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Sec. 225.7 Exceptions to tying restrictions.

(a) Purpose. This section establishes exceptions to the anti-tying restrictions of section 106 of the Bank Holding Company Act Amendments of 1970 (12 U.S.C. 1971, 1972(1)). These exceptions are in addition to those in section 106. The section also restricts tying of electronic benefit transfer services by bank holding companies and their nonbank subsidiaries.

(b) Exceptions to statute. Subject to the limitations of paragraph (c) of this section, a bank may:

(1) Extension to affiliates of statutory exceptions preserving traditional banking relationships. Extend credit, lease or sell property of any kind, or furnish any service, or fix or vary the consideration for any of the foregoing, on the condition or requirement that a customer:

(i) Obtain a loan, discount, deposit, or trust service from an affiliate of the bank; or

(ii) Provide to an affiliate of the bank some additional credit, property, or service that the bank could require to be provided to itself pursuant to section 106(b)(1)(C) of the Bank Holding Company Act Amendments of 1970 (12 U.S.C. 1972(1)(C)).

(2) Safe harbor for combined-balance discounts. Vary the consideration for any product or package of products based on a customer's maintaining a combined minimum balance in certain products specified by the bank (eligible products), if:

(i) The bank offers deposits, and all such deposits are eligible products; and

(ii) Balances in deposits count at least as much as nondeposit products toward the minimum balance.

(3) Safe harbor for foreign transactions. Engage in any transaction with a customer if that customer is:

(i) A corporation, business, or other person (other than an individual) that:

(A) Is incorporated, chartered, or otherwise organized outside the United States; and

(B) Has its principal place of business outside the United States; or

(ii) An individual who is a citizen of a foreign country and is not resident in the United States.

(c) Limitations on exceptions. Any exception granted pursuant to this section shall terminate upon a finding by the Board that the arrangement is resulting in anti-competitive practices. The eligibility of a bank to operate under any exception granted pursuant to this section shall terminate upon a finding by the Board that its exercise of this authority is resulting in anti-competitive practices.

(d) Extension of statute to electronic benefit transfer services. A bank holding company or nonbank subsidiary of a bank holding company that provides electronic benefit transfer services shall be subject to the anti-tying restrictions applicable to such services set forth in section 7(i)(11) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 2016(i)(11)).

(e) For purposes of this section, bank has the meaning given that term in section 106(a) of the Bank Holding Company Act Amendments of 1970 (12 U.S.C. 1971), but shall also include a United States branch, agency, or commercial lending company subsidiary of a foreign bank that is subject to section 106 pursuant to section 8(d) of the International Banking Act of 1978 (12 U.S.C. 3106(d)), and any company made subject to section 106 by section 4(f)(9) or 4(h) of the BHC Act.

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