Exception to 90-day rule in special cash account.
The Board of Governors has recently interpreted certain of the provisions of § 220.4(c)(8), with respect to the withdrawal of proceeds of a sale of stock in a “special cash account” when the stock has been sold out of the account prior to payment for its purchase.
The specific factual situation presented may be summarized as follows:
Section 220.4(c)(8) prohibits a creditor, as a general rule, from effecting a purchase of a security in a customer's special cash account if any security has been purchased in that account during the preceding 90 days and has then been sold in the account or delivered out to any broker or dealer without having been previously paid for in full by the customer. One exception to this general rule reads as follows:
Final payment of customer's check: (1) The first question is: When is the creditor to be regarded as having received “final payment of any check received” in connection with the purchase?
The clear purpose of § 220.4(c) (8) is to prevent the use of the proceeds of sale of a stock by a customer to pay for its purchase—i.e., to prevent him from trading on the creditor's funds by being able to deposit the sale proceeds prior to presentment of his own check to the drawee bank. Thus, when a customer undertakes to pay for a purchase by check, that check does not constitute payment for the purchase, within the language and intent of the above-quoted exception in § 220.4(c)(8), until it has been honored by the drawee bank, indicating the sufficiency of his account to pay the check.
The phrase “final payment of any check” is interpreted as above notwithstanding § 220.6(f), which provides that:
This is a general provision substantially the same as language found in section 4(f) of Regulation T as originally promulgated in 1934. The language of the subject exception to the 90-day rule of § 220.4(c)(8)
, i.e., the exception based expressly on final “payment of any check,” was added to the regulation in 1949 by an amendment directed at a specific type of situation. Because the exception is a special, more recent provision, and because § 220.6(f)
, if controlling, would permit the exception to undermine, to some extent, the effectiveness of the 90-day rule, sound principles of construction require that the phrase “final payment of any check” be given its literal and intended effect.
There is no fixed period of time from the moment of receipt by the payee, or of deposit, within which it is certain that any check will be paid by the drawee bank. Therefore, in the rare case where the operation of the subject exception to § 220.4(c)(8) is necessary to avoid application of the 90-day rule, a creditor should ascertain (from his bank of deposit or otherwise) the fact of payment of a customer's check given for the purchase. Having so determined the day of final payment, the creditor can permit withdrawal on any subsequent day.
Mailing as “withdrawal”: (1) Also presented is the question whether the mailing to the customer of the creditor's check for the sale proceeds constitutes a withdrawal of such proceeds by the customer at the time of mailing so that, if the check for the sale proceeds is mailed on or before the day on which the customer's check for the purchase is finally paid, the 90-day rule applies. It may be that a check mailed one day will not ordinarily be received by the customer until the next. The Board is of the view, however, that when the check for sale proceeds is issued and released into the mails, the proceeds are to be regarded as withdrawn by the customer; a more liberal interpretation would open a way for circumvention. Accordingly, the creditor's check should not be mailed nor the sale proceeds otherwise released to the customer “on or before the day” on which payment for the purchase, including final payment of any check given for such payment, is received by the creditor, as determined in accordance with the principles stated herein.
Applying the above principles to the schedule of transactions described in the second paragraph of this interpretation, the mailing of the creditor's check on “Day 9” would be consistent with the subject exception to § 220.4(c)(8), as interpreted herein, only if the customer's check was paid by the drawee bank on “Day 8”.
[27 FR 3511, Apr. 12, 1962]