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Final rule--amendment to regulation H. (Legal Developments).

The Board of Governors is amending 12 C.F.R. Part 208, its Regulation H (Membership of State Banking Institutions in the Federal Reserve System: Financial Subsidiaries), implementing the financial subsidiary provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act for state member banks. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act authorizes state member banks that comply with the requirements of the rule to control, or hold an interest in, a financial subsidiary which may conduct certain financial activities that are not permissible for the parent bank to conduct directly. The final rule is substantially similar to the interim rule that the Board adopted in March 2000.

Effective September 16, 2001, 12 C.F.R. Part 208 is amended as follows:

Part 208--Membership of State Banking Institutions in the Federal Reserve System (Regulation H)

1. The authority citation for Part 208 is revised to read as follows:

Authority: 12 U.S.C. 24, 24a, 36, 92a, 93a, 248(a), 248(c), 321-338a, 371d, 461, 481-486, 601, 611, 1814, 1816, 1818, 1820(d)(9), 1823(j), 1828(o), 1831, 1831o, 1831p-1, 1831r-1, 1831w, 1835a, 1843(1)(2), 1882, 2901-2907, 3105, 3310, 3331-3351, and 3906-3909; 15 U.S.C. 78b, 781(b), 781(g), 781(i), 78o-4(c)(5), 78q, 78q-1, and 78w; 31 U. S.C. 5318; 42 U.S.C. 4012a, 4104a, 4104b, 4106 and 4128.

2. Subpart G is revised to read as follows:

Subpart G--Financial Subsidiaries of State Member Banks

208.71 What are the requirements to invest in or control a financial subsidiary?

208.72 What activities may a financial subsidiary conduct?

207.73 What additional provisions are applicable to state member banks with financial subsidiaries?

208.74 What happens if the state member bank or a depository institution affiliate fails to continue to meet certain requirements?

208.75 What happens if the state member bank or any of its insured depository institution affiliates receives less than a "satisfactory" CRA rating?

208.76 What Federal Reserve approvals are necessary for financial subsidiaries?

208.77 Definitions.

Subpart G--Financial Subsidiaries of State Member Banks

Section 208.71--What are the requirements to invest in or control a financial subsidiary?

(a) In general. A state member bank may control, or hold an interest in, a financial subsidiary only if:

(1) The state member bank and each depository institution affiliate of the state member bank are well capitalized and well managed;

(2) The aggregate consolidated total assets of all financial subsidiaries of the state member bank do not exceed the lesser of:

(i) 45 percent of the consolidated total assets of the parent bank; or

(ii) $50 billion, which dollar amount shall be adjusted according to an indexing mechanism jointly established by the Board and the Secretary of the Treasury;

(3) The state member bank, if it is one of the largest 100 insured banks (based on consolidated total assets as of the end of the previous calendar year), meets the debt rating or alternative requirement of paragraph (b) of this section, if applicable; and

(4) The Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank has approved the bank to acquire the interest in or control the financial subsidiary under section 208.76.

(b) Debt rating or alternative requirement for 100 largest insured banks.

(1) General. A state member bank meets the debt rating or alternative requirement of this paragraph (b) if:

(i) The bank has at least one issue of eligible debt outstanding that is currently rated in one of the three highest investment grade rating categories by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization; or

(ii) If the bank is one of the second 50 largest insured banks (based on consolidated total assets as of the end of the previous calendar year), the bank has a current long-term issuer credit rating from at least one nationally recognized statistical rating organization that is within the three highest investment grade rating categories used by the organization.

(2) Financial subsidiaries engaged in financial activities only as agent. This paragraph (b) does not apply to a state member bank if the financialsubsidiaries of the bank engage in financial activities described in sections 208.72(a)(1) and (2) only in an agency capacity and not directly or indirectly as principal.

Section 208.72--What activities may a financial subsidiary conduct?

(a) Authorized activities. A financial subsidiary of a state member bank may engage in only the following activities:

(1) Any financial activity listed in section 225.86(a), (b), or (c) of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.86(a), (b), or (c));

(2) Any activity that the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Board, has determined to be financial in nature or incidental to a financial activity and permissible for financial subsidiaries pursuant to Section 5136A(b) of the Revised Statutes of the United States (12 U.S.C. 24a(b)); and

(3) Any activity that the state member bank is permitted to engage in directly (subject to the same terms and conditions that govern the conduct of the activity by the state member bank).

(b) Impermissible activities. Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this section, a financial subsidiary may not engage as principal in the following activities:

(1) Insuring, guaranteeing, or indemnifying against loss, harm, damage, illness, disability or death (except to the extent permitted under applicable state law and section 302 or 303(c) of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (15 U.S.C. 6712 or 6713(c));

(2) Providing or issuing annuities the income of which is subject to tax treatment under section 72 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 72);

(3) Real estate development or real estate investment, unless otherwise expressly authorized by applicable state and Federal law; and

(4) Any merchant banking or insurance company investment activity permitted for financial holding companies by section 4(k)(4)(H) or (I) of the Bank Holding Company Act (12 U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(H) and (I)).

