Magazine article American Banker

Fed Set to Tackle Backlog of Foreign Applications

Magazine article American Banker

Fed Set to Tackle Backlog of Foreign Applications

Article excerpt

After months of delay, the Federal Reserve Board should resume processing regulatory applications from foreign banks within 30 days, a senior Fed official said Monday.

"I am somewhat concerned that we have not yet accepted applications in the pipeline for final processing," said William Ryback, associate director for international supervisory policy and activities at the Fed.

The backlog - of dozens of international applications to open branches, agencies, and various types of subsidiaries - accumulated while the Fred prepared the tougher regulations mandated by the November 1991 banking legislation.

State Approval a Plus

Mr. Ryback said the Fed will move first with "selected" applications, such as those that have already been approved by state regulators or for which information required by the Fed is readily available.

In mid-April the Fed issued interim regulations to the 12 Federal Reserve Banks. The reserve banks are due to return their comments to the board by mid-June.

"Contrary to what some might have suggested, the Foreign Bank Supervision Enhancement Act is not intended to discourage foreign banks from doing business in the U.S.," Mr. Ryback told foreign bankers and their legal advisers Monday at a seminar in New York sponsored by Prentice-Hall.

A Whole New Ball Game

Some participants in the seminar expressed doubts about how fast the Fed will move.

Even if it does resume processing applications, they said, foreign banks may still have to wait a long while for approval. …

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