12 CFR § 3.20 - Capital components and eligibility criteria for regulatory capital instruments.

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§ 3.20 Capital components and eligibility criteria for regulatory capital instruments.

(a) Regulatory capital components. A national bank's or Federal savings association's regulatory capital components are:

(1) Common equity tier 1 capital;

(2) Additional tier 1 capital; and

(3) Tier 2 capital.

(b) Common equity tier 1 capital. Common equity tier 1 capital is the sum of the common equity tier 1 capital elements in this paragraph (b), minus regulatory adjustments and deductions in § 3.22. The common equity tier 1 capital elements are:

(1) Any common stock instruments (plus any related surplus) issued by the national bank or Federal savings association, net of treasury stock, and any capital instruments issued by mutual banking organizations, that meet all the following criteria:

(i) The instrument is paid-in, issued directly by the national bank or Federal savings association, and represents the most subordinated claim in a receivership, insolvency, liquidation, or similar proceeding of the national bank or Federal savings association;

(ii) The holder of the instrument is entitled to a claim on the residual assets of the national bank or Federal savings association that is proportional with the holder's share of the national bank's or Federal savings association's issued capital after all senior claims have been satisfied in a receivership, insolvency, liquidation, or similar proceeding;

(iii) The instrument has no maturity date, can only be redeemed via discretionary repurchases with the prior approval of the OCC, and does not contain any term or feature that creates an incentive to redeem;

(iv) The national bank or Federal savings association did not create at issuance of the instrument through any action or communication an expectation that it will buy back, cancel, or redeem the instrument, and the instrument does not include any term or feature that might give rise to such an expectation;

(v) Any cash dividend payments on the instrument are paid out of the national bank's or Federal savings association's net income or retained earnings and are not subject to a limit imposed by the contractual terms governing the instrument.

(vi) The national bank or Federal savings association has full discretion at all times to refrain from paying any dividends and making any other distributions on the instrument without triggering an event of default, a requirement to make a payment-in-kind, or an imposition of any other restrictions on the national bank or Federal savings association;

(vii) Dividend payments and any other distributions on the instrument may be paid only after all legal and contractual obligations of the national bank or Federal savings association have been satisfied, including payments due on more senior claims;

(viii) The holders of the instrument bear losses as they occur equally, proportionately, and simultaneously with the holders of all other common stock instruments before any losses are borne by holders of claims on the national bank or Federal savings association with greater priority in a receivership, insolvency, liquidation, or similar proceeding;

(ix) The paid-in amount is classified as equity under GAAP;

(x) The national bank or Federal savings association, or an entity that the national bank or Federal savings association controls, did not purchase or directly or indirectly fund the purchase of the instrument;

(xi) The instrument is not secured, not covered by a guarantee of the national bank or Federal savings association or of an affiliate of the national bank or Federal savings association, and is not subject to any other arrangement that legally or economically enhances the seniority of the instrument;

(xii) The instrument has been issued in accordance with applicable laws and regulations; and

(xiii) The instrument is reported on the national bank's or Federal savings association's regulatory financial statements separately from other capital instruments.

(2) Retained earnings.

(3) Accumulated other comprehensive income (AOCI) as reported under GAAP. 1

1See § 3.22 for specific adjustments related to AOCI.

(4) Any common equity tier 1 minority interest, subject to the limitations in § 3.21.

(5) Notwithstanding the criteria for common stock instruments referenced above, a national bank's or Federal savings association's common stock issued and held in trust for the benefit of its employees as part of an employee stock ownership plan does not violate any of the criteria in paragraph (b)(1)(iii), paragraph (b)(1)(iv) or paragraph (b)(1)(xi) of this section, provided that any repurchase of the stock is required solely by virtue of ERISA for an instrument of a national bank or Federal savings association that is not publicly-traded. In addition, an instrument issued by a national bank or Federal savings association to its employee stock ownership plan does not violate the criterion in paragraph (b)(1)(x) of this section.

