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Top Stories for February 2004
Prohibition Orders Issued By NCUA
Preliminary Interest Rate Risk Measures
OTS has released the preliminary Thrift Interest Rate Measures Risk Measures for the Fourth Quarter 2003.
Risk Measures 2/27/04
FDIC Issues Quarterly Banking Profile
The Quarterly Banking Profile for the Fourth Quarter 2003 has been issued by the FDIC.
Quarterly Profile 2/27/04
OFAC Removes Address And Grants License
The address of a SDGT has been removed from the OFAC SDN list and a General License has been granted regarding the lifting of the travel ban to Libya. Information concerning the removal and the license has been posted on the BOL OFAC page. 2/27/04
Living Trust Interim Rule for CUs
The amendment changes the existing rules concerning coverage for beneficial interests in living trust accounts. The rules are amended by eliminating the provisions that would limit insurance coverage where the interest of the beneficiary is subject to a defeating contingency in a living trust agreement. With the amendment, share insurance coverage of up to $100,000 is provided per qualifying beneficiary who, as of the date of an insured credit union's failure, would become the owner of assets in the living trust upon the account owner's death. 69FR8798 (txt) 69FR8798 (pdf) 2/26/04
Greenspan Suggests Changes in SS Benefits
In testimony before the House Budget Committee, Chairman Greenspan expressed concern over the impact the payment of Social Security benefits to the baby boom generation will have on the long term federal budget. He proposed that Congress consider replacing the current "cost of living" adjustments with the chained consumer price index (CPI) introduced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2002 and raising the age at which benefits will be provided. Testimony 2/26/04
International Reserve Position
Treasury has released the U.S. International Reserve Position as of the week ending February 20, 2004.
Reserve Position 2/26/04
Greenspan - Freddie & Fannie Need Regulator
In testimony before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Chairman Greenspan expressed concern regarding growth and scale of the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae mortgage portfolios and of their leverage policies. He indicated that Congress needs to create a regulator for the government sponsored enterprises with authority on a par with that of banking regulators. Speech 2/25/04
OFAC Adds bin Laden Loyalist
The name of a bin Laden loyalist and al-Qaeda supporter has been added as a new SDGT entry to the OFAC SDN List. Information regarding the addition has been posted on the BOL OFAC page. 2/25/04
Written Agreement With Ohio Bank
The FRB has announced the execution of a Written Agreement by and among The Custar State Bank, Custar, Ohio; the Ohio Division of Financial Institutions, Columbus, Ohio; and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. The Agreement includes a provision which requires the bank to retain an independent consultant to conduct a comprehensive review of the bank's AML compliance.
Written Agreement 2/25/04
Regulator's Accounting and Capital Standards
The federal financial institution regulators have issued their annual joint report to Congressional committees regarding difference in the accounting and capital standards among the agencies. Report 2/25/04
PALS Best Practices Web Site Launched
NCUA has unveiled a new web site designed to help credit unions share innovative programs to help attract new members. Over 300 ideas are organized into more than 50 program areas. Best Practices 2/25/04
Comments Requested on Fair Credit Reporting Provisions
The recently enacted FACT Act requires the FTC to adopt rules to prevent consumer reporting agencies from avoiding treatment as
nationwide consumer reporting agencies. In this action, the FTC is adopting, and seeking comment on, an interim final rule that prohibits consumer reporting agencies from avoiding these obligations through any means, including corporate structuring or technological methods. 69FR8531 (txt) 69FR8531 (pdf) 2/24/04
Evaluation Of Household Debt By Greenspan
In a presentation before the Credit Union National Association 2004 Governmental Affairs Conference, Chairman Greenspan gave his views on understanding household debt burdens and the changes in the debt service and financial obligation ratios over time.
