Federal Reserve Board Finalizes Merger Limits

On November 5th, the Federal Reserve Board issued a final rule to implement Section 622 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which prohibits a financial company from combining with another company if the ratio of the resulting company’s liabilities exceeds 10 percent of the aggregate consolidated liabilities of all financial companies. Under the final rule, if a financial company has reached the 10 percent concentration limit, the company could not acquire control of another company under merchant banking authority. The final rule also adds an exemption to clarify that a financial company may continue to engage in securitization activities if it has reached the limit. The final rule will be effective January 1, 2015. Federal Reserve Board Press Release.

Federal Reserve Bank Fee Schedule

On November 4th, the Federal Reserve Board approved fee schedules, effective January 2, 2015, for payment services the Federal Reserve Banks provide to depository institutions. The Board also approved the 2015 private- sector adjustment factor (“PSAF”) of $18.0 million for Reserve Bank priced services. The PSAF is an allowance for income taxes and other imputed expenses that would have been paid and profits that would have been earned if the Reserve Banks’ priced services were provided by a private business. Federal Reserve Board Press Release.

FFIEC Issues Cybersecurity Assessment

On November 3rd, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) issued a bulletin on the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s “FFIEC Cybersecurity Assessment General Observations” and the “Cybersecurity Threat and Vulnerability Monitoring and Sharing Statement.” The documents address findings from the 2014 Cybersecurity Assessment pilot examination work program.

Banking Agencies to Hold Regulatory Growth Meetings

The OCC, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), and Federal Reserve Board will hold a series of outreach meetings to review their regulations under the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 (“EGRPRA”). The first meeting will be held at the Los Angeles branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco on December 2, 2014. The meeting will include panel presentations by industry participants and consumer and community groups. Further meetings will be held through 2015 in Dallas, Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Joint Press Release. See also OCC Bulletin.