Y2K BACKUP: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. issued an interim final rule June 3 that will require banks unprepared for the year-2000 changeover to make digital copies of account data beginning Dec. 24. Affected banks will be those with less-than-satisfactory Y2K compliance ratings as of July 31. Expected to be published soon.

HOME LOAN BANKS: The Federal Housing Finance Board announced it may establish "financial management and mission achievement requirements" for Federal Home Loan bank directors and senior managers. Published June 7.

BRANCH CLOSINGS: The four agencies have agreed to a policy statement clarifying the steps interstate banks must take before closing a branch in a low- or moderate-income area. The FDIC approved the statement June 3; it will be published in the Federal Register once the three other agencies officially adopt it.

FHA MORTGAGES: The Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a final rule requiring lenders to analyze and disclose to prospective FHA borrowers the cost of a similar conventional mortgage. Lenders also must explain when the requirement to pay FHA mortgage insurance ends. Published and effective June 2.

FARM BANKS: The Farm Credit Administration issued a final rule allowing Farm Credit System banks to buy a wider array of nonagricultural investments such as asset-based securities and revenue bonds. Published May 28. Effective June 28.

CU RULES: The NCUA issued a final rule simplifying the conversion of insured credit unions to mutual savings banks. The agency issued a separate final rule implementing the limits a 1998 law placed on business lending by credit unions. It tracks an interim final rule, published and effective Sept. 29, that 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 are excluded from the cap. Both published May 27. Effective June 28.

LOAN-LOSS RESERVES: The Fed issued guidelines May 21 concerning a loan- loss reserves article by the Financial Accounting Standards Board. The Fed said banks should maintain conservative allowances but can adopt the high end of the range of estimated losses when appropriate. The other bank and thrift regulators may issue similar guidelines.

CAPITAL CONTRAST: The four federal banking and thrift agencies submitted a report to Congress outlining how their capital and accounting rules differ. Published May 18.

FHA LENDING: To crack down on weak underwriters, HUD announced FHA lenders with high default rates will be penalized. Published and effective May 17.

MERGER ACCOUNTING: The FASB on April 21 announced it would eliminate the "pooling of interests" method of accounting for mergers and acquisitions. Instead, the FASB will require merging parties to use the "purchase" method. Effective Jan. 1, 2001.

RISK-BASED CAPITAL: The four bank and thrift regulators amended the risk-based capital standards for market risk. Under the rule, institutions with a qualified internal risk-measuring model no longer also have to use the standardized model. Published April 19. Effective July 1.

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