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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of October 22, 2014

Title 12Chapter I → Part 160


Title 12: Banks and Banking


PART 160—LENDING AND INVESTMENT


Contents
§160.1   General.
§160.2   Applicability of law.
§160.3   Definitions.
§160.30   General lending and investment powers of Federal savings associations.
§160.31   Election regarding categorization of loans or investments and related calculations.
§160.32   Pass-through investments.
§160.33   Late charges.
§160.34   Prepayments.
§160.35   Adjustments to home loans.
§160.36   De minimis investments.
§160.37   Real estate for office and related facilities.
§160.40   Commercial paper and corporate debt securities.
§160.41   Leasing.
§160.42   State and local government obligations.
§160.43   Foreign assistance investments.
§160.50   Letters of credit and other independent undertakings—authority.
§160.60   Suretyship and guaranty.
§160.100   Real estate lending standards; purpose and scope.
§160.101   Real estate lending standards.
§160.110   Most favored lender usury preemption for all savings associations.
§160.120   Letters of credit and other independent undertakings to pay against documents.
§160.121   Investment in state housing corporations.
§160.130   Prohibition on loan procurement fees.
§160.160   Asset classification.
§160.170   Records for lending transactions.
§160.172   Re-evaluation of real estate owned.

Subpart C [Reserved]

§160.210   [Reserved]
§160.220   [Reserved]

Authority: 12 U.S.C. 1462a, 1463, 1464, 1467a, 1701j-3, 1828, 3803, 3806, 5412(b)(2)(B); 42 U.S.C. 4106.

Source: 76 FR 49030, Aug. 9, 2011, unless otherwise noted.

§160.1   General.

(a) Authority and scope. This part is being issued by the OCC under its general rulemaking and supervisory authority under the Home Owners' Loan Act (HOLA), 12 U.S.C. 1462 et seq.

(b) General lending standards. Each savings association is expected to conduct its lending and investment activities prudently. Each association should use lending and investment standards that are consistent with safety and soundness, ensure adequate portfolio diversification and are appropriate for the size and condition of the institution, the nature and scope of its operations, and conditions in its lending market. Each association should adequately monitor the condition of its portfolio and the adequacy of any collateral securing its loans.

§160.2   Applicability of law.

State law applies to the lending activities of Federal savings associations and their subsidiaries to the same extent and in the same manner that those laws apply to national banks and their subsidiaries.

§160.3   Definitions.

For purposes of this part and any determination under 12 U.S.C. 1467a(m):

Consumer loans include loans for personal, family, or household purposes and loans reasonably incident thereto, and may be made as either open-end or closed-end consumer credit (as defined at 12 CFR 226.2(a)(10) and (20)). Consumer loans do not include credit extended in connection with credit card loans, bona fide overdraft loans, and other loans that the savings association has designated as made under investment or lending authority other than section 5(c)(2)(D) of the HOLA.

Credit card is any card, plate, coupon book, or other single credit device that may be used from time to time to obtain credit.

Credit card account is a credit account established in conjunction with the issuance of, or the extension of credit through, a credit card. This term includes loans made to consolidate credit card debt, including credit card debt held by other lenders, and participation certificates, securities and similar instruments secured by credit card receivables.

Home loans include any loans made on the security of a home (including a dwelling unit in a multi-family residential property such as a condominium or a cooperative), combinations of homes and business property (i.e., a home used in part for business), farm residences, and combinations of farm residences and commercial farm real estate.

Investment grade means a security that meets the creditworthiness standards described in 12 U.S.C. 1831e.

Loan commitment includes a loan in process, a letter of credit, or any other commitment to extend credit.

Real estate loan, for purposes of this part, is a loan for which the savings association substantially relies upon a security interest in real estate given by the borrower as a condition of making the loan. A loan is made on the security of real estate if:

(1) The security property is real estate pursuant to the law of the state in which the property is located;

(2) The security interest of the Federal savings association may be enforced as a real estate mortgage or its equivalent pursuant to the law of the state in which the property is located;

(3) The security property is capable of separate appraisal; and

(4) With regard to a security property that is a leasehold or other interest for a period of years, the term of the interest extends, or is subject to extension or renewal at the option of the Federal savings association for a term of at least five years following the maturity of the loan.

Small business includes a small business concern or entity as defined by section 3(a) of the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 632(a), and implemented by the regulations of the Small Business Administration at 13 CFR part 121.

Small business loans and loans to small businesses include any loan to a small business as defined in this section; or a loan that does not exceed $2 million (including a group of loans to one borrower) and is for commercial, corporate, business, or agricultural purposes.

[76 FR 49030, Aug. 9, 2011, as amended at 77 FR 35258, June 13, 2012]

§160.30   General lending and investment powers of Federal savings associations.

Pursuant to section 5(c) of the Home Owners' Loan Act (“HOLA”), 12 U.S.C. 1464(c), a Federal savings association may make, invest in, purchase, sell, participate in, or otherwise deal in (including brokerage or warehousing) all loans and investments allowed under section 5(c) of the HOLA including, without limitation, the following loans, extensions of credit, and investments, subject to the limitations indicated and any such terms, conditions, or limitations as may be prescribed from time to time by the OCC by policy directive, order, or regulation:

Lending and Investment Powers Chart

CategoryStatutory authorization1Statutory investment
limitations (Endnotes contain
applicable regulatory
limitations)
Bankers' bank stock5(c)(4)(E)Same terms as applicable to national banks.
Business development credit corporations5(c)(4)(A)The lesser of .5% of total outstanding loans or $250,000.
Commercial loans5(c)(2)(A)20% of total assets, provided that amounts in excess of 10% of total assets may be used only for small business loans.
Commercial paper and corporate debt securities5(c)(2)(D)Up to 35% of total assets.2 3
Community development loans and equity investments5(c)(3)(A)5% of total assets, provided equity investments do not exceed 2% of total assets.4
Construction loans without security5(c)(3)(C)In the aggregate, the greater of total capital or 5% of total assets.
Consumer loans5(c)(2)(D)Up to 35% of total assets.2 5
Credit card loans or loans made through credit card accounts5(c)(1)(T)None.6
Deposits in insured depository institutions5(c)(1)(G)None.6
Education loans5(c)(1)(U)None.6
Federal government and government-sponsored enterprise securities and instruments5(c)(1)(C), 5(c)(1)(D), 5(c)(1)(E), 5(c)(1)(F)None.6
Finance leasing5(c)(1)(B), 5(c)(2)(A), 5(c)(2)(B), 5(c)(2)(D)Based on purpose and property financed.7
Foreign assistance investments5(c)(4)(C)1% of total assets.8
General leasing5(c)(2)(C)10% of assets.7
Home improvement loans5(c)(1)(J)None.6
Home (residential) loans95(c)(1)(B)None.6 10
HUD-insured or guaranteed investments5(c)(1)(O)None.6
Insured loans5(c)(1)(I), 5(c)(1)(K)None.6
Liquidity investments5(c)(1)(M)None.6
Loans secured by deposit accounts5(c)(1)(A)None.6 11
Loans to financial institutions, brokers, and dealers5(c)(1)(L)None.6 12
Manufactured home loans5(c)(1)(J)None.6 13
Mortgage-backed securities5(c)(1)(R)None.6
National Housing Partnership Corporation and related partnerships and joint ventures5(c)(1)(N)None.6
New markets venture capital companies5(c)(4)(F)5% of total capital.
Nonconforming loans5(c)(3)(B)5% of total assets.
Nonresidential real property loans5(c)(2)(B)400% of total capital.14
Open-end management investment companies155(c)(1)(Q)None.6
Rural business investment companies7 U.S.C. 2009cc-9Five percent of total capital.
Service corporations5(c)(4)(B)3% of total assets, as long as any amounts in excess of 2% of total assets further community, inner city, or community development purposes.16
Small business investment companies15 U.S.C. 682(b)(2)5% of total capital.
Small business-related securities5(c)(1)(S)None.6
State and local government obligations5(c)(1)(H)None for general obligations. Per issuer limitation of 10% of capital for other obligations.6 17
State housing corporations5(c)(1)(P)None.6 18
Transaction account loans, including overdrafts5(c)(1)(A)None.6 19

