Bank Regulatory Agencies

Federal Reserve Bulletin, Summer 2004 | Go to article overview

Bank Regulatory Agencies


Rollout Delayed of Web-Based Central Data Repository for Bank Financial Data

The federal banking agencies announced on July 22, 2004, that they would postpone the rollout of the Central Data Repository (CDR)--an Internet-based system created to modernize and streamline the way that the agencies collect, validate, and distribute financial data, or Call Reports, submitted by banks. Originally scheduled to be implemented on October 1, 2004, the system's start date will be delayed to address industry feedback and allow more time for testing and enrollment. A new timeline for implementation was announced in August.

The decision to delay implementation of the CDR was made to address delays in system development and testing. Moreover, the agencies had received an increasing number of questions and concerns about the new system from banks, industry trade associations, software vendors, and other stakeholders.

Initial testing of the system demonstrated that the technology chosen is sound and that the XBRL standard underlying the system's framework will perform as required. However, Call Report data represent a critical source of information for the bank supervision process, and the banking agencies determined that a postponement was warranted.

The agencies are considering alternative plans for the CDR rollout, including phasing in the new technology and business models in separate reporting quarters. For now, the agencies will continue to collect, validate, and manage Call Report data using their existing processing systems. This includes the retention of Electronic Data Services Corporation as the agencies' electronic collection agent for Call Report data. Accordingly, banks will continue filing their Call Report in the same manner until they are notified by the agencies to begin using the new CDR system.

This initiative--the Call Report Modernization Project--is an interagency effort under the auspices of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC). Additional project details and other important information are posted on the FFIEC's web site at www.FFIEC.gov/FIND.

Issuance of Rules and Guidance

Rule on Use of Medical Information for Credit Eligibility

The federal bank, thrift institution, and credit union regulatory agencies on April 23, 2004, issued for publication in the Federal Register a proposed rule under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that would incorporate the statutory prohibition on obtaining or using medical information in connection with credit eligibility determinations and, as required by the statute, create certain exceptions to be applied in limited circumstances.

Section 411 of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACT Act) amends the FCRA to provide that a creditor may not obtain or use medical information in connection with any determination of a consumer's eligibility, or continued eligibility, for credit, except as permitted by regulations. The FACT Act requires the agencies to prescribe regulations that permit creditors to obtain and use medical information for eligibility purposes when necessary and appropriate to protect legitimate operational, transactional, risk, consumer, and other needs. The FACT Act further provides that the regulations creating these exceptions would be issued in final form within six months of the date of enactment of the FACT Act, or June 4, 2004.

As required by section 411, the proposed regulations would grant exceptions to allow creditors to obtain or use medical information in those circumstances that the agencies believe are necessary and appropriate in connection with determinations of consumer eligibility for credit.

Section 411 of the FACT Act also amends the FCRA to limit the ability of creditors and others to share medical-related information with affiliates, except as permitted by the statute, regulation, or order. The proposed rule would enumerate situations in which creditors would be permitted to share medical information among affiliates. …

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