(c) Additional tier 1 capital. Additional tier 1 capital is the sum of additional tier 1 capital elements and any related surplus, minus the regulatory adjustments and deductions in § 3.22. Additional tier 1 capital elements are:

(1) Instruments (plus any related surplus) that meet the following criteria:

(i) The instrument is issued and paid-in;

(ii) The instrument is subordinated to depositors, general creditors, and subordinated debt holders of the national bank or Federal savings association in a receivership, insolvency, liquidation, or similar proceeding;

(iii) The instrument is not secured, not covered by a guarantee of the national bank or Federal savings association or of an affiliate of the national bank or Federal savings association, and not subject to any other arrangement that legally or economically enhances the seniority of the instrument;

(iv) The instrument has no maturity date and does not contain a dividend step-up or any other term or feature that creates an incentive to redeem; and

(v) If callable by its terms, the instrument may be called by the national bank or Federal savings association only after a minimum of five years following issuance, except that the terms of the instrument may allow it to be called earlier than five years upon the occurrence of a regulatory event that precludes the instrument from being included in additional tier 1 capital, a tax event, or if the issuing entity is required to register as an investment company pursuant to the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-1 et seq.). In addition:

(A) The national bank or Federal savings association must receive prior approval from the OCC to exercise a call option on the instrument.

(B) The national bank or Federal savings association does not create at issuance of the instrument, through any action or communication, an expectation that the call option will be exercised.

(C) Prior to exercising the call option, or immediately thereafter, the national bank or Federal savings association must either: Replace the instrument to be called with an equal amount of instruments that meet the criteria under paragraph (b) of this section or this paragraph (c); 2 or demonstrate to the satisfaction of the OCC that following redemption, the national bank or Federal savings association will continue to hold capital commensurate with its risk.

2 Replacement can be concurrent with redemption of existing additional tier 1 capital instruments.

(vi) Redemption or repurchase of the instrument requires prior approval from the OCC.

(vii) The national bank or Federal savings association has full discretion at all times to cancel dividends or other distributions on the instrument without triggering an event of default, a requirement to make a payment-in-kind, or an imposition of other restrictions on the national bank or Federal savings association except in relation to any distributions to holders of common stock or instruments that are pari passu with the instrument.

(viii) Any cash dividend payments on the instrument are paid out of the national bank's or Federal savings association's net income or retained earnings.

(ix) The instrument does not have a credit-sensitive feature, such as a dividend rate that is reset periodically based in whole or in part on the national bank's or Federal savings association's credit quality, but may have a dividend rate that is adjusted periodically independent of the national bank's or Federal savings association's credit quality, in relation to general market interest rates or similar adjustments.

(x) The paid-in amount is classified as equity under GAAP.

(xi) The national bank or Federal savings association, or an entity that the national bank or Federal savings association controls, did not purchase or directly or indirectly fund the purchase of the instrument.

(xii) The instrument does not have any features that would limit or discourage additional issuance of capital by the national bank or Federal savings association, such as provisions that require the national bank or Federal savings association to compensate holders of the instrument if a new instrument is issued at a lower price during a specified time frame.

(xiii) If the instrument is not issued directly by the national bank or Federal savings association or by a subsidiary of the national bank or Federal savings association that is an operating entity, the only asset of the issuing entity is its investment in the capital of the national bank or Federal savings association, and proceeds must be immediately available without limitation to the national bank or Federal savings association or to the national bank's or Federal savings association's top-tier holding company in a form which meets or exceeds all of the other criteria for additional tier 1 capital instruments. 3

3De minimis assets related to the operation of the issuing entity can be disregarded for purposes of this criterion.

(xiv) For an advanced approaches national bank or Federal savings association, the governing agreement, offering circular, or prospectus of an instrument issued after the date upon which the national bank or Federal savings association becomes subject to this part as set forth in § 3.1(f) must disclose that the holders of the instrument may be fully subordinated to interests held by the U.S. government in the event that the national bank or Federal savings association enters into a receivership, insolvency, liquidation, or similar proceeding.

(2) Tier 1 minority interest, subject to the limitations in § 3.21, that is not included in the national bank's or Federal savings association's common equity tier 1 capital.