Endnotes

1All references are to section 5 of the Home Owners' Loan Act (12 U.S.C. 1464) unless otherwise indicated.

2For purposes of determining a Federal savings association's percentage of assets limitation, investment in commercial paper and corporate debt securities must be aggregated with the Federal savings association's investment in consumer loans.

3A Federal savings association may invest in commercial paper and corporate debt securities, which includes corporate debt securities convertible into stock, subject to the provisions of §160.40 of this part. Amounts in excess of 30% of assets, in the aggregate, may be invested only in obligations purchased by the association directly from the original obligor and for which no finder's or referral fees have been paid.

4The 2% of assets limitation is a sublimit for investments within the overall 5% of assets limitation on community development loans and investments. The qualitative standards for such loans and investments are set forth in HOLA section 5(c)(3)(A) (formerly 5(c)(3)(B)), as explained in an opinion of the Office of Thrift Supervision Chief Counsel dated May 10, 1995.

5Amounts in excess of 30% of assets, in the aggregate, may be invested only in loans made by the association directly to the original obligor and for which no finder's or referral fees have been paid. A Federal savings association may include loans to dealers in consumer goods to finance inventory and floor planning in the total investment made under this section.

6While there is no statutory limit on certain categories of loans and investments, including credit card loans, home improvement loans, education loans, and deposit account loans, the OCC may establish an individual limit on such loans or investments if the association's concentration in such loans or investments presents a safety and soundness concern.

7A Federal savings association may engage in leasing activities subject to the provisions of §160.41 of this part.

8This 1% of assets limitation applies to the aggregate outstanding investments made under the Foreign Assistance Act and in the capital of the Inter-American Savings and Loan Bank. Such investments may be made subject to the provisions of §160.43 of this part.

9A home (or residential) loan includes loans secured by one-to-four family dwellings, multi-family residential property, and loans secured by a unit or units of a condominium or housing cooperative.

10A Federal savings association may make home loans subject to the provisions of §§160.33, 160.34, and 160.35 of this part.

11Loans secured by savings accounts and other time deposits may be made without limitation, provided the Federal savings association obtains a lien on, or a pledge of, such accounts. Such loans may not exceed the withdrawable amount of the account.

12A Federal savings association may only invest in these loans if they are secured by obligations of, or by obligations fully guaranteed as to principal and interest by, the United States or any of its agencies or instrumentalities, the borrower is a financial institution insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or is a broker or dealer registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the market value of the securities for each loan at least equals the amount of the loan at the time it is made.

13If the wheels and axles of the manufactured home have been removed and it is permanently affixed to a foundation, a loan secured by a combination of a manufactured home and developed residential lot on which it sits may be treated as a home loan.

14Without regard to any limitations of this part, a Federal savings association may make or invest in the fully insured or guaranteed portion of nonresidential real estate loans insured or guaranteed by the Economic Development Administration, the Farmers Home Administration, or the Small Business Administration. Unguaranteed portions of guaranteed loans must be aggregated with uninsured loans when determining an association's compliance with the 400% of capital limitation for other real estate loans.

15This authority is limited to investments in open-end management investment companies that are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Company Act of 1940. The portfolio of the investment company must be restricted by the company's investment policy (changeable only if authorized by shareholder vote) solely to investments that a Federal savings association may, without limitation as to percentage of assets, invest in, sell, redeem, hold, or otherwise deal in. Separate and apart from this authority, a Federal savings association may make pass-through investments to the extent authorized by §160.32 of this part.

16A Federal savings association may invest in service corporations subject to the provisions of part 159 of this chapter.

17This category includes obligations issued by any state, territory, or possession of the United States or political subdivision thereof (including any agency, corporation, or instrumentality of a state or political subdivision), subject to §160.42 of this part.

18A Federal savings association may invest in state housing corporations subject to the provisions of §160.121 of this part.

19Payments on accounts in excess of the account balance (overdrafts) on commercial deposit or transaction accounts shall be considered commercial loans for purposes of determining the association's percentage of assets limitation.

§160.31   Election regarding categorization of loans or investments and related calculations.

(a) If a loan or other investment is authorized under more than one section of the HOLA, as amended, or this part, a Federal savings association may designate under which section the loan or investment has been made. Such a loan or investment may be apportioned among appropriate categories, and may be moved, in whole or part, from one category to another. A loan commitment shall be counted as an investment and included in total assets of a Federal savings association for purposes of calculating compliance with HOLA section 5(c)'s investment limitations only to the extent that funds have been advanced and not repaid pursuant to the commitment.

(b) Loans or portions of loans sold to a third party shall be included in the calculation of a percentage-of-assets or percentage-of-capital investment limitation only to the extent they are sold with recourse.

(c) A Federal savings association may make a loan secured by an assignment of loans to the extent that it could, under applicable law and regulations, make or purchase the underlying assigned loans.

§160.32   Pass-through investments.

(a) A Federal savings association (“you”) may make pass-through investments. A pass-through investment occurs when you invest in an entity (“company”) that engages only in activities that you may conduct directly and the investment meets the requirements of this section. If an investment is authorized under both this section and some other provision of law, you may designate under which authority or authorities the investment is made. When making a pass-through investment, you must comply with all the statutes and regulations that would apply if you were engaging in the activity directly. For example, your proportionate share of the company's assets will be aggregated with the assets you hold directly in calculating investment limits (e.g., no more than 400% of total capital may be invested in nonresidential real property loans).

(b) You may make a pass-through investment without prior notice to the OCC if all of the following conditions are met:

(1) You do not invest more than 15% of your total capital in one company;

(2) The book value of your aggregate pass-through investments does not exceed 50% of your total capital after making the investment;

(3) Your investment would not give you direct or indirect control of the company;

(4) Your liability is limited to the amount of your investment; and

(5) The company falls into one of the following categories:

(i) A limited partnership;

(ii) An open-end mutual fund;

(iii) A closed-end investment trust;

(iv) A limited liability company; or

(v) An entity in which you are investing primarily to use the company's services (e.g., data processing).

