WASHINGTON — Bank and credit union regulatory agencies issued additional guidance late Wednesday endorsing "prudent efforts” by financial institutions to aid customers affected by Hurricane Sandy.
The regulators' new joint statement was meant to supplement similar guidelines issued Oct. 30, one day after the storm made landfall in the mid-Atlantic. The new guidance said institutions may take steps including waiving overdraft fees, late fees on credit cards and other loans, certain deposit withdrawal penalties and fees at automatic teller machines, as well as providing flexibility on credit limits and terms.
The agencies "recognize the continuing impact of Hurricane Sandy on the customers and operations of many financial institutions and encourage institutions to consider all reasonable and prudent steps to assist customers in communities affected by recent storms," they said. (The statement was issued by the Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., National Credit Union Administration and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.)
The agencies said in certain cases institutions may offer "payment accommodations," allowing loan customers to defer or skip some payments, or by extending due dates. In affected areas, examiners also would not criticize "prudent loan workout arrangements … even if the restructured loans have weaknesses that result in adverse classification or credit risk downgrade."