12 CFR § 220.4 - Margin account.

§ 220.4 Margin account.

(a) Margin transactions.

(1) All transactions not specifically authorized for inclusion in another account shall be recorded in the margin account.

(2) A creditor may establish separate margin accounts for the same person to:

(i) Clear transactions for other creditors where the transactions are introduced to the clearing creditor by separate creditors; or

(ii) Clear transactions through other creditors if the transactions are cleared by separate creditors; or

(iii) Provide one or more accounts over which the creditor or a third party investment adviser has investment discretion.

(b) Required margin—(1) Applicability. The required margin for each long or short position in securities is set forth in § 220.12 (the Supplement) and is subject to the following exceptions and special provisions.

(2) Short sale against the box. A short sale “against the box” shall be treated as a long sale for the purpose of computing the equity and the required margin.

(3) When-issued securities. The required margin on a net long or net short commitment in a when-issued security is the margin that would be required if the security were an issued margin security, plus any unrealized loss on the commitment or less any unrealized gain.

(4) Stock used as cover.

(i) When a short position held in the account serves in lieu of the required margin for a short put, the amount prescribed by paragraph (b)(1) of this section as the amount to be added to the required margin in respect of short sales shall be increased by any unrealized loss on the position.

(ii) When a security held in the account serves in lieu of the required margin for a short call, the security shall be valued at no greater than the exercise price of the short call.

(5) Accounts of partners. If a partner of the creditor has a margin account with the creditor, the creditor shall disregard the partner's financial relations with the firm (as shown in the partner's capital and ordinary drawing accounts) in calculating the margin or equity of the partner's margin account.

(6) Contribution to joint venture. If a margin account is the account of a joint venture in which the creditor participates, any interest of the creditor in the joint account in excess of the interest which the creditor would have on the basis of its right to share in the profits shall be treated as an extension of credit to the joint account and shall be margined as such.

(7) Transfer of accounts.

(i) A margin account that is transferred from one creditor to another may be treated as if it had been maintained by the transferee from the date of its origin, if the transferee accepts, in good faith, a signed statement of the transferor (or, if that is not practicable, of the customer), that any margin call issued under this part has been satisfied.

(ii) A margin account that is transferred from one customer to another as part of a transaction, not undertaken to avoid the requirements of this part, may be treated as if it had been maintained for the transferee from the date of its origin, if the creditor accepts in good faith and keeps with the transferee account a signed statement of the transferor describing the circumstances for the transfer.

(8) Sound credit judgment. In exercising sound credit judgment to determine the margin required in good faith pursuant to § 220.12 (the Supplement), the creditor shall make its determination for a specified security position without regard to the customer's other assets or securities positions held in connection with unrelated transactions.

(c) When additional margin is required—(1) Computing deficiency. All transactions on the same day shall be combined to determine whether additional margin is required by the creditor. For the purpose of computing equity in an account, security positions are established or eliminated and a credit or debit created on the trade date of a security transaction. Additional margin is required on any day when the day's transactions create or increase a margin deficiency in the account and shall be for the amount of the margin deficiency so created or increased.

(2) Satisfaction of deficiency. The additional required margin may be satisfied by a transfer from the special memorandum account or by a deposit of cash, margin securities, exempted securities, or any combination thereof.

(3) Time limits.

(i) A margin call shall be satisfied within one payment period after the margin deficiency was created or increased.

(ii) The payment period may be extended for one or more limited periods upon application by the creditor to its examining authority unless the examining authority believes that the creditor is not acting in good faith or that the creditor has not sufficiently determined that exceptional circumstances warrant such action. Applications shall be filed and acted upon prior to the end of the payment period or the expiration of any subsequent extension.

(4) Satisfaction restriction. Any transaction, position, or deposit that is used to satisfy one requirement under this part shall be unavailable to satisfy any other requirement.

(d) Liquidation in lieu of deposit. If any margin call is not met in full within the required time, the creditor shall liquidate securities sufficient to meet the margin call or to eliminate any margin deficiency existing on the day such liquidation is required, whichever is less. If the margin deficiency created or increased is $1000 or less, no action need be taken by the creditor.

(e) Withdrawals of cash or securities.

(1) Cash or securities may be withdrawn from an account, except if:

(i) Additional cash or securities are required to be deposited into the account for a transaction on the same or a previous day; or

(ii) The withdrawal, together with other transactions, deposits, and withdrawals on the same day, would create or increase a margin deficiency.

(2) Margin excess may be withdrawn or may be transferred to the special memorandum account (§ 220.5) by making a single entry to that account which will represent a debit to the margin account and a credit to the special memorandum account.

(3) If a creditor does not receive a distribution of cash or securities which is payable with respect to any security in a margin account on the day it is payable and withdrawal would not be permitted under this paragraph (e), a withdrawal transaction shall be deemed to have occurred on the day the distribution is payable.

(f) Interest, service charges, etc.

(1) Without regard to the other provisions of this section, the creditor, in its usual practice, may debit the following items to a margin account if they are considered in calculating the balance of such account:

(i) Interest charged on credit maintained in the margin account;

(ii) Premiums on securities borrowed in connection with short sales or to effect delivery;

(iii) Dividends, interest, or other distributions due on borrowed securities;

(iv) Communication or shipping charges with respect to transactions in the margin account; and

(v) Any other service charges which the creditor may impose.

(2) A creditor may permit interest, dividends, or other distributions credited to a margin account to be withdrawn from the account if:

(i) The withdrawal does not create or increase a margin deficiency in the account; or

(ii) The current market value of any securities withdrawn does not exceed 10 percent of the current market value of the security with respect to which they were distributed.

[Reg. T, 63 FR 2823, Jan. 16, 1998]