(c) If you want to make other pass-through investments, you must provide the OCC with 30 days' advance notice. If within that 30-day period the OCC notifies you that an investment presents supervisory, legal, or safety and soundness concerns, you must apply for and receive the OCC's prior written approval under the standard treatment processing procedures at part 116, subparts A and E of this chapter before making the investment. Notices under this section are deemed to be applications for purposes of statutory and regulatory references to “applications.” Any conditions that the OCC imposes on any pass-through investment shall be enforceable as a condition imposed in writing by the OCC in connection with the granting of a request by a Federal savings association within the meaning of 12 U.S.C. 1818(b) or 1818(i).

§160.33   Late charges.

A Federal savings association may include in a home loan contract a provision authorizing the imposition of a late charge with respect to the payment of any delinquent periodic payment. With respect to any loan made after July 31, 1976, on the security of a home occupied or to be occupied by the borrower, no late charge, regardless of form, shall be assessed or collected by a Federal savings association, unless any billing, coupon, or notice the Federal savings association may provide regarding installment payments due on the loan discloses the date after which the charge may be assessed. A Federal savings association may not impose a late charge more than one time for late payment of the same installment, and any installment payment made by the borrower shall be applied to the longest outstanding installment due. A Federal savings association shall not assess a late charge as to any payment received by it within fifteen days after the due date of such payment. No form of such late charge permitted by this paragraph shall be considered as interest to the Federal savings association and the Federal savings association shall not deduct late charges from the regular periodic installment payments on the loan, but must collect them as such from the borrower.

§160.34   Prepayments.

Any prepayment on a real estate loan must be applied directly to reduce the principal balance on the loan unless the loan contract or the borrower specifies otherwise. Subject to the terms of the loan contract, a Federal savings association may impose a fee for any prepayment of a loan.

§160.35   Adjustments to home loans.

(a) For any home loan secured by borrower-occupied property, or property to be occupied by the borrower, adjustments to the interest rate, payment, balance, or term to maturity must comply with the limitations of this section and the disclosure and notice requirements of 560.210 until superseding regulations are issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

(b) Adjustments to the interest rate shall correspond directly to the movement of an index satisfying the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section. A Federal savings association also may increase the interest rate pursuant to a formula or schedule that specifies the amount of the increase, the time at which it may be made, and which is set forth in the loan contract. A Federal savings association may decrease the interest rate at any time.

(c) Adjustments to the payment and the loan balance that do not reflect an interest-rate adjustment may be made if:

(1) The adjustments reflect a change in an index that may be used pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section;

(2) In the case of a payment adjustment, the adjustment reflects a change in the loan balance or is made pursuant to a formula, or to a schedule specifying the percentage or dollar change in the payment as set forth in the loan contract; or

(3) In the case of an open-end line-of-credit loan, the adjustment reflects an advance taken by the borrower under the line-of-credit and is permitted by the loan contract.

(d)(1) Any index used must be readily available and independently verifiable. If set forth in the loan contract, an association may use any combination of indices, a moving average of index values, or more than one index during the term of a loan.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, any index used must be a national or regional index.

(3) A Federal savings association may use an index not satisfying the requirements of paragraph (d)(2) of this section 30 days after filing a notice unless, within that 30-day period, the OCC has notified the association that the notice presents supervisory concerns or raises significant issues of law or policy. If the OCC notifies the association of such concerns or issues, the Federal savings association may not use such an index unless it applies for and receives the OCC's prior written approval under the standard treatment processing procedures at part 116, subparts A and E of this chapter.

§160.36   De minimis investments.

A Federal savings association may invest in the aggregate up to the greater of 1% of its total capital or $250,000 in community development investments of the type permitted for a national bank under 12 CFR part 24.

§160.37   Real estate for office and related facilities.

A Federal savings association may invest in real estate (improved or unimproved) to be used for office and related facilities of the association, or for such office and related facilities and for rental or sale, if such investment is made and maintained under a prudent program of property acquisition to meet the Federal savings association's present needs or its reasonable future needs for office and related facilities. A Federal savings association may not make an investment that would cause the outstanding book value of all such investments (including investments under §159.4(e)(2) of this chapter) to exceed its total capital.

§160.40   Commercial paper and corporate debt securities.

Pursuant to HOLA section 5(c)(2)(D), a Federal savings association may invest in, sell, or hold commercial paper and corporate debt securities subject to the provisions of this section.

(a) Limitations. (1) Commercial paper must be:

(i) Investment grade as of the date of purchase; or

(ii) Guaranteed by a company having outstanding paper that meets the standard set forth in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section.

(2) Corporate debt securities must be:

(i) Securities that may be sold with reasonable promptness at a price that corresponds reasonably to their fair value; and

(ii) Investment grade.

(3) A Federal savings association's total investment in the commercial paper and corporate debt securities of any one issuer, or issued by any one person or entity affiliated with such issuer, together with other loans, shall not exceed the general lending limitations contained in §32.3(a) of this chapter.

(4) Investments in corporate debt securities convertible into stock are subject to the following additional limitations:

(i) The purchase of securities convertible into stock at the option of the issuer is prohibited;

(ii) At the time of purchase, the cost of such securities must be written down to an amount that represents the investment value of the securities considered independently of the conversion feature; and

(iii) Federal savings associations are prohibited from exercising the conversion feature.

(5) A Federal savings association shall maintain information in its files adequate to demonstrate that it has exercised prudent judgment in making investments under this section.

(b) Notwithstanding the limitations contained in this section, the OCC may permit investment in corporate debt securities of another savings association in connection with the purchase or sale of a branch office or in connection with a supervisory merger or acquisition.

(c) Underwriting. Before committing to acquire any investment security, a Federal savings association must determine whether the investment is safe and sound and suitable for the association. The Federal savings association must consider, as appropriate, the interest rate, credit, liquidity, price, transaction, and other risks associated with the investment activity. The Federal savings association must also determine that the issuer has adequate resources and the willingness to provide for all required payments on its obligations in a timely manner.

[76 FR 49030, Aug. 9, 2011, as amended at 77 FR 35258, June 13, 2012; 77 FR 37283, June 21, 2012]

§160.41   Leasing.

(a) Permissible activities. Subject to the limitations of this section, a Federal savings association may engage in leasing activities. These activities include becoming the legal or beneficial owner of tangible personal property or real property for the purpose of leasing such property, obtaining an assignment of a lessor's interest in a lease of such property, and incurring obligations incidental to its position as the legal or beneficial owner and lessor of the leased property.

(b) Definitions. For the purposes of this section:

(1) The term net lease means a lease under which the Federal savings association will not, directly or indirectly, provide or be obligated to provide for:

(i) The servicing, repair or maintenance of the leased property during the lease term;

(ii) The purchasing of parts and accessories for the leased property, except that improvements and additions to the leased property may be leased to the lessee upon its request in accordance with the full-payout requirements of paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section;

(iii) The loan of replacement or substitute property while the leased property is being serviced;

(iv) The purchasing of insurance for the lessee, except where the lessee has failed to discharge a contractual obligation to purchase or maintain insurance; or

(v) The renewal of any license, registration, or filing for the property unless such action by the Federal savings association is necessary to protect its interest as an owner or financier of the property.