Section 208.73--What additional provisions are applicable to state member banks with financial subsidiaries?

(a) Capital deduction required. A state member bank that controls or holds an interest in a financial subsidiary must comply with the following rules in determining its compliance with applicable regulatory capital standards (including the well capitalized standard of section 208.71(a)(1)):

(1) The bank must not consolidate the assets and liabilities of any financial subsidiary with those of the bank.

(2) For purposes of determining the bank's risk-based capital ratios under Appendix A of this part, the bank must--

(i) Deduct 50 percent of the aggregate amount of its outstanding equity investment (including retained earnings) in all financial subsidiaries from both the bank's Tier 1 capital and

Tier 2 capital; and

(ii) Deduct the entire amount of the bank's outstanding equity investment (including retained earnings) in all financial subsidiaries from the bank's risk-weighted assets.

(3) For purposes of determining the bank's leverage capital ratio under Appendix B of this part, the bank must--

(i) Deduct 50 percent of the aggregate amount of its outstanding equity investment (including retained earnings) in all financial subsidiaries from the bank's Tier 1 capital; and

(ii) Deduct the entire amount of the bank's outstanding equity investment (including retained earnings) in all financial subsidiaries from the bank's average total assets.

(4) For purposes of determining the bank's ratio of tangible equity to total assets under section 208.43(b)(5), the bank must deduct the entire amount of the bank's outstanding equity investment (including retained earnings) in all financial subsidiaries from the bank's tangible equity and total assets.

(5) If the deduction from Tier 2 capital required by paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section exceeds the bank's Tier 2 capital, any excess must be deducted from the bank's Tier 1 capital.

(b) Financial statement disclosure of capital deduction. Any published financial statement of a state member bank that controls or holds an interest in a financial subsidiary must, in addition to providing information prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, separately present financial information for the bank reflecting the capital deduction and adjustments required by paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Safeguards for the bank. A state member bank that establishes, controls or holds an interest in a financial subsidiary must:

(1) Establish and maintain procedures for identifying and managing financial and operational risks within the state member bank and the financial subsidiary that adequately protect the state member bank from such risks; and

(2) Establish and maintain reasonable policies and procedures to preserve the separate corporate identity and limited liability of the state member bank and the financial subsidiary.

(d) Application of Sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act. For purposes of sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 371c, 371c-1):

(1) A financial subsidiary of a state member bank shall be deemed an affiliate, and not a subsidiary, of the bank;

(2) The restrictions contained in section 23A(a)(1)(A) of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 371c(a)(1)(A)) shall not apply with respect to covered transactions between the bank and any individual financial subsidiary of the bank;

(3) The bank's investment in a financial subsidiary shall not include retained earnings of the financial subsidiary;

(4) Any purchase of, or investment in, the securities of a financial subsidiary by an affiliate of the bank will be considered to be a purchase of, or investment in, such securities by the bank; and

(5) Any extension of credit by an affiliate of the bank to a financial subsidiary of the bank will be considered to be an extension of credit by the bank to the financial subsidiary if the Board determines that such treatment is necessary or appropriate to prevent evasions of the Federal Reserve Act and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

(e) Application of anti-tying prohibitions. A financial subsidiary of a state member bank shall be deemed a subsidiary of a bank holding company and not a subsidiary of the bank for purposes of the anti-tying prohibitions of section 106 of the Bank Holding Company Act Amendments of 1970 (12U.S.C. 1971 et seq.).

Section 208.74--What happens if the state member bank or a depository institution affiliate fails to continue to meet certain requirements?

(a) Qualifications and safeguards. The following procedures apply to a state member bank that controls or holds an interest in a financial subsidiary.

(1) Notice by Board. If the Board finds that a state member bank or any of its depository institution affiliates fails to continue to be well capitalized and well managed, or the state member bank is not in compliance with the asset limitation set forth in section 208.71(a)(2) or the safeguards set forth in section 208.73(c), the Board will notify the state member bank in writing and identify the areas of noncompliance. The Board may provide this notice at any time before or after receiving notice from the state member bank under paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

(2) Notification by state member bank. A state member bank must notify the appropriate Reserve Bank in writing within 15 calendar days of becoming aware that any depository institution affiliate of the bank has ceased to be well capitalized or well managed. The notification must identify the depository institution affiliate and the area(s) of noncompliance.

(3) Execution of agreement. Within 45 days after receiving a notice from the Board under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, or such additional period of time as the Board may permit, the:

(i) State member bank must execute an agreement acceptable to the Board to comply with all applicable capital, management, asset and safeguard requirements; and

(ii) Any relevant depository institution affiliate of the state member bank must execute an agreement acceptable to its appropriate Federal banking agency to comply with all applicable capital and management requirements.

