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Title 12Chapter VISubchapter BPart 615 → Subpart I


Title 12: Banks and Banking
PART 615—FUNDING AND FISCAL AFFAIRS, LOAN POLICIES AND OPERATIONS, AND FUNDING OPERATIONS


Subpart I—Issuance of Equities


Contents
§615.5220   Capitalization bylaws.
§615.5230   Implementation of cooperative principles.
§615.5240   Regulatory capital requirements.
§615.5245   Limitations on association preferred stock.
§615.5250   Disclosure requirements for sales of borrower stock.
§615.5255   Disclosure and review requirements for sales of other equities.

Source: 53 FR 40046, Oct. 13, 1988, unless otherwise noted.

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§615.5220   Capitalization bylaws.

(a) The board of directors of each System bank and association shall, pursuant to section 4.3A of the Farm Credit Act of 1971 (Act), adopt capitalization bylaws, subject to the approval of its voting shareholders, that set forth:

(1) Classes of equities and the manner in which they shall be issued, transferred, converted and retired;

(2) For each class of equities, a description of the class(es) of persons to whom such stock may be issued, voting rights, dividend rights and preferences, and priority upon liquidation, including rights, if any, to share in the distribution of the residual estate;

(3) The number of shares and par value of equities authorized to be issued for each class of equities. However, the bylaws need not state a number or value limit for these equities:

(i) Equities that are required to be purchased as a condition of obtaining a loan, lease, or related service.

(ii) Non-voting stock resulting from the conversion of voting stock due to repayment of a loan.

(iii) Non-voting equities that are issued to an association's funding bank in conjunction with any agreement for a transfer of capital between the association and the bank.

(iv) Equities resulting from the distribution of earnings.

(4) For Farm Credit Banks, agricultural credit banks (with respect to loans other than to cooperatives), and associations, the percentage or dollar amount of equity investment (which may be expressed as a range within which the board of directors may from time to time determine the requirement) that will be required to be purchased as a condition for obtaining a loan, which amount shall be not less than 2 percent of the loan amount or $1,000, whichever is less;

(5) For banks for cooperatives and agricultural credit banks (with respect to loans to cooperatives), the percentage or dollar amount of equity or guaranty fund investment (which may be expressed as a range within which the board may from time to time determine the requirement) that serves as a target level of investment in the bank for patronage-sourced business, which amount shall not be less than, 2 percent of the loan amount or $1,000, whichever is less;

(6) The manner in which equities will be retired, including a provision stating that equities other than those protected under section 4.9A of the Act are retireable at the sole discretion of the board, provided minimum capital adequacy standards established in subpart H of this part, part 628 of this chapter, and the capital requirements established by the board of directors of the System institution, are met;

(7) The manner in which earnings will be allocated and distributed, including the basis on which patronage will be paid, which shall be in accord with cooperative principles; and

(8) For System banks, the manner in which the capitalization requirements of the Farm Credit bank shall be allocated and equalized from time to time among its owners.

(b) The board of directors of each service corporation (including the Farm Credit Leasing Services Corporation) shall adopt capitalization bylaws, subject to the approval of its voting shareholders, that set forth the requirements of paragraphs (a)(1), (2), and (3) of this section to the extent applicable. Such bylaws shall also set forth the manner in which equities will be retired and the manner in which earnings will be distributed.

[81 FR 49775, July 28, 2016]

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§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.

[53 FR 40046, Oct. 13, 1988, as amended at 54 FR 6118, Feb. 8, 1989; 60 FR 57921, Nov. 24, 1995; 62 FR 4446, Jan. 30, 1997; 62 FR 49908, Sept. 24, 1997; 63 FR 39228, July 22, 1998; 70 FR 53908, Sept. 13, 2005; 71 FR 5763, Feb. 2, 2006; 75 FR 18743, Apr. 12, 2010]

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§615.5240   Regulatory capital requirements.

(a) The capitalization bylaws shall enable the institution to meet the capital adequacy standards established under subpart H of this part, part 628 of this chapter, and the capital requirements established by the board of directors of the System institution.

(b) In order to qualify as permanent capital, equities issued under the bylaws must meet the following requirements:

(1) Retirement must be solely at the discretion of the board of directors and not upon a date certain (other than the original maturity date of preferred stock) or upon the happening of any event, such as repayment of the loan, and not pursuant to any automatic retirement or revolvement plan;

(2) Retirement must be at not more than book value;

(3) The institution must have made the disclosures required by this subpart;

(4) For common stock and participation certificates, dividends must be noncumulative and payable only at the discretion of the board; and

(5) For cumulative preferred stock, the board of directors must have discretion to defer payment of dividends.