(2) The term full-payout lease means a lease transaction in which any unguaranteed portion of the estimated residual value relied on by the association to yield the return of its full investment in the leased property, plus the estimated cost of financing the property over the term of the lease, does not exceed 25% of the original cost of the property to the lessor. In general, a lease will qualify as a full-payout lease if the scheduled payments provide at least 75% of the principal and interest payments that a lessor would receive if the finance lease were structured as a market-rate loan.

(3) The term realization of investment means that a Federal savings association that enters into a lease financing transaction must reasonably expect to realize the return of its full investment in the leased property, plus the estimated cost of financing the property over the term of the lease from:

(i) Rentals;

(ii) Estimated tax benefits, if any; and

(iii) The estimated residual value of the property at the expiration of the term of the lease.

(c) Finance leasing—(1) Investment limits. A Federal savings association may exercise its authority under HOLA sections 5(c)(1)(B) (residential real estate loans), 5(c)(2)(A) (commercial, business, corporate or agricultural loans), 5(c)(2)(B) (nonresidential real estate loans), and 5(c)(2)(D) (consumer loans) by conducting leasing activities that are the functional equivalent of loans made under those HOLA sections. These activities are commonly referred to as financing leases. Such financing leases are subject to the same investment limits that apply to loans made under those sections. For example, a financing lease of tangible personal property made to a natural person for personal, family or household purposes is subject to all limitations applicable to the amount of a Federal savings association's investment in consumer loans. A financing lease made for commercial, corporate, business, or agricultural purposes is subject to all limitations applicable to the amount of a Federal savings association's investment in commercial loans. A financing lease of residential or nonresidential real property is subject to all limitations applicable to the amount of a Federal savings association's investment in these types of real estate loans.

(2) Functional equivalent of lending. To qualify as the functional equivalent of a loan:

(i) The lease must be a net, full-payout lease representing a non-cancelable obligation of the lessee, notwithstanding the possible early termination of the lease;

(ii) The portion of the estimated residual value of the property relied upon by the lessor to satisfy the requirements of a full-payout lease must be reasonable in light of the nature of the leased property and all relevant circumstances so that realization of the lessor's full investment plus the cost of financing the property depends primarily on the creditworthiness of the lessee, and not on the residual market value of the leased property; and

(iii) At the termination of a financing lease, either by expiration or default, property acquired must be liquidated or released on a net basis as soon as practicable. Any property held in anticipation of re-leasing must be reevaluated and recorded at the lower of fair market value or book value.

(d) General leasing. Pursuant to section 5(c)(2)(C) of the HOLA, a Federal savings association may invest in tangible personal property, including vehicles, manufactured homes, machinery, equipment, or furniture, for the purpose of leasing that property. In contrast to financing leases, lease investments made under this authority need not be the functional equivalent of loans.

(e) Leasing salvage powers. If, in good faith, a Federal savings association believes that there has been an unanticipated change in conditions that threatens its financial position by significantly increasing its exposure to loss, it may:

(1) As the owner and lessor, take reasonable and appropriate action to salvage or protect the value of the property or its interest arising under the lease;

(2) As the assignee of a lessor's interest in a lease, become the owner and lessor of the leased property pursuant to its contractual right, or take any reasonable and appropriate action to salvage or protect the value of the property or its interest arising under the lease; or

(3) Include any provisions in a lease, or make any additional agreements, to protect its financial position or investment in the circumstances set forth in paragraphs (e)(1) and (e)(2) of this section.

§160.42   State and local government obligations.

(a) Pursuant to HOLA section 5(c)(1)(H), a Federal savings association may invest in obligations issued by any state, territory, possession, or political subdivision thereof (“governmental entity”), subject to appropriate underwriting and the following conditions:

  Aggregate limitationPer-issuer limitation
(1) General obligationsNoneNone.
(2) Other obligations of a governmental entity (e.g., revenue bonds) if the issuer has an adequate capacity to meet financial commitments under the security for the projected life of the asset or exposure. An issuer has an adequate capacity to meet financial commitments if the risk of default by the obligor is low and the full and timely repayment of principal and interest is expectedNone10% of the institution's total capital.
(3) Obligations of a governmental entity that do not qualify under any other paragraph but are approved by the OCCAs approved by the OCC10% of the institution's total capital.

(b) What is a political subdivision? Political subdivision means a county, city, town, or other municipal corporation, a public authority, or a publicly-owned entity that is an instrumentality of a state or a municipal corporation.

(c) What is a general obligation of a state or political subdivision? A general obligation is an obligation that is guaranteed by the full faith and credit of a state or political subdivision that has the power to tax. Indirect payments, such as through a special fund, may qualify as general obligations if a state or political subdivision with taxing authority has unconditionally agreed to provide funds to cover payments.

(d) For all securities, the institution must consider, as appropriate, the interest rate, credit, liquidity, price, transaction, and other risks associated with the investment activity and determine that such investment is appropriate for the institution. The institution must also determine that the obligor has adequate resources and willingness to provide for all required payments on its obligations in a timely manner.

[76 FR 49030, Aug. 9, 2011, as amended at 77 FR 35258, June 13, 2012]

§160.43   Foreign assistance investments.

Pursuant to HOLA section 5(c)(4)(C), a Federal savings association may make foreign assistance investments in an aggregate amount not to exceed one percent of its assets, subject to the following conditions:

(a) For any investment made under the Foreign Assistance Act, the loan agreement shall specify what constitutes an event of default, and provide that upon default in payment of principal or interest under such agreement, the entire amount of outstanding indebtedness thereunder shall become immediately due and payable, at the lender's option. Additionally, the contract of guarantee shall cover 100% of any loss of investment thereunder, except for any portion of the loan arising out of fraud or misrepresentation for which the party seeking payment is responsible, and provide that the guarantor shall pay for any such loss in U.S. dollars within a specified reasonable time after the date of application for payment.

(b) To make any investments in the share capital and capital reserve of the Inter-American Savings and Loan Bank, a Federal savings association must be adequately capitalized and have adequate allowances for loan and lease losses. The Federal savings association's aggregate investment in such capital or capital reserve, including the amount of any obligations undertaken to provide said Bank with reserve capital in the future (call-able capital), must not, as a result of such investment, exceed the lesser of one-quarter of 1% of its assets or $100,000.

§160.50   Letters of credit and other independent undertakings—authority.

A Federal savings association may issue letters of credit and may issue such other independent undertakings as are approved by the OCC, subject to the restrictions in §160.120.

§160.60   Suretyship and guaranty.

Pursuant to section 5(b)(2) of the HOLA, a Federal savings association may enter into a repayable suretyship or guaranty agreement, subject to the conditions in this section.

(a) What is a suretyship or guaranty agreement? Under a suretyship, a Federal savings association is bound with its principal to pay or perform an obligation to a third person. Under a guaranty agreement, a Federal savings association agrees to satisfy the obligation of the principal only if the principal fails to pay or perform.

(b) What requirements apply to suretyship and guaranty agreements under this section? A Federal savings association may enter into a suretyship or guaranty agreement under this section, subject to each of the following requirements:

(1) The Federal savings association must limit its obligations under the agreement to a fixed dollar amount and a specified duration.