(4) Agreement requirements. Any agreement required by paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section must:

(i) Explain the specific actions that the state member bank will take to correct all areas of noncompliance;

(ii) Provide a schedule within which each action will be taken; and

(iii) Provide any other information the Board may require.

(5) Imposition of limits. Until the Board determines that the conditions described in the notice under paragraph (a)(1) of this section are corrected:

(i) The Board may impose any limitations on the conduct or activities of the state member bank or any subsidiary of the bank as the Board determines to be appropriate under the circumstances and consistent with the purposes of section 121 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, including requiring the Board's prior approval for any financial subsidiary of the bank to acquire any company or engage in any additional activity; and

(ii) The appropriate Federal banking agency for any relevant depository institution affiliate may impose any limitations on the conduct or activities of the depository institution or any subsidiary of that institution as the agency determines to be appropriate under the circumstances and consistent with the purposes of section 121 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

(6) Divestiture. The Board may require a state member bank to divest control of any financial subsidiary if the conditions described in a notice under paragraph (a)(1) of this section are not corrected within 180 days of receipt of the notice or such additional period of time as the Board may permit. Any divestiture must be completed in accordance with any terms and conditions established by the Board.

(7) Consultation. The Board will consult with all relevant Federal and state regulatory authorities in taking any action under this paragraph (a).

(b) Debt rating or alternative requirement. If a state member bank does not continue to meet any applicable debt rating or alternative requirement of section 208.71(b), the bank may not, directly or through a subsidiary, purchase or acquire any additional equity capital of any financial subsidiary until the bank restores its compliance with the requirements of that section. For purposes of this paragraph (b), the term "equity capital" includes, in addition to any equity instrument, any debt instrument issued by the financial subsidiary if the debt instrument qualifies as capital of the subsidiary under any Federal or state law, regulation or interpretation applicable to the subsidiary.

Section 208.75--What happens if the state member bank or any of its insured depository institution affiliates receives less than a "satisfactory" CRA rating?

(a) Limits on establishment of financial subsidiaries and expansion of existing financial subsidiaries. If a state member bank, or any insured depository institution affiliate of the bank, has received less than a "satisfactory" rating in meeting community credit needs in its most recent examination under the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (12 U.S.C. 2901 et seq.):

(1) The state member bank may not, directly or indirectly, acquire control of any financial subsidiary; and

(2) Any financial subsidiary controlled by the state member bank may not commence any additional activity or acquire control, including all or substantially all of the assets, of any company.

(b) Exception for certain activities. The prohibition in paragraph (a)(2) of this section does not apply to any activity, or to the acquisition of control of any company that is engaged only in activities, that the state member bank is permitted to conduct directly and that are conducted on the same terms and conditions that govern the conduct of the activity by the state member bank.

(c) Duration of prohibitions. The prohibitions described in paragraph (a) of this section shall continue in effect until such time as the state member bank and each insured depository institution affiliate of the state member bank has achieved at least a "satisfactory" rating in meeting community credit needs in its most recent examination under the Community Reinvestment Act.

Section 208.76--What Federal Reserve approvals are necessary for financial subsidiaries?

(a) Notice requirements.

(1) A state member bank may not acquire control of, or an interest in, a financial subsidiary unless it files a notice (in letter form, with enclosures) with the appropriate Reserve Bank.

(2) A state member bank may not engage in any additional activity pursuant to section 208.72(a)(1) or (2) through an existing financial subsidiary unless the state member bank files a notice (in letter form, with enclosures) with the appropriate Reserve Bank.

(b) Contents of Notice. Any notice required by paragraph (a) of this section must:

(1) In the case of a notice filed under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, describe the transaction(s) through which the bank proposes to acquire control of, or an interest in, the financial subsidiary;

(2) Provide the name and head office address of the financial subsidiary;

(3) Provide a description of the current and proposed activities of the financial subsidiary and the specific authority permitting each activity;

(4) Provide the capital ratios as of the close of the previous calendar quarter for all relevant capital measures, as defined in section 38 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1831o), for the bank and each of its depository institution affiliates;

(5) Certify that the bank and each of its depository institution affiliates was well capitalized at the close of the previous calendar quarter and is well capitalized as of the date the bank files its notice;

(6) Certify that the bank and each of its depository institution affiliates is well managed as of the date the bank files its notice;

(7) Certify that the bank meets the debt rating or alternative requirement of section 208.71(b), if applicable; and

(8) Certify that the bank and its financial subsidiaries are in compliance with the asset limit set forth in section 208.71(a)(2) both before the proposal and on a pro forma basis.

(b) Insurance activities.

