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Announcements.

VICE CHAIRMAN FERGUSON AND GOVERNOR BERNANKE TAKE OATHS OF OFFICE

Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., on October 28, 2003, took the oath of office for a second four-year term as Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The oath was administered, in the presence of Vice Chairman Ferguson's wife, Annette L. Nazareth, by Chairman Alan Greenspan in the Chairman's office.

President Bush nominated Vice Chairman Ferguson on September 10, 2003, and the Senate confirmed him on October 24, 2003. He originally took office on November 5, 1997, as a member of the Board to fill an unexpired term. On July 26, 2001, he began a new term on the Board that expires January 31, 2014. His first term as Vice Chairman began October 5, 1999.

Ben S. Bernanke, on November 14, 2003, took the oath of office for a new term as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The oath was administered by Chairman Alan Greenspan in the Chairman's office. Governor Bernanke's wife, Anna; daughter, Alyssa; and son, Joel, were present.

President Bush announced his intention to nominate Governor Bernanke on September 9, 2003, and the Senate confirmed him on October 24, 2003. He originally took office on August 5, 2002, as a member of the Board to fill an unexpired term. The new term begins February 1, 2004, and expires January 31, 2018.

FEDERAL OPEN MARKET COMMITTEE STATEMENT

The Federal Open Market Committee decided on October 28, 2003, to keep its target for the federal funds rate at 1 percent.

The Committee continues to believe that an accommodative stance of monetary policy, coupled with robust underlying growth in productivity, is providing important ongoing support to economic activity. The evidence accumulated over the intermeeting period confirms that spending is firming, and the labor market appears to be stabilizing. Business pricing power and increases in core consumer prices remain muted.

The Committee perceives that the upside and downside risks to the attainment of sustainable growth for the next few quarters are roughly equal. In contrast, the probability, though minor, of an unwelcome fall in inflation exceeds that of a rise in inflation from its already low level. The Committee judges that, on balance, the risk of inflation becoming undesirably low remains the predominant concern for the foreseeable future. In these circumstances, the Committee believes that policy accommodation can be maintained for a considerable period.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Alan Greenspan, Chairman; Ben S. Bernanke; Susan S. Bies; J. Alfred Broaddus, Jr.; Roger W. Ferguson, Jr.; Edward M. Gramlich; Jack Guynn; Donald L. Kohn; Michael H. Moskow; Mark W. Olson; Robert T. Parry; and Jamie B. Stewart, Jr.

APPROVAL OF FEE SCHEDULES FOR FEDERAL RESERVE BANK PRICED SERVICES

The Federal Reserve Board, on October 22, 2003, approved fee schedules for Federal Reserve Bank priced services, effective January 2, 2004.

From 1993 to 2002, the Reserve Banks recovered 98.8 percent of priced-services costs, including operating costs, imputed costs, and targeted return on equity (ROE, or net income), which amounts to a ten-year total net income of slightly less than $500 million. The Reserve Banks' underrecovery reflects changes that are affecting the check service, which comprises about 85 percent of priced-services costs. Since the mid-1990s, there has been a national trend away from the use of checks that has affected the entire industry. This trend, which is consistent with the Federal Reserve's position of encouraging the use of more efficient electronic payment alternatives, has reduced the Reserve Banks' check volume.

The Reserve Banks have undertaken aggressive initiatives to improve operational efficiencies, to reduce their excess check processing capacity, and to reduce costs. First, the Reserve Banks will be completing a check modernization initiative later this year that will standardize the Reserve Banks' check processing operations. This initiative will enable the Reserve Banks to improve their operating efficiency and position them to reduce excess capacity. Second, the Reserve Banks have begun a check restructuring initiative that was announced earlier this year. Under this initiative, the Reserve Banks will continue to provide check services nationwide but will stop processing checks at thirteen of their forty-five check processing offices, consolidate check adjustments operations into twelve of their forty-three check adjustment offices, and consolidate their check administrative functions. Third, the Reserve Banks have aggressively reduced costs in a variety of support and overhead areas that contribute significant costs to the check service.