(2) The Federal savings association's performance under the agreement must create an authorized loan or other investment.

(3) The Federal savings association must treat its obligation under the agreement as a loan to the principal for purposes of 12 CFR part 32 and §163.43 of this chapter.

(4) The Federal savings association must take and maintain a perfected security interest in collateral sufficient to cover its total obligation under the agreement.

(c) What collateral is sufficient? (1) The Federal savings association must take and maintain a perfected security interest in real estate or marketable securities equal to at least 110 percent of its obligation under the agreement, except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

(i) If the collateral is real estate, the Federal savings association must establish the value by a signed appraisal or evaluation in accordance with part 34, subpart C of this chapter. In determining the value of the collateral, the Federal savings association must factor in the value of any existing senior mortgages, liens or other encumbrances on the property, except those held by the principal to the suretyship or guaranty agreement.

(ii) If the collateral is marketable securities, the Federal savings association must be authorized to invest in that security taken as collateral. The Federal savings association must ensure that the value of the security is 110 percent of the obligation at all times during the term of agreement.

(2) The Federal savings association may take and maintain a perfected security interest in collateral which is at all times equal to at least 100 percent of its obligation, if the collateral is:

(i) Cash;

(ii) Obligations of the United States or its agencies;

(iii) Obligations fully guarantied by the United States or its agencies as to principal and interest; or

(iv) Notes, drafts, or bills of exchange or bankers' acceptances that are eligible for rediscount or purchase by a Federal Reserve Bank.

[76 FR 49030, Aug. 9, 2011, as amended at 77 FR 37283, June 21, 2012; 79 FR 28401, May 16, 2014]

§160.100   Real estate lending standards; purpose and scope.

This section, and §160.101 of this subpart, issued pursuant to section 304 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991, 12 U.S.C. 1828(o), prescribe standards for real estate lending to be used by Federal savings associations and all their includable subsidiaries, as defined in 12 CFR 3.22(a)(8)(iv) or 167.1, as applicable, over which the savings associations exercise control, in adopting internal real estate lending policies.

[76 FR 49030, Aug. 9, 2011, as amended at 79 FR 11313, Feb. 28, 2014]

§160.101   Real estate lending standards.

(a) Each Federal savings association shall adopt and maintain written policies that establish appropriate limits and standards for extensions of credit that are secured by liens on or interests in real estate, or that are made for the purpose of financing permanent improvements to real estate.

(b)(1) Real estate lending policies adopted pursuant to this section must:

(i) Be consistent with safe and sound banking practices;

(ii) Be appropriate to the size of the institution and the nature and scope of its operations; and

(iii) Be reviewed and approved by the savings association's board of directors at least annually.

(2) The lending policies must establish:

(i) Loan portfolio diversification standards;

(ii) Prudent underwriting standards, including loan-to-value limits, that are clear and measurable;

(iii) Loan administration procedures for the savings association's real estate portfolio; and

(iv) Documentation, approval, and reporting requirements to monitor compliance with the savings association's real estate lending policies.

(c) Each Federal savings association must monitor conditions in the real estate market in its lending area to ensure that its real estate lending policies continue to be appropriate for current market conditions.

(d) The real estate lending policies adopted pursuant to this section should reflect consideration of the Interagency Guidelines for Real Estate Lending Policies established by the Federal bank and thrift supervisory agencies.

Appendix to §160.101—Interagency Guidelines for Real Estate Lending Policies

The agencies' regulations require that each insured depository institution adopt and maintain a written policy that establishes appropriate limits and standards for all extensions of credit that are secured by liens on or interests in real estate or made for the purpose of financing the construction of a building or other improvements.1 These guidelines are intended to assist institutions in the formulation and maintenance of a real estate lending policy that is appropriate to the size of the institution and the nature and scope of its individual operations, as well as satisfies the requirements of the regulation.

1The agencies have adopted a uniform rule on real estate lending. See 12 CFR part 365 (FDIC); 12 CFR part 208, subpart C (Board); 12 CFR part 34, subpart D and 12 CFR 160.100-160.101 (OCC).

Each institution's policies must be comprehensive, and consistent with safe and sound lending practices, and must ensure that the institution operates within limits and according to standards that are reviewed and approved at least annually by the board of directors. Real estate lending is an integral part of many institutions' business plans and, when undertaken in a prudent manner, will not be subject to examiner criticism.

Loan Portfolio Management Considerations

The lending policy should contain a general outline of the scope and distribution of the institution's credit facilities and the manner in which real estate loans are made, serviced, and collected. In particular, the institution's policies on real estate lending should:

  Identify the geographic areas in which the institution will consider lending.

  Establish a loan portfolio diversification policy and set limits for real estate loans by type and geographic market (e.g., limits on higher risk loans).

  Identify appropriate terms and conditions by type of real estate loan.

  Establish loan origination and approval procedures, both generally and by size and type of loan.

  Establish prudent underwriting standards that are clear and measurable, including loan-to-value limits, that are consistent with these supervisory guidelines.

  Establish review and approval procedures for exception loans, including loans with loan-to-value percentages in excess of supervisory limits.

  Establish loan administration procedures, including documentation, disbursement, collateral inspection, collection, and loan review.

  Establish real estate appraisal and evaluation programs.

  Require that management monitor the loan portfolio and provide timely and adequate reports to the board of directors.

The institution should consider both internal and external factors in the formulation of its loan policies and strategic plan. Factors that should be considered include:

  The size and financial condition of the institution.

  The expertise and size of the lending staff.

  The need to avoid undue concentrations of risk.

  Compliance with all real estate related laws and regulations, including the Community Reinvestment Act, anti-discrimination laws, and for savings associations, the Qualified Thrift Lender test.

  Market conditions.

The institution should monitor conditions in the real estate markets in its lending area so that it can react quickly to changes in market conditions that are relevant to its lending decisions. Market supply and demand factors that should be considered include:

  Demographic indicators, including population and employment trends.

  Zoning requirements.

  Current and projected vacancy, construction, and absorption rates.

  Current and projected lease terms, rental rates, and sales prices, including concessions.

  Current and projected operating expenses for different types of projects.

  Economic indicators, including trends and diversification of the lending area.

  Valuation trends, including discount and direct capitalization rates.

Underwriting Standards

Prudently underwritten real estate loans should reflect all relevant credit factors, including:

  The capacity of the borrower, or income from the underlying property, to adequately service the debt.

  The value of the mortgaged property.

  The overall creditworthiness of the borrower.

  The level of equity invested in the property.

  Any secondary sources of repayment.

  Any additional collateral or credit enhancements (such as guarantees, mortgage insurance or takeout commitments).

The lending policies should reflect the level of risk that is acceptable to the board of directors and provide clear and measurable underwriting standards that enable the institution's lending staff to evaluate these credit factors. The underwriting standards should address:

  The maximum loan amount by type of property.

  Maximum loan maturities by type of property.

  Amortization schedules.

  Pricing structure for different types of real estate loans.

  Loan-to-value limits by type of property.

For development and construction projects, and completed commercial properties, the policy should also establish, commensurate with the size and type of the project or property:

  Requirements for feasibility studies and sensitivity and risk analyses (e.g., sensitivity of income projections to changes in economic variables such as interest rates, vacancy rates, or operating expenses).