Special Alert Counterfeit Cashier's Checks
A Special Alert has been issued by the FDIC concerning counterfeit cashier's checks drawn on Valrico State Bank, Valrico, Florida and 1st Mariner Bank, Baltimore, Maryland. Information regarding the counterfeit items has been posted on the BOL Alerts & Counterfeits page. 2/24/04
Unauthorized Banking Special Alert
The FDIC has issued a Special Alert regarding three entities that may be conducting unauthorized banking activities in the United States and/or Canada. Special Alert 2/24/04
Electronic Interpretations and Actions
The OCC has announced the February 2004 issue of Electronic Interpretations and Actions which includes five Interpretative Letters and four Corporate Decisions along with Approvals with Conditions, Final Enforcement Actions and CRA Evaluations.
February Issue 2/24/04
Working Papers Released
FIL Regarding Announced SDNTKs
The FDIC has issued FIL-20-2004 regarding previously announced additions to the OFAC list regarding SDNTKs and the blocking of the assets of one organization. Information regarding the additions was posted on February 18, 2004 on the BOL OFAC page. 2/24/04
Earnings Credits Calculation Changed
The Federal Reserve System has changed the rate used to calculate earnings credits on clearing balances. Earnings credits are now calculated based on 90 percent of a three-month T-bill rate in order to align our practices with those of the marketplace. Detailed information regarding clearing balances and earnings credits are found in Section IV of the FRB Services Account Management Guide.
February Bank Accounting Advisory Series
The OCC has released the February 2004 edition of the Bank Account Advisory Series which expresses the Office of the Chief Accountant's current views on accounting topics of interest to bankers.
Accounting Advisory Series 2/23/04
Greenspan On Education and The Economy
Learn the views of Chairman Greenspan on the critical effect of education on the economy from his remarks before the Annual Meeting of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce.
2003 Thrift Charge-Off Rates
The OTS has released the Thrift Industry charge-off rates by asset types for 2003.
Charge-Off Rates 2/23/04
OTS Charges Officials Of Closed Bank
The OTS has announced charges regarding alleged violations of federal banking laws against the former president and a former institution affiliated party of Dollar Savings Bank, Newark, New Jersey which was recently closed by OTS. The former president was ordered to post security in excess of $4 million, representing the amount of questionable withdrawals from the bank which occurred in a one week period prior to closing. Charges 2/20/04
Five OCC Enforcement Actions Announced
OCC has announced Enforcement Actions against three national banks and two individuals.
Enforcement Actions 2/20/04
OCC CRA Ratings Issued for Forty-Two Banks
Forty-two CRA ratings for national banks have been made public by the OCC. Six institutions were rated outstanding, thirty-six were satisfactory and none were rated either needs to improve or substantial noncompliance. CRA Ratings 2/20/04
FDIC Publishes CRA Guide
The FDIC released a new publication, the "FDIC Community Development Investment Guide", designed to assist banks that are considering community development investments. The Guide explains how to determine if an investment is permissible and how investments can be structured to achieve a community development purpose. CRA Guide 2/20/04
FR-CA CPS Revised
FRB Financial Services has announced the revision of CPS to incorporate new certificate issuance and revocation processes for certificates used to access the FedImage Gateway Retrieval Service. CPS Revisions 2/20/04
OFAC Adds Forty SDNTKs and One BPI-PA
OFAC has added three entities and thirty-seven individuals as SDNTKs to the OFAC List in addition to blocking all the financial assets and real property of an Islamic foundation which has be integraded into the SDN list with the descriptor, BPI-PA. Information regarding these additions and designation has been added to the BOL OFAC page. 2/20/04
2004 HMDA Preliminary Census Data Online
The FFIEC has posted the 2004 HMDA Preliminary Census Data online. The census tracts have been drastically changed due to the 2000 census and the OMB's new geographic classifications that significantly changed the way metropolitan areas are defined.
2004 HMDA Census Data 2/19/04
Final 2004 TFR Form Available
The Final 2004 TFR Form and Schedules have been posted online by OTS.
TFR Form 2/19/04
Second Edition of FedFocus Released
The Federal Reserve Financial Services has released the Second Edition of FedFocus which contains a special supplement on Check 21.
