12 CFR § 221.106 - Reliance in “good faith” on statement of purpose of loan.

§ 221.106 Reliance in “good faith” on statement of purpose of loan.

(a) Certain situations have arisen from time to time under this part wherein it appeared doubtful that, in the circumstances, the lending banks may have been entitled to rely upon the statements accepted by them in determining whether the purposes of certain loans were such as to cause the loans to be not subject to the part.

(b) The use by a lending bank of a statement in determining the purpose of a particular loan is, of course, provided for by § 221.3(c). However, under that paragraph a lending bank may accept such statement only if it is “acting in good faith.” As the Board stated in the interpretation contained in § 221.101, the “requirement of ‘good faith’ is of vital importance”; and, to fulfill such requirement, “it is clear that the bank must be alert to the circumstances surrounding the loan.”

(c) Obviously, such a statement would not be accepted by the bank in “good faith” if at the time the loan was made the bank had knowledge, from any source, of facts or circumstances which were contrary to the natural purport of the statement, or which were sufficient reasonably to put the bank on notice of the questionable reliability or completeness of the statement.

(d) Furthermore, the same requirement of “good faith” is to be applied whether the statement accepted by the bank is signed by the borrower or by an officer of the bank. In either case, “good faith” requires the exercise of special diligence in any instance in which the borrower is not personally known to the bank or to the officer who processes the loan.

(e) The interpretation set forth in § 221.101 contains an example of the application of the “good faith” test. There it was stated that “if the loan is to be made to a customer who is not a broker or dealer in securities, but such a broker or dealer is to deliver margin stock to secure the loan or is to receive the proceeds of the loan, the bank would be put on notice that the loan would probably be subject to this part. It could not accept in good faith a statement to the contrary without obtaining a reliable and satisfactory explanation of the situation”.

(f) Moreover, and as also stated by the interpretation contained in § 221.101, the purpose of a loan, of course, “cannot be altered by some temporary application of the proceeds. For example, if a borrower is to purchase Government securities with the proceeds of a loan, but is soon thereafter to sell such securities and replace them with margin stock, the loan is clearly for the purpose of purchasing or carrying margin stock”. The purpose of a loan therefore, should not be determined upon a narrow analysis of the immediate use to which the proceeds of the loan are put. Accordingly, a bank acting in “good faith” should carefully scrutinize cases in which there is any indication that the borrower is concealing the true purpose of the loan, and there would be reason for special vigilance if margin stock is substituted for bonds or nonmargin stock soon after the loan is made, or on more than one occasion.

(g) Similarly, the fact that a loan made on the borrower's signature only, for example, becomes secured by margin stock shortly after the disbursement of the loan usually would afford reasonable grounds for questioning the bank's apparent reliance upon merely a statement that the purpose of the loan was not to purchase or carry margin stock.

(h) The examples in this section are, of course, by no means exhaustive. They simply illustrate the fundamental fact that no statement accepted by a lender is of any value for the purposes of this part unless the lender accepting the statement is “acting in good faith”, and that “good faith” requires, among other things, reasonable diligence to learn the truth.

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