  Minimum requirements for initial investment and maintenance of hard equity by the borrower (e.g., cash or unencumbered investment in the underlying property).

  Minimum standards for net worth, cash flow, and debt service coverage of the borrower or underlying property.

  Standards for the acceptability of and limits on non-amortizing loans.

  Standards for the acceptability of and limits on the use of interest reserves.

  Pre-leasing and pre-sale requirements for income-producing property.

  Pre-sale and minimum unit release requirements for non-income-producing property loans.

  Limits on partial recourse or nonrecourse loans and requirements for guarantor support.

  Requirements for takeout commitments.

  Minimum covenants for loan agreements.

Loan Administration

The institution should also establish loan administration procedures for its real estate portfolio that address:

  Documentation, including:

Type and frequency of financial statements, including requirements for verification of information provided by the borrower;

Type and frequency of collateral evaluations (appraisals and other estimates of value).

  Loan closing and disbursement.

  Payment processing.

  Escrow administration.

  Collateral administration.

  Loan payoffs.

  Collections and foreclosure, including:

Delinquency follow-up procedures;

Foreclosure timing;

Extensions and other forms of forbearance;

Acceptance of deeds in lieu of foreclosure.

  Claims processing (e.g., seeking recovery on a defaulted loan covered by a government guaranty or insurance program).

  Servicing and participation agreements.

Supervisory Loan-to-Value Limits

Institutions should establish their own internal loan-to-value limits for real estate loans. These internal limits should not exceed the following supervisory limits:

Loan categoryLoan-to-value limit (percent)
Raw land65
Land development75
Construction:
Commercial, multifamily,1 and other nonresidential80
1- to 4-family residential85
Improved property85
Owner-occupied 1- to 4-family and home equity(2)

1Multifamily construction includes condominiums and cooperatives.

2A loan-to-value limit has not been established for permanent mortgage or home equity loans on owner-occupied, 1- to 4-family residential property. However, for any such loan with a loan-to-value ratio that equals or exceeds 90 percent at origination, an institution should require appropriate credit enhancement in the form of either mortgage insurance or readily marketable collateral.

The supervisory loan-to-value limits should be applied to the underlying property that collateralizes the loan. For loans that fund multiple phases of the same real estate project (e.g., a loan for both land development and construction of an office building), the appropriate loan-to-value limit is the limit applicable to the final phase of the project funded by the loan; however, loan disbursements should not exceed actual development or construction outlays. In situations where a loan is fully cross-collateralized by two or more properties or is secured by a collateral pool of two or more properties, the appropriate maximum loan amount under supervisory loan-to-value limits is the sum of the value of each property, less senior liens, multiplied by the appropriate loan-to-value limit for each property. To ensure that collateral margins remain within the supervisory limits, lenders should redetermine conformity whenever collateral substitutions are made to the collateral pool.

In establishing internal loan-to-value limits, each lender is expected to carefully consider the institution-specific and market factors listed under “Loan Portfolio Management Considerations,” as well as any other relevant factors, such as the particular subcategory or type of loan. For any subcategory of loans that exhibits greater credit risk than the overall category, a lender should consider the establishment of an internal loan-to-value limit for that subcategory that is lower than the limit for the overall category.

The loan-to-value ratio is only one of several pertinent credit factors to be considered when underwriting a real estate loan. Other credit factors to be taken into account are highlighted in the “Underwriting Standards” section above. Because of these other factors, the establishment of these supervisory limits should not be interpreted to mean that loans at these levels will automatically be considered sound.

Loans in Excess of the Supervisory Loan-to-Value Limits

The agencies recognize that appropriate loan-to-value limits vary not only among categories of real estate loans but also among individual loans. Therefore, it may be appropriate in individual cases to originate or purchase loans with loan-to-value ratios in excess of the supervisory loan-to-value limits, based on the support provided by other credit factors. Such loans should be identified in the institutions' records, and their aggregate amount reported at least quarterly to the institution's board of directors. (see additional reporting requirements described under “Exceptions to the General Policy.”) The aggregate amount of all loans in excess of the supervisory loan-to-value limits should not exceed 100 percent of total capital.2 Moreover, within the aggregate limit, total loans for all commercial, agricultural, multifamily or other non-1-to-4 family residential properties should not exceed 30 percent of total capital. An institution will come under increased supervisory scrutiny as the total of such loans approaches these levels.

2For the state member banks, the term “total capital” means “total risk-based capital” as defined in Appendix A to 12 CFR part 208. For insured state non-member banks, “total capital” refers to that term described in table I of Appendix A to 12 CFR part 325. For national banks, the term “total capital” is defined at 12 CFR 3.2(e). For savings associations, the term “total capital” as described in part 167 of this chapter.

The cross-references in the first paragraph of this footnote were originally adopted in an interagency rulemaking and are out of date as a result of revisions to capital rules implementing the Basel III Capital Framework. See 57 FR 63889 (December 31, 1992). For national banks and Federal savings associations, the term “total capital” is defined at 12 CFR 3.2, 3.2(e), or 167.5, as applicable. See 78 FR 62018 (October 11, 2013).

In determining the aggregate amount of such loans, institutions should: (a) Include all loans secured by the same property if any one of those loans exceeds the supervisory loan-to-value limits; and (b) include the recourse obligation of any such loan sold with recourse. Conversely, a loan should no longer be reported to the directors as part of aggregate totals when reduction in principal or senior liens, or additional contribution of collateral or equity (e.g., improvements to the real property securing the loan), bring the loan-to-value ratio into compliance with supervisory limits.

Excluded Transactions

The agencies also recognize that there are a number of lending situations in which other factors significantly outweigh the need to apply the supervisory loan-to-value limits.

These include:

  Loans guaranteed or insured by the U.S. government or its agencies, provided that the amount of the guaranty or insurance is at least equal to the portion of the loan that exceeds the supervisory loan-to-value limit.

  Loans backed by the full faith and credit of a state government, provided that the amount of the assurance is at least equal to the portion of the loan that exceeds the supervisory loan-to-value limit.

  Loans guaranteed or insured by a state, municipal or local government, or an agency thereof, provided that the amount of the guaranty or insurance is at least equal to the portion of the loan that exceeds the supervisory loan-to-value limit, and provided that the lender has determined that the guarantor or insurer has the financial capacity and willingness to perform under the terms of the guaranty or insurance agreement.

  Loans that are to be sold promptly after origination, without recourse, to a financially responsible third party.

  Loans that are renewed, refinanced, or restructured without the advancement of new funds or an increase in the line of credit (except for reasonable closing costs), or loans that are renewed, refinanced, or restructured in connection with a workout situation, either with or without the advancement of new funds, where consistent with safe and sound banking practices and part of a clearly defined and well-documented program to achieve orderly liquidation of the debt, reduce risk of loss, or maximize recovery on the loan.

  Loans that facilitate the sale of real estate acquired by the lender in the ordinary course of collecting a debt previously contracted in good faith.