Overall, the price level for Federal Reserve priced services will increase about 4 percent in 2004 from 2003 levels. The increase reflects an approximately 5 percent rise in check service fees combined with a 1 percent drop in fees for the Reserve Banks' electronic payment services.

The 2004 tee schedule for each of the priced services, except the check service, is included in the attached Federal Register notice. Fee schedules for all priced services will be available on the Federal Reserve Banks' financial services web site at www.frbservices.org.

The Board also approved, effective January 8, 2004, changing the earnings credit rate on clearing balances from the federal funds rate to 90 percent of the three-month Treasury bill rate, and increasing the frequency with which depository institutions can change contracted clearing balances.

In addition, the Board approved the 2004 private-sector adjustment factor (PSAF) for Reserve Bank priced services of $179.7 million. The PSAF is an allowance for taxes and other imputed expenses that would have to be paid and profits that would have to be earned if the Federal Reserve's priced services were provided by a private business. The Monetary Control Act of 1980 requires the Federal Reserve to recover the costs of providing priced services, including the PSAF, over the long run, to promote competition between the Reserve Banks and private-sector service providers.

The Reserve Banks estimate that they will recover 85.6 percent of all their priced services costs in 2003 and project that they will recover 93.6 percent of these costs in 2004.

APPROVAL OF MODIFIED METHOD FOR IMPUTING PRICED-SERVICE INCOME

The Federal Reserve Board, on October 23, 2003, announced modifications to the method for imputing priced-service income from clearing balance investments. The Board approved these modifications at an open meeting on October 22, 2003. The Federal Reserve Banks impute this income when setting fees and measuring actual priced-service cost recovery each year. The Board requested comment on the changes in May 2003.

Clearing balances held at Reserve Banks are similar to compensating balances held at correspondent banks. Beginning in January 2004, Reserve Banks will impute the income from clearing balance investments on the basis of a broader portfolio of investments than the three-month Treasury bills used today, selected from instruments available to banks and subject to a risk-management framework that includes criteria consistent with those used by bank holding companies and regulators in evaluating investment risk.

The annual imputed investment return will be based on an underlying imputed investment portfolio, but will be implemented as a constant annual spread over the three-month Treasury bill rate.

JOINT AGENCIES ANNOUNCE PROPOSED TREATMENT OF EXPECTED AND UNEXPECTED LOSSES UNDER THE NEW BASEL CAPITAL ACCORD

The Federal Reserve Board and thrift agencies on October 30, 2003, issued a statement regarding the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's request for comment on a modification to its proposed international capital standards.

The modification deals with the treatment of expected and unexpected losses. The Basel Committee will accept comments from all interested parties until December 31, 2003.

RELEASE OF MINUTES OF BOARD'S DISCOUNT RATE MEETINGS

The Federal Reserve Board, on November 6, 2003, released the minutes of its discount rate meetings from September 2, 2003, through September 15, 2003.

ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

The Federal Reserve Board, on November 4, 2003, announced the issuance of a consent order of assessment of a civil money penalty against the Gulf Bank, Miami, Florida, a state member bank. Gulf Bank, without admitting to any allegations, consented to the issuance of the order in connection with its alleged violations of the Board's Regulations implementing the National Flood Insurance Act.

The order requires Gulf Bank to pay a civil money penalty of $4,550, which will be remitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for deposit into the National Flood Mitigation Fund.

The Federal Reserve Board, on November 4, 2003, announced the execution of a written agreement by and among the Bank of Gassaway, Gassaway, West Virginia; the West Virginia Division of Banking, Charleston, West Virginia; and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

STAFF CHANGES

The Board of Governors has approved a restructuring of the Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation. The principal objectives of the reorganization are to:

* enhance the division's ability to oversee major supervisory risks (that is, credit, market and liquidity, operating and, or technological, and reputational) as well as financial organizations risk management processes,

* establish a new section to strengthen the anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act examination and enforcement programs, and

* implement a national, coordinated approach to critical System supervisory technology initiatives.