Thrifts 2003 Earnings Set Records
Cashier's Checks Special Alert
The FDIC has issued a Special Alert regarding cashier's checks that are missing from California Bank & Trust, San Diego, California and counterfeit cashier's checks drawn on RBC Centura Bank, Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Information regarding the missing and counterfeit items has been posted on the BOL Alerts & Counterfeits page. 2/18/04
Cumulative Unauthorized Banking List
The OCC has updated its cumulative list of entities that may be conducting unauthorized banking activities. The OCC list does not contain the names of entities furnished by state or foreign governments. Beginning in 2003, unauthorized bank lists have been issued as Special Alerts by the FDIC. They were previously issued as Financial Institution Letters.
FDIC Special Alerts 2/18/04
OTS CRA Evaluations Released
December 2003 TIC Data Released
Treasury has released the International Capital data for December 2003.
January Financial Holding Company Elections
The list of bank holding companies that have elected as February 13, 2004 to become or be treated as financial holding companies under the Bank Holding Company Act has been issued by the FRB. FHC List 2/18/04
G. 17 Industrial Production Report
The FRB has issued the G.17 Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization report for January 2004.
G. 17 2/18/04
December 2003 Cost of Funds Reports Released
FIL Regarding Announced SDNs
The FDIC has issued FIL-18-2004 concerning additions to the Cuban and Balkans SDN designations that were made to the OFAC list on February 9, 2004. Information regarding the additions was previously announced in a BOL Special OFAC Alert and placed on the BOL OFAC page. 2/18/04
FDIC Insurance Funds Year-End Reports
The FDIC has released the 2003 Year-End Reports for the FDIC and SAIF insurance funds.
FRB Grants 23A Exemption Request
The FRB has released a legal interpretation which grants a request for an exemption from the quantitative limits of section 23A of the Federal Reserve Act and the Regulation W to allow a financial institution to acquire all the capital stock of an affiliate.
Legal Interpretation 2/17/04
OTS Closes Dollar Savings Bank
The OTS has announced the closing of Dollar Savings Bank, Newark, New Jersey and the appointment of the FDIC as receiver.
OCC Issues Bulletin on Reg. CC Proposal
The OCC has issued Bulletin 2004-11 regarding the previously announced proposal by the FRB to add a new subpart D to Reg. CC to implement the Check 21 Act. Information regarding the proposal and request for comment was included in the January 8, 2004 BOL Top Stories. 2/17/04
2003 FDIC Annual Report Posted
FIND Call Report Web Site Launched
The federal bank regulators have jointly announced the launch of a web site that provides information on the FFIEC's Call Report Modernization initiative. The FIND (Financial INstitutions Data - Bank Call Reports) web site provides details on the development and implementation of a central data repository (CDR) for collection, processing, and distribution of bank financial data.
FIND Web Site;
OCC Preemption Rule Discussed
OCC Chief Counsel and First Senior Deputy Comptroller Williams discussed the OCC's new Preemption Rule and position on visitorial powers in a presentation before the Annual Legal Conference of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas and the Texas Savings and Community Bankers Association. She emphasized the importance of continuing cooperation between the States and the OCC in furthering consumer protection with respect to the institutions they regulate. Speech 2/13/04
Tax Shelter Schemes Information Online
The IRS has launched a new section on its web site containing important information about abusive schemes involving employee retirement plans. The site is intended to warn promoters and plan professionals about the consequences of participating in such schemes.
Tax Shelter Schemes 2/13/04
Regulators Issue Interagency Advisory
An Interagency Advisory was issued by the federal financial regulators regarding accounting for deferred compensation agreements and bank-owned life insurance. Advisory;
OTS CEO Letter;
FDIC FIL FRB SR 2/12/04
Unauthorized Banking Activities Special Alert
The FDIC has issued a Special Alert regarding entities that may be may be operating in the Cayman Islands, offering banking or other financial services to individuals, businesses or financial institutions located in the United States. The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) has published a list of financial entities whose Web sites note a Cayman Islands address, but the entities are neither registered nor licensed to carry on activities regulated by the CIMA.
CIMA List 2/12/04
FRB Reassigns Routing Numbers
The FRB is amending appendix A of Regulation CC to delete the reference to the head office of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and reassign the Federal Reserve routing symbols currently listed under that office to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's Baltimore office and delete the reference to the Omaha check processing office of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and reassign the
Federal Reserve routing symbols currently listed under that office to the Des Moines office of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. 69FR6917 (txt) 69FR6917 (pdf) 2/12/04
OFAC Issues Iraqi Intellectual Property IR
An Interpretative Ruling regarding protection and transfer of intellectual property rights in Iraq has been issued by OFAC.
