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Sec. 201.104 Eligibility of consumer loans and finance company paper.

(a) The Board of Governors has clarified and modified its position with respect to the eligibility of consumer loans and finance company paper for discount with and as collateral for advances by the reserve banks.

(b) Section 13, paragraph 2, of the Federal Reserve Act authorizes a Federal Reserve Bank, under certain conditions, to discount for member banks

* * * notes, drafts, and bills of exchange arising out of actual commercial transactions; that is, notes, drafts, and bills of exchange issued or drawn for agricultural, industrial, or commercial purposes, or the proceeds of which have been used, or are to be used, for such purposes, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to have the right to determine or define the character of the paper thus eligible for discount, within the meaning of this Act.

(c) It continues to be the opinion of the Board that borrowing for the purpose of purchasing goods is borrowing for a commercial purpose, whether the borrower intends to use the goods himself or to resell them. Hence, loans made to enable consumers to purchase automobiles or other goods should be included under commercial, agricultural, and industrial paper within the meaning of the Federal Reserve Act, and as such are eligible for discounting with the Reserve Banks and as security for advances from the Reserve Banks under section 13, paragraph 8, of the Federal Reserve Act as long as they conform to requirements with respect to maturity and other matters. This applies equally to loans made directly by banks to consumers and to paper accepted by banks from dealers or finance companies. It also applies to notes of finance companies themselves as long as the proceeds of such notes are used to finance the purchase of consumer goods or for other purposes which are eligible within the meaning of the Federal Reserve Act.

(d) If there is any question as to whether the proceeds of a note of a finance company have been or are to be used for a commercial, agricultural, or industrial purpose, a financial statement of the finance company reflecting an excess of notes receivable which appear eligible for rediscount (without regard to maturity) over total current liabilities (i.e., notes due within 1 year) may be taken as an indication of eligibility. Where information is lacking as to whether direct consumer loans by a finance company are for eligible purposes, it may be assumed that 50 percent of such loans are ``notes receivable which appear eligible for rediscount''. In addition, that language should be regarded as including notes given for the purchase of mobile homes that are acquired by a finance company from a dealer-seller of such homes.

(e) The principles stated above apply not only to notes of a finance company engaged in making consumer loans but also to notes of a finance company engaged in making loans for other eligible purposes, including business and agricultural loans. Under section 13a of the Federal Reserve Act, paper representing loans to finance the production, marketing, and carrying of agricultural products or the breeding, raising, fattening, or marketing of livestock is eligible for discount if the paper has a maturity of not exceeding 9 months. Consequently, a note of a finance company the proceeds of which are used by it to make loans for such purposes is eligible for discount or as security for a Federal Reserve advance, and such a note, unlike the note of a finance company making consumer loans, may have a maturity of up to 9 months.

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