(a)Background. In 1982, the Board issued an interpretation concerning the effect of a member bank's purchase of its own time deposits in the secondary market in order to ensure compliance with regulatory restrictions on the payment of interest on time deposits, with the prohibition against payment of interest on demand deposits, and with regulatory requirements designed to distinguish between time deposits and demand deposits for federal reserve requirement purposes (47 FR 37878, Aug. 27, 1982). The interpretation was designed to ensure that the regulatory early withdrawal penalties in Regulation Q used to achieve these three purposes were not evaded through the purchase by a member bank or its affiliate of a time deposit of the member bank prior to the maturity of the deposit.
(b) Because the expiration of the Depository Institutions Deregulation Act (title II of Pub. L. 96-221) on April 1, 1986, removed the authority to set interest rate ceilings on deposits, one of the purposes for adopting the interpretation was eliminated. The removal of the authority to set interest rate ceilings on deposits required the Board to revise the early withdrawal penalties which were also used to distinguish between types of deposits for reserve requirement purposes. Effective April 1, 1986, the Board amended its Regulation D to incorporate early withdrawal penalties applicable to all depository institutions for this purpose (51 FR 9629, Mar. 20, 1986). Although the new early withdrawal penalties differ from the penalties used to enforce interest rate ceilings, secondary market purchases still effectively shorten the maturities of deposits and may be used to evade reserve requirements. This interpretation replaces the prior interpretation and states the application of the new early withdrawal penalties to purchases by depository institutions and their affiliates of the depository institution's time deposits. The interpretation applies only to situations in which the Board's regulatory penalties apply.
(c)Secondary market purchases under the rule. The Board has determined that a depository institution purchasing a time deposit it has issued should be regarded as having paid the time deposit prior to maturity. The effect of the transaction is that the depository institution has cancelled a liability as opposed to having acquired an asset for its portfolio. Thus, the depository institution is required to impose any early withdrawal penalty required by Regulation D on the party from whom it purchases the instrument by deducting the amount of the penalty from the purchase price. The Board recognizes, however, that secondary market sales of time deposits are often done without regard to the identity of the original owner of the deposit. Such sales typically involve a pool of time deposits with the price based on the aggregate face value and average rate of return on the deposits. A depository institution purchasing time deposits from persons other than the person to whom the deposit was originally issued should be aware of the parties named on each of the deposits it is purchasing but through failure to inspect the deposits prior to the purchase may not be aware at the time it purchases a pool of time deposits that it originally issued one or more of the deposits in the pool. In such cases, if a purchasing depository institution does not wish to assess an applicable early withdrawal penalty, the deposit may be sold immediately in the secondary market as an alternative to imposing the early withdrawal penalty.
(d)Purchases by affiliates. On a consolidated basis, if an affiliate (as defined in § 204.2(q) of Regulation D) of a depository institution purchases a CD issued by the depository institution, the purchase does not reduce their consolidated liabilities and could be accomplished primarily to assist the depository institution in avoiding the requirements of the Board's Regulation D. Because the effect of the early withdrawal penalty rule could be easily circumvented by purchases of time deposits by affiliates, such purchases are also regarded as an early withdrawals of the time deposit, and the purchase should be treated as if the depository institution made the purchase directly. Thus, the regulatory requirements for early withdrawal penalties apply to affiliates of a depository institution as well as to the institution itself.
(e)Depository institution acting as broker. The Board believes that it is permissible for a depository institution to facilitate the secondary market for its own time deposits by finding a purchaser for a time deposit that a customer is trying to sell. In such instances, the depository institution will not be paying out any of its own funds, and the depositor does not have a guarantee that the depository institution will actually be able to find a buyer.
(f)Third-party market-makers. A depository institution may also establish and advertise arrangements whereby an unaffiliated third party agrees in advance to purchase time deposits issued by the institution. The Board would not regard these transactions as inconsistent with the purposes that the early withdrawal penalty is intended to serve unless a depository institution pays a fee to the third party purchaser as compensation for making the purchases or to remove the risk from purchasing the deposits. In this regard, any interim financing provided to such a third party by a depository institution in connection with the institution's secondary market activity involving the institution's time deposits must be made substantially on the same terms, including interest rates and collateral, as those prevailing at the same time for comparable transactions with other similarly situated persons and may not involve more than the normal risk of repayment.
(g)Reciprocal arrangements. Finally, while a depository institution may enter into an arrangement with an unaffiliated third party wherein the third party agrees to stand ready to purchase time deposits held by the depository institution's customers, the Board will regard a reciprocal arrangement with another depository institution for purchase of each other's time deposits as a circumvention of the early withdrawal penalty rule and the purposes it is designed to serve.
[52 FR 47697, Dec. 16, 1987]
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