Regulatory Roundup

Article excerpt

OPEN FOR COMMENT

Tying

Proposed guidance by the Federal Reserve Board on which cross-marketing arrangements would violate anti-tying laws. Published Aug. 29. Comments due Sept. 30.

Identity Theft

Proposed guidelines by the banking and thrift regulators to deter identity theft. Banks would have to establish a system for identifying personal information at risk of being stolen and develop a response system for securing all accounts of victims and notifying customers in certain circumstances. Published Aug. 12. Comments due Oct. 14.

Predatory Lending I

A two-pronged proposal by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency that would impose a new anti-predator requirement on lenders and give the agency more preemption power. The first part would require national banks to make loans on the basis of borrowers' ability to repay, not on the foreclosure value of collateral. That standard had been recommended in guidelines but is not mandatory. The second part would assert that state laws dealing with licensing, credit terms, interest rates, disclosure, deposit-taking, and other issues would be preempted.

The proposal also asks whether the OCC should assert even broader preemption authority on mortgage loans. Published Aug. 5. Comments due Oct. 6.

Basel Committee I

An advance notice of proposed rulemaking by the four bank and thrift regulators detailing how the Basel II plan would be implemented in the United States. The regulators also issued a series of draft guidelines outlining how various pieces of the new rules would work. The guidelines focused on corporate credit and operational risk. Future ones are expected on retail credit and securitization. Published Aug. 4. Comments due Nov. 3.

Regulatory Relief

A proposal by the five banking, thrift, and credit union agencies that outlines a timetable for identifying unnecessary or overly burdensome regulations and suggesting changes. The plan calls for the review to be completed in three years, during which regulators would periodically request comment on particular regulations. Each round of comments would be summarized in a report, with the agencies suggesting changes to Congress. Published June 16. Comments are due Monday.

RECENT ACTIONS

Home Loan Banks

On Sept. 10 the Federal Housing Finance Board issued a proposal to require the 12 Home Loan Banks register with the Securities and Exchange Commission and expand the amount of public disclosures they make. Once published in the Federal Register, the public will have 120 days to comment.

Multidistrict Membership

The Federal Housing Finance Board has reversed course and decided against issuing broad rules outlining how banks and thrifts could belong to more than one of the 12 Home Loan banks. Instead, Finance Board Chairman John Korsmo told Congress on Sept. 9 that the agency will make decisions on a case-by-case basis.

Shared National Credit

Regulators on Sept. 10 released the results of the annual shared national credit exam. Each year the OCC, the Federal Reserve Board, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. review credits of $20 million or more held by at least three lenders. Total loan commitments fell 20%, to $1.6 trillion, from 2002 totals. Regulators attributed the decline to lower demand, tighter underwriting standards, more financing alternatives, and banks' cutting off less-profitable customers.

Capital Relief for FIN 46

The Federal Reserve Board, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the FDIC, and the Office of Thrift Supervision approved a plan to provide banks capital relief for asset-backed commercial paper programs they were required to bring on the balance sheet under a January interpretation by the Financial Accounting Standards Board. Under the plan banks can exclude those assets when calculating risk-based capital until April 1, 2004. …