(1) If a notice filed under paragraph (a) of this section relates to the initial affiliation of the bank with a company engaged in insurance activities, the notice must describe the type of insurance activity that the company is engaged in or plans to conduct and identify each state where the company holds an insurance license and the state insurance regulatory authority that issued the license.

(2) The appropriate Reserve Bank will send a copy of any notice described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section to the appropriate state insurance regulatory authorities and provide such authorities with an opportunity to comment on the proposal.

(d) Approval procedures. A notice filed with the appropriate Reserve Bank under paragraph (a) of this section will be deemed approved on the fifteenth day after receipt of a complete notice by the appropriate Reserve Bank, unless prior to that date the Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank notifies the bank that the notice is approved, that the notice will require additional review, or that the bank does not meet the requirements of this subpart. Any notification of early approval of a notice must be in writing.

Section 208.77--Definitions.

The following definitions shall apply for purposes of this subpart:

(a) Affiliate, Company, Control, and Subsidiary. The terms "affiliate", "company", "control", and "subsidiary" have the meanings given those terms in section 2 of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841).

(b) Appropriate Federal Banking Agency, Depository Institution, Insured Bank and Insured Depository Institution. The terms "appropriate Federal banking agency", "depository institution", "insured bank" and "insured depository institution" have the meanings given those terms in section 3 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813).

(c) Capital-related definitions.

(1) The terms "Tier I capital", "tangible equity", "risk-weighted assets" and "total assets" have the meanings given those terms in section 208.41 of this part.

(2) The terms "Tier 2 capital" and "average total assets" have the meanings given those terms in Appendix A and Appendix B of this part, respectively.

(d) Eligible Debt. The term "eligible debt" means unsecured debt with an initial maturity of more than 360 days that:

(1) Is not supported by any form of credit enhancement, including a guarantee or standby letter of credit; and

(2) Is not held in whole or in any significant part by any affiliate, officer, director, principal shareholder, or employee of the bank or any other person acting on behalf of or with funds from the bank or an affiliate of the bank.

(e) Financial Subsidiary.

(1) In general. The term "financial subsidiary" means any company that is controlled by one or more insured depository institutions other than:

(i) A subsidiary that engages only in activities that the state member bank is permitted to engage in directly and that are conducted on the same terms and conditions that govern the conduct of the activities by the state member bank; or

(ii) A subsidiary that the state member bank is specifically authorized by the express terms of a Federal statute (other than section 9 of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 335)), and not by implication or interpretation, to control, such as by section 25 or 25A of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 601-604a, 611-631) or the Bank Service Company Act (12 U.S.C. 1861 et seq.).

(3) Subsidiaries of financial subsidiaries. A financial subsidiary includes any company that is directly or indirectly controlled by the financial subsidiary.

(f) Long-term Issuer Credit Rating. The term "long-term issuer credit rating" means a written opinion issued by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization of the bank's overall capacity and willingness to pay on a timely basis its unsecured, dollar-denominated financial obligations maturing in not less than one year.

(g) Well Capitalized.

(1) Insured depository institutions. An insured depository institution is "well capitalized" if it has and maintains at least the capital levels required to be well capitalized under the capital adequacy regulations or guidelines adopted by the institution's appropriate Federal banking agency under section 38 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1831o).

(2) Uninsured depository institutions. A depository institution the deposits of which are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is "well capitalized" if the institution has and maintains at least the capital levels required for an insured depository institution to be well capitalized.

(h) Well Managed.

(1) In general. The term "well managed" means:

(i) Unless otherwise determined in writing by the appropriate Federal banking agency, the institution has received a composite rating of 1 or 2 under the Uniform Financial Institutions Rating System (or an equivalent rating under an equivalent rating system) and at least a rating of 2 for management (if such rating is given) in connection with its most recent examination or subsequent review by the institution's appropriate Federal banking agency (or the appropriate state banking agency in an examination described in section 10(d) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1820(d)); or

(ii) In the case of any depository institution that has not been examined by its appropriate Federal banking agency or been subject to an examination by its appropriate state banking agency that meets the requirements of section 10(d) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (18 U.S.C. 1820(d)), the existence and use of managerial resources that the appropriate Federal banking agency determines are satisfactory.

(2) Merged depository institutions.

(i) Merger involving well managed institutions. A depository institution that results from the merger of two or more depository institutions that are well managed will be considered to be well managed unless the appropriate Federal banking agency for the resulting depository institution determines otherwise.

(ii) Merger involving a poorly rated institution. A depository institution that results from the merger of a well managed depository institution with one or more depository institutions that are not well managed or that have not been examined shall be considered to be well managed if the appropriate Federal banking agency for the resulting depository institution determines that the institution is well managed.
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Publication:Federal Reserve Bulletin
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2001
Words:3978
Previous Article:Minutes of the meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee held on June 26-27, 2001.
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