Today, the SEC Staff issued four additional C&DIs related to the FAST Act, which we have repeated here for convenience.

Question 3

Question: How did the FAST Act affect Section 12(g) and Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act?

Answer: Section 85001 of the FAST Act amended Section 12(g) and Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act so that savings and loan holding companies are treated in a similar manner to bank holding companies for the purposes of registration, termination of registration or suspension of their Exchange Act reporting obligation. In particular, the FAST Act amends Section 12(g) and Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act as follows:

Savings and loan holding companies, as such term is defined in Section 10 of the Home Owners’ Loan Act, will have a Section 12(g) registration obligation as of any fiscal year-end after December 4, 2015 with respect to a class of equity security held of record by 2,000 or more persons.

The holders of record threshold for Section 12(g) deregistration for savings and loan holding companies has been increased from 300 to 1,200 persons.

The holders of record threshold for the suspension of reporting under Section 15(d) for savings and loan holding companies has been increased from 300 to 1,200 persons. [Dec. 21, 2015]

Question 4

Question: How do the amendments to Section 12(g)(1)(B) affect the obligations of savings and loan holding companies to register a class of equity security under Section 12(g) where such obligations were triggered as of a fiscal year-end on or before December 4, 2015?

Answer: Under Section 12(g)(1)(B), a savings and loan holding company will have a Section 12(g) registration obligation if, as of any fiscal year-end after December 4, 2015, it has total assets of more than $10 million and a class of equity security held of record by 2,000 or more persons. We consider that the effect of this provision is to eliminate, for savings and loan holding companies, any Section 12(g) registration obligation with respect to a class of equity security as of a fiscal year-end on or before December 4, 2015. Therefore, if a savings and loan holding company has filed an Exchange Act registration statement and the registration statement is not yet effective, then it may withdraw the registration statement. If a savings and loan holding company has registered a class of equity security under Section 12(g), it would need to continue that registration unless it is eligible to deregister under Section 12(g) or current rules. [Dec. 21, 2015]

Question 5

Question: On or after December 4, 2015, how can a savings and loan holding company terminate the registration of a class of equity security under Section 12(g)?

Answer: If the class of equity security is held of record by less than 1,200 persons, the savings and loan holding company may file a Form 15 to terminate the Section 12(g) registration of that class. Until rule amendments are made to reflect the change to Section 12(g)(4), the savings and loan holding company should include an explanatory note in its Form 15 indicating that it is relying on Exchange Act Section 12(g)(4) to terminate its duty to file reports with respect to that class of equity security.

Pursuant to Section 12(g)(4), the Section 12(g) registration will be terminated 90 days after the savings and loan holding company files a Form 15. Until that date of termination, the savings and loan holding company is required to file all reports required by Exchange Act Sections 13(a), 14 and 16.

Alternatively, a savings and loan holding company could rely on Exchange Act Rule 12g-4, which permits the immediate suspension of Section 13(a) reporting obligations upon filing a Form 15, if it meets the requirements of that rule. Note that Rule 12g-4 has not yet been amended to incorporate the new 1,200 holder deregistration threshold. [Dec. 21, 2015]

Question 6

Question: On or after December 4, 2015, how can a savings and loan holding company suspend its reporting obligations under Section 15(d)?

Answer: In general, the Section 15(d) reporting obligation is suspended if, and for so long as, the issuer has a class of security registered under Section 12. When an issuer terminates Section 12 registration, it must address any Section 15(d) obligation that would apply once the Section 15(d) suspension is lifted.

For the current fiscal year, a savings and loan holding company can suspend its obligation to file reports under Section 15(d) with respect to a class of security that was sold pursuant to a Securities Act registration statement and that was held of record by less than 1,200 persons as of the first day of the current fiscal year. Such suspension would be deemed to have occurred as of the beginning of the fiscal year in accordance with Section 15(d) (as amended by the FAST Act). If, during the current fiscal year, a savings and loan holding company has a registration statement that becomes effective or is updated pursuant to Securities Act Section 10(a)(3), then it will have a Section 15(d) reporting obligation for the current fiscal year.

If a savings and loan holding company with a class of security held of record by less than 1,200 persons as of the first day of the current fiscal year has a registration statement that was updated during the current fiscal year pursuant to Securities Act Section 10(a)(3), but under which no sales have been made during the current fiscal year, the savings and loan holding company may suspend its Section 15(d) reporting obligation consistent with the guidance in Staff Legal Bulletin No. 18 (March 20, 2010) and GlenRose Instruments Inc. (July 16, 2012). [Dec. 21, 2015]