On January 30, the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) issued a final rule to simplify and increase the transparency of existing rules for determining if a company has control over a banking organization under the Bank Holding Company Act (BHC Act) and the Home Owners’ Loan Act (HOLA). According to the Fed, the final rule—proposed last April (covered by InfoBytes here)—establishes “a comprehensive and public framework to determine when a company controls a bank or a bank controls a company” through the use of several key factors including “the company’s total voting and non-voting equity investment in the bank; director, officer, and employee overlaps between the company and the bank; and the scope of business relationships between the company and the bank.” A tiered presumptions visual accompanied the final rule, which outlines the determination of control based on the level of voting ownership at four different thresholds: less than 5 percent; 5 to 9.99 percent; 10 to 14.99 percent; and 15 to 24.99 percent. In addition, the Fed noted that the final rule “generally applies the same standards in the context of the BHC Act and HOLA” in terms of the definition of “control.” Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard issued a statement supporting the final rule, but stressed the importance of monitoring banking organizations’ ownership structures in light of the “control framework” and industry trends in order to identify issues affecting financial stability and competition. Brainard further emphasized that the “control framework” should be monitored in terms of how it interacts with other regulations involving ownership thresholds. The final rule takes effect April 1.