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Title 12Chapter IISubchapter APart 225Subpart C → §225.28

Title 12: Banks and Banking
Subpart C—Nonbanking Activities and Acquisitions by Bank Holding Companies

§225.28   List of permissible nonbanking activities.

(a) Closely related nonbanking activities. The activities listed in paragraph (b) of this section are so closely related to banking or managing or controlling banks as to be a proper incident thereto, and may be engaged in by a bank holding company or its subsidiary in accordance with the requirements of this regulation.

(b) Activities determined by regulation to be permissible—(1) Extending credit and servicing loans. Making, acquiring, brokering, or servicing loans or other extensions of credit (including factoring, issuing letters of credit and accepting drafts) for the company's account or for the account of others.

(2) Activities related to extending credit. Any activity usual in connection with making, acquiring, brokering or servicing loans or other extensions of credit, as determined by the Board. The Board has determined that the following activities are usual in connection with making, acquiring, brokering or servicing loans or other extensions of credit:

(i) Real estate and personal property appraising. Performing appraisals of real estate and tangible and intangible personal property, including securities.

(ii) Arranging commercial real estate equity financing. Acting as intermediary for the financing of commercial or industrial income-producing real estate by arranging for the transfer of the title, control, and risk of such a real estate project to one or more investors, if the bank holding company and its affiliates do not have an interest in, or participate in managing or developing, a real estate project for which it arranges equity financing, and do not promote or sponsor the development of the property.

(iii) Check-guaranty services. Authorizing a subscribing merchant to accept personal checks tendered by the merchant's customers in payment for goods and services, and purchasing from the merchant validly authorized checks that are subsequently dishonored.

(iv) Collection agency services. Collecting overdue accounts receivable, either retail or commercial.

(v) Credit bureau services. Maintaining information related to the credit history of consumers and providing the information to a credit grantor who is considering a borrower's application for credit or who has extended credit to the borrower.

(vi) Asset management, servicing, and collection activities. Engaging under contract with a third party in asset management, servicing, and collection3 of assets of a type that an insured depository institution may originate and own, if the company does not engage in real property management or real estate brokerage services as part of these services.

3Asset management services include acting as agent in the liquidation or sale of loans and collateral for loans, including real estate and other assets acquired through foreclosure or in satisfaction of debts previously contracted.

(vii) Acquiring debt in default. Acquiring debt that is in default at the time of acquisition, if the company:

(A) Divests shares or assets securing debt in default that are not permissible investments for bank holding companies, within the time period required for divestiture of property acquired in satisfaction of a debt previously contracted under §225.12(b);4

4For this purpose, the divestiture period for property begins on the date that the debt is acquired, regardless of when legal title to the property is acquired.

(B) Stands only in the position of a creditor and does not purchase equity of obligors of debt in default (other than equity that may be collateral for such debt); and

(C) Does not acquire debt in default secured by shares of a bank or bank holding company.

(viii) Real estate settlement servicing. Providing real estate settlement services.5

5For purposes of this section, real estate settlement services do not include providing title insurance as principal, agent, or broker.

(3) Leasing personal or real property. Leasing personal or real property or acting as agent, broker, or adviser in leasing such property if:

(i) The lease is on a nonoperating basis;6

6The requirement that the lease be on a nonoperating basis means that the bank holding company may not, directly or indirectly, engage in operating, servicing, maintaining, or repairing leased property during the lease term. For purposes of the leasing of automobiles, the requirement that the lease be on a nonoperating basis means that the bank holding company may not, directly or indirectly: (1) Provide servicing, repair, or maintenance of the leased vehicle during the lease term; (2) purchase parts and accessories in bulk or for an individual vehicle after the lessee has taken delivery of the vehicle; (3) provide the loan of an automobile during servicing of the leased vehicle; (4) purchase insurance for the lessee; or (5) provide for the renewal of the vehicle's license merely as a service to the lessee where the lessee could renew the license without authorization from the lessor. The bank holding company may arrange for a third party to provide these services or products.

