YEAR-2000: The Exam Council issued guidance on Feb. 18 explaining how to design an effective year-2000 disclosure statement for customers.

CAPITAL ACCORDS: The Basel Committee is expected next month to propose significant revisions to the risk-based capital accords. The proposal is expected to reduce required capital on loans to corporations with high credit ratings.

MONEY LAUNDERING: The four bank and thrift regulators are expected to withdraw a highly controversial proposal that would have required financial institutions to institute "know-your-customer" policies. It is not yet clear whether the agencies will replace the proposed rule with guidelines, which are less binding, or nothing at all.

EFT ACCOUNTS: The Treasury is expected by April to issue a final rule on low-cost bank accounts for recipients of electronically delivered federal benefits. The rule will set standards for such accounts.

MERGERS: The Fed is expected this month to allow banks that merge between July 1998 and May 1999 to wait until June 1, 2000, to combine their computer systems. Normally, software changes must be implemented within one year of a merger.

CU LENDING: The National Credit Union Administration is expected to issue a final rule as early as mid-March that would limit credit union business loans. An interim final rule, published and effective Sept. 29, capped business lending at the lesser of 1.75 times net worth or 12.25% of total assets. Business loans of less than $50,000 were excluded from the cap.

CU CAPITAL: The NCUA is expected as early as May to issue a proposed rule that would create a prompt corrective action system for credit unions. To be considered well capitalized, a credit union would have to have a net worth of 7% of assets. The comment period for an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking closed Jan. 27.

RISK-BASED CAPITAL: The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight is working on a plan that would create risk-based capital standards for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The proposal must be approved by the Office of Management and Budget and then by Congress before being published for public comment. A draft version has been under review at the OMB since November.

CRA GUIDELINES: The Exam Council is expected to issue revised guidelines, written in question-and-answer format, explaining how the Community Reinvestment Act will be applied to Internet banks and thrifts.

MONEY LAUNDERING: The Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is expected to propose a rule within the next few months requiring securities brokers and dealers to report suspicious transactions by customers. Fincen expects to approve a final rule by April that would require other nonbanks-such as check cashers and currency exchanges-to report suspicious customer activity.

PRIVACY: The OCC is expected to issue guidelines in the next several weeks on how to preserve customers' privacy. The guidelines, which would not be legally binding, are expected to suggest how banks should communicate privacy policies on their Web sites, and how they should comply with disclosure requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

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