  Loans for which a lien on or interest in real property is taken as additional collateral through an abundance of caution by the lender (e.g., the institution takes a blanket lien on all or substantially all of the assets of the borrower, and the value of the real property is low relative to the aggregate value of all other collateral).

  Loans, such as working capital loans, where the lender does not rely principally on real estate as security and the extension of credit is not used to acquire, develop, or construct permanent improvements on real property.

  Loans for the purpose of financing permanent improvements to real property, but not secured by the property, if such security interest is not required by prudent underwriting practice.

Exceptions to the General Lending Policy

Some provision should be made for the consideration of loan requests from creditworthy borrowers whose credit needs do not fit within the institution's general lending policy. An institution may provide for prudently underwritten exceptions to its lending policies, including loan-to-value limits, on a loan-by-loan basis. However, any exceptions from the supervisory loan-to-value limits should conform to the aggregate limits on such loans discussed above.

The board of directors is responsible for establishing standards for the review and approval of exception loans. Each institution should establish an appropriate internal process for the review and approval of loans that do not conform to its own internal policy standards. The approval of any such loan should be supported by a written justification that clearly sets forth all of the relevant credit factors that support the underwriting decision. The justification and approval documents for such loans should be maintained as a part of the permanent loan file. Each institution should monitor compliance with its real estate lending policy and individually report exception loans of a significant size to its board of directors.

Supervisory Review of Real Estate Lending Policies and Practices

The real estate lending policies of institutions will be evaluated by examiners during the course of their examinations to determine if the policies are consistent with safe and sound lending practices, these guidelines, and the requirements of the regulation. In evaluating the adequacy of the institution's real estate lending policies and practices, examiners will take into consideration the following factors:

  The nature and scope of the institution's real estate lending activities.

  The size and financial condition of the institution.

  The quality of the institution's management and internal controls.

  The expertise and size of the lending and loan administration staff.

  Market conditions.

Lending policy exception reports will also be reviewed by examiners during the course of their examinations to determine whether the institutions' exceptions are adequately documented and appropriate in light of all of the relevant credit considerations. An excessive volume of exceptions to an institution's real estate lending policy may signal a weakening of its underwriting practices, or may suggest a need to revise the loan policy.

Definitions

For the purposes of these Guidelines:

Construction loan means an extension of credit for the purpose of erecting or rehabilitating buildings or other structures, including any infrastructure necessary for development.

Extension of credit or loan means:

(1) The total amount of any loan, line of credit, or other legally binding lending commitment with respect to real property; and

(2) The total amount, based on the amount of consideration paid, of any loan, line of credit, or other legally binding lending commitment acquired by a lender by purchase, assignment, or otherwise.

Improved property loan means an extension of credit secured by one of the following types of real property:

(1) Farmland, ranchland or timberland committed to ongoing management and agricultural production;

(2) 1- to 4-family residential property that is not owner-occupied;

(3) Residential property containing five or more individual dwelling units;

(4) Completed commercial property; or

(5) Other income-producing property that has been completed and is available for occupancy and use, except income-producing owner-occupied 1- to 4-family residential property.

Land development loan means an extension of credit for the purpose of improving unimproved real property prior to the erection of structures. The improvement of unimproved real property may include the laying or placement of sewers, water pipes, utility cables, streets, and other infrastructure necessary for future development.

Loan origination means the time of inception of the obligation to extend credit (i.e., when the last event or prerequisite, controllable by the lender, occurs causing the lender to become legally bound to fund an extension of credit).

Loan-to-value or loan-to-value ratio means the percentage or ratio that is derived at the time of loan origination by dividing an extension of credit by the total value of the property(ies) securing or being improved by the extension of credit plus the amount of any readily marketable collateral and other acceptable collateral that secures the extension of credit. The total amount of all senior liens on or interests in such property(ies) should be included in determining the loan-to-value ratio. When mortgage insurance or collateral is used in the calculation of the loan-to-value ratio, and such credit enhancement is later released or replaced, the loan-to-value ratio should be recalculated.

Other acceptable collateral means any collateral in which the lender has a perfected security interest that has a quantifiable value, and is accepted by the lender in accordance with safe and sound lending practices. Other acceptable collateral should be appropriately discounted by the lender consistent with the lender's usual practices for making loans secured by such collateral. Other acceptable collateral includes, among other items, unconditional irrevocable standby letters of credit for the benefit of the lender.

Owner-occupied, when used in conjunction with the term 1- to 4-family residential property means that the owner of the underlying real property occupies at least one unit of the real property as a principal residence of the owner.

Readily marketable collateral means insured deposits, financial instruments, and bullion in which the lender has a perfected interest. Financial instruments and bullion must be salable under ordinary circumstances with reasonable promptness at a fair market value determined by quotations based on actual transactions, on an auction or similarly available daily bid and ask price market. Readily marketable collateral should be appropriately discounted by the lender consistent with the lender's usual practices for making loans secured by such collateral.

Value means an opinion or estimate, set forth in an appraisal or evaluation, whichever may be appropriate, of the market value of real property, prepared in accordance with the agency's appraisal regulations and guidance. For loans to purchase an existing property, the term “value” means the lesser of the actual acquisition cost or the estimate of value.

1- to 4-family residential property means property containing fewer than five individual dwelling units, including manufactured homes permanently affixed to the underlying property (when deemed to be real property under state law).

[76 FR 49030, Aug. 9, 2011, as amended at 79 FR 11313, Feb. 28, 2014]

§160.110   Most favored lender usury preemption for all savings associations.

(a) Definition. The term “interest” as used in 12 U.S.C. 1463(g) includes any payment compensating a creditor or prospective creditor for an extension of credit, making available of a line of credit, or any default or breach by a borrower of a condition upon which credit was extended. It includes, among other things, the following fees connected with credit extension or availability: numerical periodic rates, late fees, not sufficient funds (NSF) fees, overlimit fees, annual fees, cash advance fees, and membership fees. It does not ordinarily include appraisal fees, premiums and commissions attributable to insurance guaranteeing repayment of any extension of credit, finders' fees, fees for document preparation or notarization, or fees incurred to obtain credit reports.

(b) Authority. A savings association located in a state may charge interest at the maximum rate permitted to any state-chartered or licensed lending institution by the law of that state. If state law permits different interest charges on specified classes of loans, a Federal savings association making such loans is subject only to the provisions of state law relating to that class of loans that are material to the determination of the permitted interest. For example, a Federal savings association may lawfully charge the highest rate permitted to be charged by a state-licensed small loan company, without being so licensed, but subject to state law limitations on the size of loans made by small loan companies. State supervisors determine the degree to which state-chartered savings associations must comply with state laws other than those imposing restrictions on interest, as defined in paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Effect on state definitions of interest. The Federal definition of the term “interest” in paragraph (a) of this section does not change how interest is defined by the individual states (nor how the state definition of interest is used) solely for purposes of state law. For example, if late fees are not “interest” under state law where a savings association is located but state law permits its most favored lender to charge late fees, then a savings association located in that state may charge late fees to its intrastate customers. The savings association may also charge late fees to its interstate customers because the fees are interest under the Federal definition of interest and an allowable charge under state law where the savings association is located. However, the late fees would not be treated as interest for purposes of evaluating compliance with state usury limitations because state law excludes late fees when calculating the maximum interest that lending institutions may charge under those limitations.

