CRA REFORM: The four banking agencies revamped the Community Reinvestment Act rules, replacing the 12 assessment factors with a three- prong test focusing on lending, service and investment. Regulators will judge a bank's performance against the institution's size and the community's credit needs. The rules also provide a streamlined exam for small banks, a special test for wholesale banks, and new reporting requirements for small-business loans. Published May 4. To become effective in stages, starting Jan. 1.

TYING: The Fed amended Reg. Y to allow institutions to reduce or waive fees for customers who maintain a minimum balance in a bank product, such as a checking account, and nonbank products, such as brokerage accounts. Currently, customers cannot combine bank and nonbank accounts to get discounts. Published April 25. Effective May 26.

INSIDER LOANS: The Fed no longer will require a bank's board to approve loans to officers that are secured by a first lien on the borrower's primary residence. Published April 7. Effective April 7.

BACK OFFICE: The Fed said back-office facilities and loan production offices are not "branches" if borrowers receive their funds at other locations and if the facilities are not open to the public. Published April 6. Effective April 6.

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