OFAC IR 2/12/04
Greenspan - Economic Prospects Good
Chairman Greenspan presented the FRB's semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress. He indicated that the GDP is now expected to grow at a faster rate than was forecast in July 2003 and prospects are good for sustained expansion of the U.S. economy. In addition, a Federal Reserve survey indicates that banks had continued to tighten lending conditions early in the year, but by the second half, terms and standards were being eased noticeably. Testimony;
FTC Issues Charity Scams Publication
The FTC has issued a new consumer publication, “Charitable Donations: Give or Take?”, advising consumers on how to avoid potential charity scams. The agency indicates that more than 700,000 federally recognized charities are soliciting for charitable contributors. It contains very good information regarding questions your customers may be, or should be, asking prior to making a contribution.
Scam Information 2/12/04
Legal Interpretations Issued By FRB
The FRB has issued legal interpretations regarding the grant of an exemption from the quantitative limits of Section 23A of the Federal Reserve Act and clarification of Section 106 of the Bank Holding Company Act which allows banks to require borrowers that obtain securities-based credit from the bank to keep the securities collateral in an account at a broker-dealer affiliate of the bank.
Features Added To FRB Web Site
The FRB has announced a number of improvements to its web site, including the capability to view and submit comments on regulatory proposals. You can now submit your comments by email, view comments, review updates regarding the proposed Basel II Capital Accord and access personal finance educational tools. Email;
FACT Act Effective Date Published
The final rule establishing the effective date for various provisions of the FACT Act has been published in the Federal Register. This was previously announced on 2/6/04 on Top Stories.
68FR6526 (txt) 68FR6526 (pdf)2/11/04
FRB Working Papers Released
Flood Violations Cost Ohio Bank
The FRB has announced the issuance of a CMP in the amount of $9,500 against the Hocking Valley Bank, Athens, Ohio as the result of alleged violations Reg H and the National Flood Insurance Act. Violations Plan to attend the March 30th Webinar - Flood: What Your Lenders Need to Know 2/10/04
Bulletin Regarding Announced Reg C Changes
The OCC has issued Bulletin 2004-9 regarding two previously announced changes to Reg C involving the raising of the asset size exemption threshold for reporting HMDA data and the standards for defining MSAs. Information regarding the changes and the publication in the Federal Register was included in BOL Top Stories on December 29, 2003.
Counterfeit Cashier's Checks Special Alert
The FDIC has issued a Special Alert regarding counterfeit cashier's checks issued by Coastal Federal Bank, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and First Minnetonka City Bank, Minnetonka, Minnesota. Details regarding the counterfeit cashier’s checks and contact information have been placed on the BOL Alerts & Counterfeits page. 2/10/04
OFAC Adds CUBA and BALKANS SDNs
Ten entities have been designated CUBA SDNs and added to the OFAC List along with thirteen individuals who have identified as BALKANS SDNs. Information regarding the additions has been posted on the BOL OFAC page. 2/10/04
OFAC Cites Twelve Institutions
The February 2004 OFAC Civil Penalties Enforcement Information cites twelve financial institutions for fifteen violations of various sanctions programs. The penalties imposed ranged from $1,000 to over $34,000. Information regarding the violations and penalties are found on the BOL OFAC page. 2/9/04
Regulators Issue NPR Updating CRA
The federal banking and thrift regulators have issued a NPR regarding proposed upates to CRA. An ANPR issued by the regulators on July 21, 2001 resulted in about 400 comments which were considered in the drafting of the proposed rule.
2003 G.19 Report Released
The FRB has released the G.19 report for 2003.
