(a)Investment in real estate necessary for the transaction of business—(1) General. Under 12 U.S.C. 29(First), a national bank may invest in real estate that is necessary for the transaction of its business.
(2)Type of real estate. For purposes of 12 U.S.C. 29(First), this real estate includes:
(i) Premises that are owned and occupied (or to be occupied, if under construction) by the bank, its branches, or its consolidated subsidiaries;
(ii) Real estate acquired and intended, in good faith, for use in future expansion;
(iii) Parking facilities that are used by customers or employees of the bank, its branches, and its consolidated subsidiaries;
(iv) Residential property for the use of bank officers or employees who are:
(A) Located in remote areas where suitable housing at a reasonable price is not readily available; or
(B) Temporarily assigned to a foreign country, including foreign nationals temporarily assigned to the United States; and
(v) Property for the use of bank officers, employees, or customers, or for the temporary lodging of such persons in areas where suitable commercial lodging is not readily available, provided that the purchase and operation of the property qualifies as a deductible business expense for Federal tax purposes.
(3)Permissible means of holding. A national bank may acquire and hold real estate under this paragraph (a) by any reasonable and prudent means, including ownership in fee, a leasehold estate, or in an interest in a cooperative. The bank may hold this real estate directly or through one or more subsidiaries. The bank may organize a bank premises subsidiary as a corporation, partnership, or similar entity (e.g., a limited liability company).
(b)Fixed assets. A national bank may own fixed assets necessary for the transaction of its business, such as fixtures, furniture, and data processing equipment.
(c)Investment in bank premises—(1) Investment limitation; approval.12 U.S.C. 371d governs when OCC approval is required for national bank investment in bank premises. A bank may seek approval from the OCC in accordance with the procedures set forth in 12 CFR 5.37.
(2)Option to purchase. An unexercised option to purchase bank premises or stock in a corporation holding bank premises is not an investment in bank premises. A national bank must receive OCC approval to exercise the option if the price of the option and the bank's other investments in bank premises exceed the amount of the bank's capital stock.
(d)Other real property—(1) Lease financing of public facilities. A national bank may purchase or construct a municipal building, school building, or other similar public facility and, as holder of legal title, lease the facility to a municipality or other public authority having resources sufficient to make all rental payments as they become due. The lease agreement must provide that the lessee will become the owner of the building or facility upon the expiration of the lease.
(2)Purchase of employee's residence. To facilitate the efficient use of bank personnel, a national bank may purchase the residence of an employee who has been transferred to another area in order to spare the employee a loss in the prevailing real estate market. The bank must arrange for early divestment of title to such property.