12 CFR § 615.5230 - Implementation of cooperative principles.
(a) Voting stockholders of Farm Credit banks and associations shall be accorded full voting rights in accordance with cooperative principles, including those set forth in § 611.350 of this chapter. Except as otherwise required by statute or regulation, and except as modified by paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, the voting rights of each voting shareholder are as follows:
(1) Each voting stockholder of a Farm Credit Bank has only one vote that is assigned a weight proportional to the number of that association's voting stockholders and has the right to vote in the election of each stockholder-elected director and to cumulate such votes and distribute them among the candidates in the stockholder's discretion, except that cumulative voting for directors may be eliminated if 75 percent of the associations that are stockholders of the Farm Credit Bank vote in favor of elimination. In a vote to eliminate cumulative voting, each association shall be accorded one vote.
(2) Each voting stockholder of an agricultural credit bank has only one vote, unless another voting scheme has been approved by the Farm Credit Administration.
(3) Each voting stockholder of an association or bank for cooperatives has only one vote, regardless of the number of shares owned or the number of loans outstanding. Unless regional election of directors is provided for in the bylaws pursuant to § 615.5230(b), each voting stockholder of an association or bank for cooperatives has the right to vote in the election of each stockholder-elected director. Unless otherwise provided in the capitalization bylaws, each voting stockholder of an association or bank for cooperatives is allowed to cumulate such votes and distribute them among the candidates in the stockholder's discretion. Cumulative voting is not allowed in the regional election of stockholder-elected directors.
(b) The regional election of stockholder-elected directors is only permitted under the following conditions:
(1) A bylaw establishing regional elections is approved by a majority of voting stockholders, voting in person or by proxy, prior to implementation.
(2) The bylaw provides that the use of regional election of stockholder-elected directors does not prevent all voting stockholders of the institution, regardless of the region where they reside or conduct agricultural or aquatic operations, from voting in any stockholder vote to remove a director.
(3) There are an approximately equal number of voting stockholders in each of the institution's voting regions. Regions will have an approximately equal number of voting stockholders if the number of voting stockholders in any one region does not exceed the number of voting stockholders in any other region by more than 25 percent. At least once every 3 years, the institution must count the number of voting stockholders in each region and, if the regions do not have an approximately equal number of stockholders, the regional boundaries must be adjusted to achieve such result.
(4) An institution may provide for more than one director to represent a region. Institutions providing for more than one director to represent a region will determine the equitability of the regions by dividing the number of voting stockholders in that region by the number of director positions representing that region, and the resulting quotient shall be the number that is compared to the number of voting stockholders in other regions.
(5) Each voting stockholder is accorded the right to vote in the election of each stockholder-elected director for his or her region.
(c) Each equityholder of each institution shall be equitably treated in the operation of the institution.
(1) Each issuance of preferred stock (other than preferred stock outstanding on October 5, 1988, and stock into which such outstanding stock is converted that has substantially similar preferences) shall be approved by a majority of the shares voting of each class of equities adversely affected by the preference, voting as a class, whether or not such classes are otherwise authorized to vote;
(2) Any dividends paid to the holders of common stock and participation certificates shall be on a per share basis and without preference as to rate or priority of payment between classes of common stock, between classes of participation certificates, between classes of common stock and classes of participation certificates, or between holders of the same class of stock or participation certificates, except that any class of common stock or participation certificates that result from the conversion of allocated surplus may be subordinated to other classes of common stock and participation certificates in the payment of dividends.
(3) Any patronage refunds that are paid shall be paid in accordance with cooperative principles, on an equitable and nondiscriminatory basis determined by the board of directors in accordance with the capitalization bylaws, provided that any earning pools that may be established for the payment of patronage shall be established on a rational and equitable basis that will ensure that each patron of the institution receives its fair share of the earnings of the institution and bears its fair share of the expenses of the institution.
(4) All classes of common stock and participation certificates (except those resulting from a conversion of allocated surplus) must be accorded the same priority with respect to impairment and restoration of impairment and have the same rights and priority upon liquidation.
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