§160.120   Letters of credit and other independent undertakings to pay against documents.

(a) General authority. A Federal savings association may issue and commit to issue letters of credit within the scope of applicable laws or rules of practice recognized by law. It may also issue other independent undertakings within the scope of such laws or rules of practice recognized by law, that have been approved by the OCC (approved undertaking).1 Under such letters of credit and approved undertakings, the savings association's obligation to honor depends upon the presentation of specified documents and not upon nondocumentary conditions or resolution of questions of fact or law at issue between the account party and the beneficiary. A savings association may also confirm or otherwise undertake to honor or purchase specified documents upon their presentation under another person's independent undertaking within the scope of such laws or rules.

1Samples of laws or rules of practice applicable to letters of credit and other independent undertakings include, but are not limited to: the applicable version of Article 5 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) (1962, as amended 1990) or revised Article 5 of the UCC (as amended 1995) (available from West Publishing Co.); the Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Publication No. 500) (available from ICC Publishing, Inc.; the United Nations Convention on Independent Guarantees and Standby Letters of Credit (adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1995 and signed by the U.S. in 1997) (available from the U.N. Commission on International Trade Law); and the Uniform Rules for Bank-to-Bank Reimbursements Under Documentary Credits (ICC Publication No. 525) (available from ICC Publishing, Inc.).

(b) Safety and soundness considerations—(1) Terms. As a matter of safe and sound banking practice, Federal savings associations that issue letters of credit or approved undertakings should not be exposed to undue risk. At a minimum, savings associations should consider the following:

(i) The independent character of the letter of credit or approved undertaking should be apparent from its terms (such as terms that subject it to laws or rules providing for its independent character);

(ii) The letter of credit or approved undertaking should be limited in amount;

(iii) The letter of credit or approved undertaking should:

(A) Be limited in duration; or

(B) Permit the savings association to terminate the letter of credit or approved undertaking, either on a periodic basis (consistent with the savings association's ability to make any necessary credit assessments) or at will upon either notice or payment to the beneficiary; or

(C) Entitle the savings association to cash collateral from the account party on demand (with a right to accelerate the customer's obligations, as appropriate); and

(iv) The savings association either should be fully collateralized or have a post-honor right of reimbursement from its customer or from another issuer of a letter of credit or an independent undertaking. Alternatively, if the savings association's undertaking is to purchase documents of title, securities, or other valuable documents, it should obtain a first priority right to realize on the documents if the savings association is not otherwise to be reimbursed.

(2) Additional considerations in special circumstances. Certain letters of credit and approved undertakings require particular protections against credit, operational, and market risk:

(i) In the event that the undertaking is to honor by delivery of an item of value other than money, the savings association should ensure that market fluctuations that affect the value of the item will not cause the savings association to assume undue market risk;

(ii) In the event that the undertaking provides for automatic renewal, the terms for renewal should allow the savings association to make any necessary credit assessment prior to renewal;

(iii) In the event that a savings association issues an undertaking for its own account, the underlying transaction for which it is issued must be within the savings association's authority and comply with any safety and soundness requirements applicable to that transaction.

(3) Operational expertise. The savings association should possess operational expertise that is commensurate with the sophistication of its letter of credit or independent undertaking activities.

(4) Documentation. The savings association must accurately reflect its letters of credit or approved undertakings in its records, including any acceptance or deferred payment or other absolute obligation arising out of its contingent undertaking.

§160.121   Investment in state housing corporations.

(a) Any Federal savings association to the extent it has legal authority to do so, may make investments in, commitments to invest in, loans to, or commitments to lend to any state housing corporation; provided, that such obligations or loans are secured directly, or indirectly through a fiduciary, by a first lien on improved real estate which is insured under the National Housing Act, as amended, and that in the event of default, the holder of such obligations or loans has the right directly, or indirectly through a fiduciary, to subject to the satisfaction of such obligations or loans the real estate described in the first lien, or the insurance proceeds.

(b) Any Federal savings association that is adequately capitalized may, to the extent it has legal authority to do so, invest in obligations (including loans) of, or issued by, any state housing corporation incorporated in the state in which such savings association has its home or a branch office; provided (except with respect to loans), that:

(1) The obligations are investment grade; or

(2) The obligations are approved by the OCC. The aggregate outstanding direct investment in obligations under paragraph (b) of this section shall not exceed the amount of the Federal savings association's total capital.

(c) Each state housing corporation in which a savings association invests under the authority of paragraph (b) of this section shall agree, before accepting any such investment (including any loan or loan commitment), to make available at any time to the OCC such information as the OCC may consider to be necessary to ensure that investments are properly made under this section.

[76 FR 49030, Aug. 9, 2011, as amended at 77 FR 35259, June 13, 2012]

§160.130   Prohibition on loan procurement fees.

If you are a director, officer, or other natural person having the power to direct the management or policies of a Federal savings association, you must not receive, directly or indirectly, any commission, fee, or other compensation in connection with the procurement of any loan made by the savings association or a subsidiary of the savings association.

§160.160   Asset classification.

(a)(1) Each savings association must evaluate and classify its assets on a regular basis in a manner consistent with, or reconcilable to, the asset classification system used by the OCC.

(2) In connection with the examination of a savings association or its affiliates, OCC examiners may identify problem assets and classify them, if appropriate. The association must recognize such examiner classifications in its subsequent reports to the OCC.

(b) Based on the evaluation and classification of its assets, each savings association shall establish adequate valuation allowances or charge-offs, as appropriate, consistent with generally accepted accounting principles and the practices of the Federal banking agencies.

§160.170   Records for lending transactions.

In establishing and maintaining its records pursuant to §163.170 of this chapter, each Federal savings association and service corporation should establish and maintain loan documentation practices that:

(a) Ensure that the institution can make an informed lending decision and can assess risk on an ongoing basis;

(b) Identify the purpose and all sources of repayment for each loan, and assess the ability of the borrower(s) and any guarantor(s) to repay the indebtedness in a timely manner;

(c) Ensure that any claims against a borrower, guarantor, security holders, and collateral are legally enforceable;

(d) Demonstrate appropriate administration and monitoring of its loans; and

(e) Take into account the size and complexity of its loans.

§160.172   Re-evaluation of real estate owned.

A Federal savings association shall appraise each parcel of real estate owned at the earlier of in-substance foreclosure or at the time of the savings association's acquisition of such property, and at such times thereafter as dictated by prudent management policy; such appraisals shall be consistent with the requirements of part 34, subpart C of this chapter. The Comptroller or his or her designee may require subsequent appraisals if, in his or her discretion, such subsequent appraisal is necessary under the particular circumstances. The foregoing requirement shall not apply to any parcel of real estate that is sold and reacquired less than 12 months subsequent to the most recent appraisal made pursuant to this part. A dated, signed copy of each report of appraisal made pursuant to any provisions of this part shall be retained in the savings association's records.

[76 FR 49030, Aug. 9, 2011, as amended at 79 FR 28401, May 16, 2014]

Subpart C [Reserved]

§160.210   [Reserved]

§160.220   [Reserved]



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