(ii) The initial term of the lease is at least 90 days;

(iii) In the case of leases involving real property:

(A) At the inception of the initial lease, the effect of the transaction will yield a return that will compensate the lessor for not less than the lessor's full investment in the property plus the estimated total cost of financing the property over the term of the lease from rental payments, estimated tax benefits, and the estimated residual value of the property at the expiration of the initial lease; and

(B) The estimated residual value of property for purposes of paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(A) of this section shall not exceed 25 percent of the acquisition cost of the property to the lessor.

(4) Operating nonbank depository institutions—(i) Industrial banking. Owning, controlling, or operating an industrial bank, Morris Plan bank, or industrial loan company, so long as the institution is not a bank.

(ii) Operating savings association. Owning, controlling, or operating a savings association, if the savings association engages only in deposit-taking activities, lending, and other activities that are permissible for bank holding companies under this subpart C.

(5) Trust company functions. Performing functions or activities that may be performed by a trust company (including activities of a fiduciary, agency, or custodial nature), in the manner authorized by federal or state law, so long as the company is not a bank for purposes of section 2(c) of the Bank Holding Company Act.

(6) Financial and investment advisory activities. Acting as investment or financial advisor to any person, including (without, in any way, limiting the foregoing):

(i) Serving as investment adviser (as defined in section 2(a)(20) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, 15 U.S.C. 80a-2(a)(20)), to an investment company registered under that act, including sponsoring, organizing, and managing a closed-end investment company;

(ii) Furnishing general economic information and advice, general economic statistical forecasting services, and industry studies;

(iii) Providing advice in connection with mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, investments, joint ventures, leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, capital structurings, financing transactions and similar transactions, and conducting financial feasibility studies;7

7Feasibility studies do not include assisting management with the planning or marketing for a given project or providing general operational or management advice.

(iv) Providing information, statistical forecasting, and advice with respect to any transaction in foreign exchange, swaps, and similar transactions, commodities, and any forward contract, option, future, option on a future, and similar instruments;

(v) Providing educational courses, and instructional materials to consumers on individual financial management matters; and

(vi) Providing tax-planning and tax-preparation services to any person.

(7) Agency transactional services for customer investments—(i) Securities brokerage. Providing securities brokerage services (including securities clearing and/or securities execution services on an exchange), whether alone or in combination with investment advisory services, and incidental activities (including related securities credit activities and custodial services), if the securities brokerage services are restricted to buying and selling securities solely as agent for the account of customers and do not include securities underwriting or dealing.

(ii) Riskless principal transactions. Buying and selling in the secondary market all types of securities on the order of customers as a “riskless principal” to the extent of engaging in a transaction in which the company, after receiving an order to buy (or sell) a security from a customer, purchases (or sells) the security for its own account to offset a contemporaneous sale to (or purchase from) the customer. This does not include:

(A) Selling bank-ineligible securities8 at the order of a customer that is the issuer of the securities, or selling bank-ineligible securities in any transaction where the company has a contractual agreement to place the securities as agent of the issuer; or

8A bank-ineligible security is any security that a State member bank is not permitted to underwrite or deal in under 12 U.S.C. 24 and 335.

(B) Acting as a riskless principal in any transaction involving a bank-ineligible security for which the company or any of its affiliates acts as underwriter (during the period of the underwriting or for 30 days thereafter) or dealer.9

9A company or its affiliates may not enter quotes for specific bank-ineligible securities in any dealer quotation system in connection with the company's riskless principal transactions; except that the company or its affiliates may enter “bid” or “ask” quotations, or publish “offering wanted” or “bid wanted” notices on trading systems other than NASDAQ or an exchange, if the company or its affiliate does not enter price quotations on different sides of the market for a particular security during any two-day period.

(iii) Private placement services. Acting as agent for the private placement of securities in accordance with the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933 (1933 Act) and the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission, if the company engaged in the activity does not purchase or repurchase for its own account the securities being placed, or hold in inventory unsold portions of issues of these securities.

(iv) Futures commission merchant. Acting as a futures commission merchant (FCM) for unaffiliated persons in the execution, clearance, or execution and clearance of any futures contract and option on a futures contract traded on an exchange in the United States or abroad if:

(A) The activity is conducted through a separately incorporated subsidiary of the bank holding company, which may engage in activities other than FCM activities (including, but not limited to, permissible advisory and trading activities); and

(B) The parent bank holding company does not provide a guarantee or otherwise become liable to the exchange or clearing association other than for those trades conducted by the subsidiary for its own account or for the account of any affiliate.

