12 CFR 220.117 - Exception to 90-day rule in special cash account.
(a) 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.
(b) The specific factual situation presented may be summarized as follows:
Customer purchased stock in a special cash account with a member firm on Day 1. On Day 3 customer sold the same stock at a profit. On Day 8 customer delivered his check for the cost of the purchase to the creditor (member firm). On Day 9 the creditor mailed to the customer a check for the proceeds of the sale.
(c) 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:
* * * The creditor may disregard for the purposes of this subparagraph (§ 220.4(c) (8)) a sale without prior payment provided full cash payment is received within the period described by subparagraph (2) of this paragraph (seven days after the date of purchase) and the customer has not withdrawn the proceeds of sale on or before the day on which such payment (and also final payment of any check received in that connection) is received. * * *
(d) 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?
(2) 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.
(3) The phrase “final payment of any check” is interpreted as above notwithstanding § 220.6(f), which provides that:
For the purposes of this part (Regulation T), a creditor may, at his option (1) treat the receipt in good faith of any check or draft drawn on a bank which in the ordinary course of business is payable on presentation, * * * as receipt of payment of the amount of such check, draft or order; * * *
(4) 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.
(e) 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.
(2) 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”.