As part of the reorganization, the Board is pleased to announce the following officer actions and appointments.

* The appointments of Steven C. Schemering and Michael G. Martinson to Senior Adviser;

* The promotion of Stephen M. Hoffman to Deputy Director;

* The promotions of Deborah P. Bailey, Norah M. Barger, Betsy Cross, and David M. Wright to Associate Director;

* The promotions of Barbara J. Bouchard, Angela Desmond, James A. Embersit, Charles H. Holm, and William G. Spaniel to Deputy Associate Director; and

* The appointments of Jon D. Greenlee, Walt Miles, and William F. Treacy to Assistant Director.

Stephen C. Schemering provides advice and guidance on the supervision operations of the division, which include risk management and supervision of large, complex banking organizations (both domestic and foreign), and regional and community banking organizations.

Michael G. Martinson provides advice and guidance to the division by identifying and analyzing risks that affect the domestic and international banking systems.

Stephen M. Hoffman has responsibility for the supervisory operations of the division, which includes risk management and supervision of large, complex banking organizations (both domestic and foreign), and regional and community banking organizations.

Deborah P. Bailey oversees and coordinates the FR System's risk-focused supervision of domestic, large, and complex banking organizations.

Norah M. Barger is responsible for the development of supervisory and risk-related regulations and policies for the supervision of U.S. banks and bank holding companies, foreign banks with operations in the United States, and for the international operations of U.S. banking organizations.

Betsy Cross is responsible for the division's financial institutions applications function.

David M. Wright is responsible for the oversight of market practices, risk exposures, and supervision of credit risk associated with the activities of banking organizations.

Barbara J. Bouchard is responsible for the development of supervisory and risk-related regulations and policies for financial institutions.

Angela Desmond is Secretariat to the Large and Complex Banking Organizations Subcommittee and represents the division on Board and interagency projects, including homeland security and protection of the critical infrastructure.

James A. Embersit is responsible for assessments of market and liquidity risks related to developments in the banking industry with attention to the capital markets and government securities.

Charles H. Holm is responsible for the supervisory accounting, disclosure, and regulatory reporting function of the division.

William G. Spaniel is responsible for the System planning and evaluation, staff development, international training and assistance, and division administration functions.

New Officers

Jon D. Greenlee is responsible for administering the System's risk-focused supervision of regional domestic banking organizations. Mr. Greenlee joined the Board in March 2001 as the manager of the Regional Banking Organizations Section. Before joining the division, he was the Central Point of Contact (CPC) for Wells Fargo and Company at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. He holds a B.S. in finance and economics from Indiana State University.

Walt Miles is responsible for the division's supervisory program for large, complex banking organizations. Mr. Miles joined the Board in 1996. He was promoted to a senior supervisory financial analyst in the Domestic, Large, and Complex Banking Organizations Section in 2000. Before joining the division, Mr. Miles served as bank examiner for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. He received the Special Achievement Award in 2002 for his contributions to the large, complex, banking organizations supervisory program. Mr. Miles has a B.S. degree in finance from Oregon State University and is a chartered financial analyst and a certified public accountant.

William F. Treacy is responsible for the development and implementation of System supervisory and examination policies and procedures, evaluating Board regulations, and the analyzing financial trends. Mr. Treacy joined the Board in 1992. He was also an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Mr. Treacy holds a B.A. in economics and international relations from Cornell University, an M.A. in economics and U.S. foreign policy from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and a doctorate from George Washington University.
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Publication:Federal Reserve Bulletin
Article Type:Public Notice
Date:Dec 1, 2003
Words:2155
Previous Article:Recent developments in business lending by commercial banks.
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