(v) Other transactional services. Providing to customers as agent transactional services with respect to swaps and similar transactions, any transaction described in paragraph (b)(8) of this section, any transaction that is permissible for a state member bank, and any other transaction involving a forward contract, option, futures, option on a futures or similar contract (whether traded on an exchange or not) relating to a commodity that is traded on an exchange.

(8) Investment transactions as principal—(i) Underwriting and dealing in government obligations and money market instruments. Underwriting and dealing in obligations of the United States, general obligations of states and their political subdivisions, and other obligations that state member banks of the Federal Reserve System may be authorized to underwrite and deal in under 12 U.S.C. 24 and 335, including banker's acceptances and certificates of deposit, under the same limitations as would be applicable if the activity were performed by the bank holding company's subsidiary member banks or its subsidiary nonmember banks as if they were member banks.

(ii) Investing and trading activities. Engaging as principal in:

(A) Foreign exchange;

(B) Forward contracts, options, futures, options on futures, swaps, and similar contracts, whether traded on exchanges or not, based on any rate, price, financial asset (including gold, silver, platinum, palladium, copper, or any other metal approved by the Board), nonfinancial asset, or group of assets, other than a bank-ineligible security,10 if:

10A bank-ineligible security is any security that a state member bank is not permitted to underwrite or deal in under 12 U.S.C. 24 and 335.

(1) A state member bank is authorized to invest in the asset underlying the contract;

(2) The contract requires cash settlement;

(3) The contract allows for assignment, termination, or offset prior to delivery or expiration, and the company—

(i) Makes every reasonable effort to avoid taking or making delivery of the asset underlying the contract; or

(ii) Receives and instantaneously transfers title to the underlying asset, by operation of contract and without taking or making physical delivery of the asset; or

(4) The contract does not allow for assignment, termination, or offset prior to delivery or expiration and is based on an asset for which futures contracts or options on futures contracts have been approved for trading on a U.S. contract market by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the company—

(i) Makes every reasonable effort to avoid taking or making delivery of the asset underlying the contract; or

(ii) Receives and instantaneously transfers title to the underlying asset, by operation of contract and without taking or making physical delivery of the asset.

(C) Forward contracts, options,11 futures, options on futures, swaps, and similar contracts, whether traded on exchanges or not, based on an index of a rate, a price, or the value of any financial asset, nonfinancial asset, or group of assets, if the contract requires cash settlement.

11This reference does not include acting as a dealer in options based on indices of bank-ineligible securities when the options are traded on securities exchanges. These options are securities for purposes of the federal securities laws and bank-ineligible securities for purposes of section 20 of the Glass-Steagall Act, 12 U.S.C. 337. Similarly, this reference does not include acting as a dealer in any other instrument that is a bank-ineligible security for purposes of section 20. A bank holding company may deal in these instruments in accordance with the Board's orders on dealing in bank-ineligible securities.

(iii) Buying and selling bullion, and related activities. Buying, selling and storing bars, rounds, bullion, and coins of gold, silver, platinum, palladium, copper, and any other metal approved by the Board, for the company's own account and the account of others, and providing incidental services such as arranging for storage, safe custody, assaying, and shipment.

(9) Management consulting and counseling activities—(i) Management consulting. (A) Providing management consulting advice:12

12In performing this activity, bank holding companies are not authorized to perform tasks or operations or provide services to client institutions either on a daily or continuing basis, except as necessary to instruct the client institution on how to perform such services for itself. See also the Board's interpretation of bank management consulting advice (12 CFR 225.131).

(1) On any matter to unaffiliated depository institutions, including commercial banks, savings and loan associations, savings banks, credit unions, industrial banks, Morris Plan banks, cooperative banks, industrial loan companies, trust companies, and branches or agencies of foreign banks;

(2) On any financial, economic, accounting, or audit matter to any other company.