(3)

(i) Any and all instruments that qualified as tier 1 capital under the OCC's general risk-based capital rules under appendix A to this part (national banks), 12 CFR part 167 (Federal savings associations) as then in effect, that were issued under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 4 or prior to October 4, 2010, under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. 5

(ii) Any preferred stock instruments issued under the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Emergency Capital Investment Program pursuant to section 104A of the Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act of 1994, added by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. 6

(4) Notwithstanding the criteria for additional tier 1 capital instruments referenced above:

(i) An instrument issued by a national bank or Federal savings association and held in trust for the benefit of its employees as part of an employee stock ownership plan does not violate any of the criteria in paragraph (c)(1)(iii) of this section, provided that any repurchase is required solely by virtue of ERISA for an instrument of a national bank or Federal savings association that is not publicly-traded. In addition, an instrument issued by a national bank or Federal savings association to its employee stock ownership plan does not violate the criteria in paragraph (c)(1)(v) or paragraph (c)(1)(xi) of this section; and

(ii) An instrument with terms that provide that the instrument may be called earlier than five years upon the occurrence of a rating agency event does not violate the criterion in paragraph (c)(1)(v) of this section provided that the instrument was issued and included in a national bank's or Federal savings association's tier 1 capital prior to January 1, 2014, and that such instrument satisfies all other criteria under this § 3.20(c).

(d) Tier 2 Capital. Tier 2 capital is the sum of tier 2 capital elements and any related surplus, minus regulatory adjustments and deductions in § 3.22. Tier 2 capital elements are:

(1) Instruments (plus related surplus) that meet the following criteria:

(i) The instrument is issued and paid-in;

(ii) The instrument is subordinated to depositors and general creditors of the national bank or Federal savings association;

(iii) The instrument is not secured, not covered by a guarantee of the national bank or Federal savings association or of an affiliate of the national bank or Federal savings association, and not subject to any other arrangement that legally or economically enhances the seniority of the instrument in relation to more senior claims;

(iv) The instrument has a minimum original maturity of at least five years. At the beginning of each of the last five years of the life of the instrument, the amount that is eligible to be included in tier 2 capital is reduced by 20 percent of the original amount of the instrument (net of redemptions) and is excluded from regulatory capital when the remaining maturity is less than one year. In addition, the instrument must not have any terms or features that require, or create significant incentives for, the national bank or Federal savings association to redeem the instrument prior to maturity; 7 and

7 An instrument that by its terms automatically converts into a tier 1 capital instrument prior to five years after issuance complies with the five-year maturity requirement of this criterion.

(v) The instrument, by its terms, may be called by the national bank or Federal savings association only after a minimum of five years following issuance, except that the terms of the instrument may allow it to be called sooner upon the occurrence of an event that would preclude the instrument from being included in tier 2 capital, a tax event, or if the issuing entity is required to register as an investment company pursuant to the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-1 et seq.). In addition:

(A) The national bank or Federal savings association must receive the prior approval of the OCC to exercise a call option on the instrument.

(B) The national bank or Federal savings association does not create at issuance, through action or communication, an expectation the call option will be exercised.

(C) Prior to exercising the call option, or immediately thereafter, the national bank or Federal savings association must either: Replace any amount called with an equivalent amount of an instrument that meets the criteria for regulatory capital under this section; 8 or demonstrate to the satisfaction of the OCC that following redemption, the national bank or Federal savings association would continue to hold an amount of capital that is commensurate with its risk.

8 A national bank or Federal savings association may replace tier 2 capital instruments concurrent with the redemption of existing tier 2 capital instruments.

(vi) The holder of the instrument must have no contractual right to accelerate payment of principal or interest on the instrument, except in the event of a receivership, insolvency, liquidation, or similar proceeding of the national bank or Federal savings association.

(vii) The instrument has no credit-sensitive feature, such as a dividend or interest rate that is reset periodically based in whole or in part on the national bank's or Federal savings association's credit standing, but may have a dividend rate that is adjusted periodically independent of the national bank's or Federal savings association's credit standing, in relation to general market interest rates or similar adjustments.