FACT Act Effective Dates Final Rules Issued
The FRB and FTC have announced approval of joint final rules to establish effective dates for all provisions of the FACT Act that do not have a statutorily prescribed effective date. Final Rules;
FTC NR 2/6/04
FDIC CRA Examination Ratings Issued
The FDIC issued its monthly list of state nonmember banks recently evaluated for compliance with the CRA. The list covers evaluation ratings that the FDIC assigned to institutions in November 2003. CRA Ratings 2/6/04
CRA Changes Published
FRB Proposes Changes To PRS Policy
The FRB has announced that it intends, beginning in July 2006, to require Reserve Banks to release interest and redemption payments on securities issued by government-sponsored enterprises and international organizations only when the issuer's Federal Reserve account contains sufficient funds to cover these payments. Comments are requested by April 16, 2004 on how best to promote a smooth market adjustment while implementing this change in the Policy. PRS 2/6/04
International Reserve Position Report Released
Treasury has issued the U.S. International Reserve Position report for the the week ending January 30, 2004.
International Reserve 2/6/04
C & D Against Former Credit Lyonnais Official
The FRB has issued a Consent Order to Cease and Desist against Dominique Bazy, a former executive with Credit Lyonnais, S.A., Paris, France. He is prohibited from participating in the conduct of the affairs of domestic insured depository institutions without the FDIC's approval. C & D 2/5/04
FDIC Issues Living Trust Fact Sheet
The FDIC has issued an FIL regarding the previously announced changes to FDIC insurance coverage of living trust accounts and a fact sheet which provides examples of how the new coverage rules will work in most common situations.
FIL-14-2004; Fact Sheet 2/5/04
Unauthorized Banking Special Alert
A Special Alert has been issued by the FDIC regarding four Canadian entities that may be conducting unauthorized banking activities in the U.S. or Canada. SA-7-2004 2/5/04
HOEPA Points and Fee Trigger For 2004
The HOEPA points and fee trigger for 2004 have been posted on the HOEPA section of HMDA Help Web site.
HOEPA Trigger 2/5/04
MERIT Examination Program Expanded
The FDIC has issued a FIL announcing the expansion of the MERIT examination program to eligible, well-rated banks with total assets of $1 billion or less. FIL-13-2004 2/5/04
Corporate Activities Final Rule
The OCC has published a final rule in the Federal Register amending 12 CFR 5.2 regarding electronic filings and procedures for filings under exceptional circumstances or for unusual transactions.
Corporate Activities 2/4/04
World Banking Systems Examined
The OCC has issued a working paper, "Comparative International Characteristics of Banking", which compares the key characteristics of the world's banking systems.
FOIA 2003 Annual Report Released
The FRB has released the Freedom of Information Act Annual Report for fiscal year 2003.
FOIA Report 2/4/04
Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey
The FRB has issued the results of the January 2004 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey regarding changes in the supply of, and demand for, bank loans to businesses and households over the past three months. Survey 2/4/04
New Savings Accounts Proposed
Treasury has announced that the President’s FY 2005 Budget includes the following new savings initiatives: Retirement Savings Accounts, Lifetime Savings Accounts, Employer Retirement Savings Accounts, and Individual Development Accounts.
New Accounts 2/3/04
Market Financing Estimates Announced
Treasury has announced the estimates of net borrowing of marketable debt for the first two Quarters of 2004.
Borrowing Estimates 2/3/04
January Foreign Exchange Rates Released
The FRB has issued the January 2004 monthly G.5 Foreign Exchange Rates Statistical Release.
November 2003 G.20 Report Released
The FRB has released the G.20 Finance Companies report for November 2003.
December Enforcement Actions Released
The FDIC has released the administrative enforcement actions taken against banks and individuals in December. A total of 18 orders in December, included two cease-and-desist orders, one removal-and-prohibition order, three civil money penalty orders, five terminations of cease-and-desist orders, six terminations of insurance, and one adjudicated decision.
Enforcement Actions 2/2/04
Formation of Dormant Bank To Be Studied
The FRB has established a private-sector Working Group on New Bank Implementation to further develop the concept of a dormant bank that would be available for activation, if necessary, to clear and settle U.S. government securities.
Dormant Bank 2/2/04
IFDP Covers China and Deflation
The FRB has posted a new International Finance Discussion Paper on its Web site, Is China "Exporting Deflation"?.