(B) A company conducting management consulting activities under this subparagraph and any affiliate of such company may not:

(1) Own or control, directly or indirectly, more than 5 percent of the voting securities of the client institution; and

(2) Allow a management official, as defined in 12 CFR 212.2(h), of the company or any of its affiliates to serve as a management official of the client institution, except where such interlocking relationship is permitted pursuant to an exemption granted under 12 CFR 212.4(b) or otherwise permitted by the Board.

(C) A company conducting management consulting activities may provide management consulting services to customers not described in paragraph (b)(9)(i)(A)(1) of this section or regarding matters not described in paragraph (b)(9)(i)(A)(2) of this section, if the total annual revenue derived from those management consulting services does not exceed 30 percent of the company's total annual revenue derived from management consulting activities.

(ii) Employee benefits consulting services. Providing consulting services to employee benefit, compensation and insurance plans, including designing plans, assisting in the implementation of plans, providing administrative services to plans, and developing employee communication programs for plans.

(iii) Career counseling services. Providing career counseling services to:

(A) A financial organization13 and individuals currently employed by, or recently displaced from, a financial organization;

13Financial organization refers to insured depository institution holding companies and their subsidiaries, other than nonbanking affiliates of diversified savings and loan holding companies that engage in activities not permissible under section 4(c)(8) of the Bank Holding Company Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)(8)).

(B) Individuals who are seeking employment at a financial organization; and

(C) Individuals who are currently employed in or who seek positions in the finance, accounting, and audit departments of any company.

(10) Support services—(i) Courier services. Providing courier services for:

(A) Checks, commercial papers, documents, and written instruments (excluding currency or bearer-type negotiable instruments) that are exchanged among banks and financial institutions; and

(B) Audit and accounting media of a banking or financial nature and other business records and documents used in processing such media.14

14See also the Board's interpretation on courier activities (12 CFR 225.129), which sets forth conditions for bank holding company entry into the activity.

(ii) Printing and selling MICR-encoded items. Printing and selling checks and related documents, including corporate image checks, cash tickets, voucher checks, deposit slips, savings withdrawal packages, and other forms that require Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) encoding.

(11) Insurance agency and underwriting—(i) Credit insurance. Acting as principal, agent, or broker for insurance (including home mortgage redemption insurance) that is:

(A) Directly related to an extension of credit by the bank holding company or any of its subsidiaries; and

(B) Limited to ensuring the repayment of the outstanding balance due on the extension of credit15 in the event of the death, disability, or involuntary unemployment of the debtor.

15Extension of credit includes direct loans to borrowers, loans purchased from other lenders, and leases of real or personal property so long as the leases are nonoperating and full-payout leases that meet the requirements of paragraph (b)(3) of this section.

(ii) Finance company subsidiary. Acting as agent or broker for insurance directly related to an extension of credit by a finance company16 that is a subsidiary of a bank holding company, if:

16Finance company includes all non-deposit-taking financial institutions that engage in a significant degree of consumer lending (excluding lending secured by first mortgages) and all financial institutions specifically defined by individual states as finance companies and that engage in a significant degree of consumer lending.

(A) The insurance is limited to ensuring repayment of the outstanding balance on such extension of credit in the event of loss or damage to any property used as collateral for the extension of credit; and

(B) The extension of credit is not more than $10,000, or $25,000 if it is to finance the purchase of a residential manufactured home17 and the credit is secured by the home; and

17These limitations increase at the end of each calendar year, beginning with 1982, by the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

(C) The applicant commits to notify borrowers in writing that:

(1) They are not required to purchase such insurance from the applicant;

(2) Such insurance does not insure any interest of the borrower in the collateral; and

(3) The applicant will accept more comprehensive property insurance in place of such single-interest insurance.

(iii) Insurance in small towns. Engaging in any insurance agency activity in a place where the bank holding company or a subsidiary of the bank holding company has a lending office and that:

(A) Has a population not exceeding 5,000 (as shown in the preceding decennial census); or

(B) Has inadequate insurance agency facilities, as determined by the Board, after notice and opportunity for hearing.

