The government on Tuesday updated the rules governing federal thrift trust activities.

The final rule, which took effect Thursday, details which activities are covered by Office of Thrift Supervision fiduciary regulations, closely tracking a rule issued a year earlier by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

The rule, which affects the 75 federal thrifts that offer trust services, also codifies an OTS interpretation that these institutions may offer any fiduciary service authorized for other providers in the same state. In addition, the rule reasserts the agency's authority to preempt any state law governing trust activities that conflicts with federal law.

Also Tuesday, the OTS changed its rules to exempt from the Community Reinvestment Act certain special-purpose thrifts, such as fiduciaries, which do not make loans to the public during the ordinary course of business. The banking agencies' CRA regulations already included this exemption.

The OTS rules differed from other regulators because when the CRA regulations were first adopted, the thrift agency did not regulate any special-purpose savings associations.

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