The Federal Reserve Board has made it easier for top bank officials to get discounts on home mortgages and other loans.

The Fed has changed Regulation O, allowing top officials to participate in any special lending program available to all other employees. This would include a reduction in or waiver of closing costs.

Previously, senior bank officials could not receive any discount that wasn't available to the general public. But the Fed said an amendment to the recently passed thrift fund capitalization legislation required it to loosen this restriction.

Separately, the Fed proposed entirely exempting directors at affiliates from Regulation O, provided they don't play a "major" policymaking role at the bank. Comments are due Dec. 9.

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