(iv) Insurance-agency activities conducted on May 1, 1982. Engaging in any specific insurance-agency activity18 if the bank holding company, or subsidiary conducting the specific activity, conducted such activity on May 1, 1982, or received Board approval to conduct such activity on or before May 1, 1982.19 A bank holding company or subsidiary engaging in a specific insurance agency activity under this clause may:

18Nothing contained in this provision shall preclude a bank holding company subsidiary that is authorized to engage in a specific insurance-agency activity under this clause from continuing to engage in the particular activity after merger with an affiliate, if the merger is for legitimate business purposes and prior notice has been provided to the Board.

19For the purposes of this paragraph, activities engaged in on May 1, 1982, include activities carried on subsequently as the result of an application to engage in such activities pending before the Board on May 1, 1982, and approved subsequently by the Board or as the result of the acquisition by such company pursuant to a binding written contract entered into on or before May 1, 1982, of another company engaged in such activities at the time of the acquisition.

(A) Engage in such specific insurance agency activity only at locations:

(1) In the state in which the bank holding company has its principal place of business (as defined in 12 U.S.C. 1842(d));

(2) In any state or states immediately adjacent to such state; and

(3) In any state in which the specific insurance-agency activity was conducted (or was approved to be conducted) by such bank holding company or subsidiary thereof or by any other subsidiary of such bank holding company on May 1, 1982; and

(B) Provide other insurance coverages that may become available after May 1, 1982, so long as those coverages insure against the types of risks as (or are otherwise functionally equivalent to) coverages sold or approved to be sold on May 1, 1982, by the bank holding company or subsidiary.

(v) Supervision of retail insurance agents. Supervising on behalf of insurance underwriters the activities of retail insurance agents who sell:

(A) Fidelity insurance and property and casualty insurance on the real and personal property used in the operations of the bank holding company or its subsidiaries; and

(B) Group insurance that protects the employees of the bank holding company or its subsidiaries.

(vi) Small bank holding companies. Engaging in any insurance-agency activity if the bank holding company has total consolidated assets of $50 million or less. A bank holding company performing insurance-agency activities under this paragraph may not engage in the sale of life insurance or annuities except as provided in paragraphs (b)(11) (i) and (iii) of this section, and it may not continue to engage in insurance-agency activities pursuant to this provision more than 90 days after the end of the quarterly reporting period in which total assets of the holding company and its subsidiaries exceed $50 million.

(vii) Insurance-agency activities conducted before 1971. Engaging in any insurance-agency activity performed at any location in the United States directly or indirectly by a bank holding company that was engaged in insurance-agency activities prior to January 1, 1971, as a consequence of approval by the Board prior to January 1, 1971.

(12) Community development activities—(i) Financing and investment activities. Making equity and debt investments in corporations or projects designed primarily to promote community welfare, such as the economic rehabilitation and development of low-income areas by providing housing, services, or jobs for residents.

(ii) Advisory activities. Providing advisory and related services for programs designed primarily to promote community welfare.

(13) Money orders, savings bonds, and traveler's checks. The issuance and sale at retail of money orders and similar consumer-type payment instruments; the sale of U.S. savings bonds; and the issuance and sale of traveler's checks.

(14) Data processing. (i) Providing data processing, data storage and data transmission services, facilities (including data processing, data storage and data transmission hardware, software, documentation, or operating personnel), databases, advice, and access to such services, facilities, or data-bases by any technological means, if:

(A) The data to be processed, stored or furnished are financial, banking or economic; and

(B) The hardware provided in connection therewith is offered only in conjunction with software designed and marketed for the processing, storage and transmission of financial, banking, or economic data, and where the general purpose hardware does not constitute more than 30 percent of the cost of any packaged offering.

(ii) A company conducting data processing, data storage, and data transmission activities may conduct data processing, data storage, and data transmission activities not described in paragraph (b)(14)(i) of this section if the total annual revenue derived from those activities does not exceed 49 percent of the company's total annual revenues derived from data processing, data storage and data transmission activities.

[Reg. Y, 62 FR 9329, Feb. 28, 1997, as amended at 68 FR 39810, July 3, 2003; 68 FR 41901, July 16, 2003; 68 FR 68499, Dec. 9, 2003]

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