(viii) The national bank or Federal savings association, or an entity that the national bank or Federal savings association controls, has not purchased and has not directly or indirectly funded the purchase of the instrument.

(ix) If the instrument is not issued directly by the national bank or Federal savings association or by a subsidiary of the national bank or Federal savings association that is an operating entity, the only asset of the issuing entity is its investment in the capital of the national bank or Federal savings association, and proceeds must be immediately available without limitation to the national bank or Federal savings association or the national bank's or Federal savings association's top-tier holding company in a form that meets or exceeds all the other criteria for tier 2 capital instruments under this section. 9

9 A national bank or Federal savings association may disregard de minimis assets related to the operation of the issuing entity for purposes of this criterion.

(x) Redemption of the instrument prior to maturity or repurchase requires the prior approval of the OCC.

(xi) For an advanced approaches national bank or Federal savings association, the governing agreement, offering circular, or prospectus of an instrument issued after the date on which the advanced approaches national bank or Federal savings association becomes subject to this part under § 3.1(f) must disclose that the holders of the instrument may be fully subordinated to interests held by the U.S. government in the event that the national bank or Federal savings association enters into a receivership, insolvency, liquidation, or similar proceeding.

(2) Total capital minority interest, subject to the limitations set forth in § 3.21, that is not included in the national bank's or Federal savings association's tier 1 capital.

(3) ALLL or AACL, as applicable, up to 1.25 percent of the national bank's or Federal savings association's standardized total risk-weighted assets not including any amount of the ALLL or AACL, as applicable (and excluding in the case of a market risk national bank or Federal savings association, its standardized market risk-weighted assets).

(4)

(i) Any instrument that qualified as tier 2 capital under the OCC's general risk-based capital rules under appendix A to this part, 12 CFR part 167 as then in effect, that were issued under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, 10 or prior to October 4, 2010, under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. 11

(ii) Any debt instruments issued under the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Emergency Capital Investment Program pursuant to section 104A of the Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act of 1994, added by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. 12

(5) For a national bank or Federal savings association that makes an AOCI opt-out election (as defined in paragraph (b)(2) of § 3.22), 45 percent of pretax net unrealized gains on available-for-sale preferred stock classified as an equity security under GAAP and available-for-sale equity exposures.

(6) Notwithstanding the criteria for tier 2 capital instruments referenced above, an instrument with terms that provide that the instrument may be called earlier than five years upon the occurrence of a rating agency event does not violate the criterion in paragraph (d)(1)(v) of this section provided that the instrument was issued and included in a national bank's or Federal savings association's tier 1 or tier 2 capital prior to January 1, 2014, and that such instrument satisfies all other criteria under this paragraph (d).

(e) OCC approval of a capital element.

(1) A national bank or Federal savings association must receive OCC prior approval to include a capital element (as listed in this section) in its common equity tier 1 capital, additional tier 1 capital, or tier 2 capital unless the element:

(i) Was included in a national bank's or Federal savings association's tier 1 capital or tier 2 capital prior to May 19, 2010 in accordance with the OCC's risk-based capital rules that were effective as of that date and the underlying instrument may continue to be included under the criteria set forth in this section; or

(ii) Is equivalent, in terms of capital quality and ability to absorb losses with respect to all material terms, to a regulatory capital element the OCC determined may be included in regulatory capital pursuant to paragraph (e)(3) of this section.

(2) When considering whether a national bank or Federal savings association may include a regulatory capital element in its common equity tier 1 capital, additional tier 1 capital, or tier 2 capital, the OCC will consult with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Federal Reserve Board.

(3) After determining that a regulatory capital element may be included in a national bank's or Federal savings association's common equity tier 1 capital, additional tier 1 capital, or tier 2 capital, the OCC will make its decision publicly available, including a brief description of the material terms of the regulatory capital element and the rationale for the determination.

[78 FR 62157, 62273, Oct. 11, 2013, as amended at 84 FR 4238, Feb. 14, 2019; 84 FR 35249, July 22, 2019; 86 FR 15080, Mar. 22, 2021]

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