98

Nov. 3 The Federal Reserve Board announced plans for providing an enhanced settlement service to depository institutions that combines and improves features from the Reserve Banks' existing net settlement services. The enhanced service will begin March 29, 1999, and is intended to reduce the duration of settlement risk for private-sector clearing arrangements.
Circular letter 546-98

Nov. 24 The Federal Reserve Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision jointly issued a statement on the allowance for loan losses of depository institutions.
Circular letter 547-98

Nov. 24 The Federal Reserve Board amended Regulation D, Reserve Requirements of Depository Institutions, to decrease the amount of transaction accounts subject to a reserve requirement ratio of 3 percent, to increase the amount of reservable liabilities of each depository institution that is subject to a reserve requirement of 0 percent, and to increase the deposit cutoff levels that are used in conjunction with the reservable liabilities exemption to determine the frequency and detail of deposit reporting. For institutions that report weekly, the changes went into effect Dec. 1, 1998, and the corresponding reserve maintenance period began Dec. 31, 1998. For institutions reporting quarterly, the changes became effective Dec. 15, 1998, and the corresponding reserve maintenance period began Jan. 14, 1999.
Circular letter 548-98

Dec. 7 The Federal Reserve Board published its annual adjustment of the dollar amount that triggers additional disclosure requirements under the Truth in Lending Act for mortgage loans that bear fees above a certain amount. The Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994 requires additional disclosures when total points and fees payable by the consumer exceed a certain dollar amount (adjusted annually) or 8 percent of the total loan amount, whichever is larger. The Board adjusted the dollar amount from $435 for 1998 to $441 for 1999.
Circular letter 552-98

Dec. 7 The Federal Reserve Board is requesting comments on proposed amendments to Regulations H, K and Y that would require the domestic and foreign banking organizations supervised by the Federal Reserve to develop and maintain "Know Your Customer" programs. Comments must be received by March 8, 1999. Comments referring to Docket No. R-1019 may be mailed to Ms. Jennifer Johnson, Secretary, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C. 20551.
Circular letter 553-98