[81 FR 49776, July 28, 2016]

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§615.5245   Limitations on association preferred stock.

(a) The board of directors of each association offering preferred stock must adopt a policy that addresses the association's conditions or limits on the amount of preferred stock that any one holder, or small number of holders may acquire.

(b) Each association offering preferred stock must make the stock available for purchase to each of its members on the same basis.

(c) An association may not extend credit for purchases of preferred stock in the association.

[70 FR 53908, Sept. 13, 2005]

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§615.5250   Disclosure requirements for sales of borrower stock.

(a) For sales of borrower stock, which for this subpart means equities purchased as a condition for obtaining a loan, a System institution must provide a prospective borrower with the following documents prior to loan closing:

(1) The institution's most recent annual report filed under part 620 of this chapter;

(2) The institution's most recent quarterly report filed under part 620 of this chapter, if more recent than the annual report;

(3) A copy of the institution's capitalization bylaws; and

(4) A written description of the terms and conditions under which the equity is issued. In addition to specific terms and conditions, the description must disclose:

(i) That the equity is an at-risk investment and not a compensating balance;

(ii) That the equity is retireable only at the discretion of the board of directors consistent with the institution's bylaws and only if minimum capital standards established under subpart H of this part and part 628 of this chapter are met and that such retirement may also require the approval of the FCA;

(iii) Whether the institution presently meets its minimum capital standards established under subpart H of this part and part 628 of this chapter;

(iv) Whether the institution knows of any reason the institution may not meet its capital standards on the next earnings distribution date; and

(v) The rights, if any, to share in patronage payments.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section, no materials previously provided to a purchaser (except the disclosures required by paragraph (a)(4) of this section) need be provided again unless the purchaser requests such materials.

[81 FR 49776, July 28, 2016]

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§615.5255   Disclosure and review requirements for sales of other equities.

(a) A bank, association, or service corporation must submit a proposed disclosure statement to the Farm Credit Administration (FCA) for review and clearance prior to the proposed sale of any other equities, which for this subpart means equities not purchased as a condition for obtaining a loan.

(b) An institution may not offer to sell other equities until a disclosure statement is reviewed and cleared by the FCA.

(c) A disclosure statement must include:

(1) All of the information required by parts 620 and 628 of this chapter in the annual report to shareholders as of a date within 135 days of the proposed sale. An institution may satisfy this requirement by referring to its most recent annual report to shareholders and the most recent quarterly report filed with the FCA, provided such reports contain the required information;

(2) The information required by §615.5250(a)(3) and (4); and

(3) A discussion of the intended use of the sale proceeds.

(d) An institution is not required to provide the materials identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of this section to a purchaser who previously received them unless the purchaser requests it.

(e) For any class of stock where each purchaser and each subsequent transferee acquires at least $250,000 of the stock and meets the definition of “accredited investor” or “qualified institutional buyer” contained in 17 CFR 230.501 and 230.144A, a disclosure statement submitted pursuant to this section is deemed reviewed and cleared by the FCA and an institution may treat stock that meets all requirements of this part as permanent capital for the purpose of meeting the minimum permanent capital standards established under subpart H of this part, unless the FCA notifies the institution to the contrary within 30 days of receipt of a complete disclosure statement submission. A complete disclosure statement submission includes the proposed disclosure statement plus any additional materials requested by the FCA.

(f) For all other issuances, a disclosure statement submitted pursuant to this section is deemed cleared by the FCA, and an institution may treat stock that meets all requirements of this part as permanent capital for the purpose of meeting the minimum permanent capital standards established under subpart H unless the FCA notifies the institution to the contrary within 60 days of receipt of a complete disclosure statement submission. A complete disclosure statement submission includes the proposed disclosure statement plus any additional materials requested by the FCA.

(g) Upon request, the FCA will inform the institution how it will treat the proposed issuance for other regulatory capital ratios or computations.

(h) No institution, officer, director, employee, or agent shall, in connection with the sale of equities, make any disclosure, through a disclosure statement or otherwise, that is inaccurate or misleading, or omit to make any statement needed to prevent other disclosures from being misleading.

(i) Each bank and association must establish a method to disclose and make information on insider preferred stock purchases and retirements readily available to the public. At a minimum, each institution offering preferred stock must make this information available upon request.

(j) The requirements of this section do not apply to the sale of Farm Credit System institution equities to:

(1) Other Farm Credit System institutions;

(2) Other financing institutions in connection with a lending or discount relationship; or

(3) Non-Farm Credit System lenders that purchase equities in connection with a loan participation transaction.

(k) In addition to the requirements of this section, each institution is responsible for ensuring its compliance with all applicable Federal and state securities laws.

[81 FR 49776, July 28, 2016]

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