SMALL-BANK EXAMS: The OCC released risk-based exams for national banks with less than $1 billion in assets. Rather than scrutinize a small bank's risks and risk management techniques, OCC examiners will focus on performance. Released April 29. Effective Sept 30.

FOREIGN BANKS: The OCC abolished a requirement that foreign banks seeking to open federally chartered U.S. banks submit a separate application to the agency; instead, a bank may use the same form it submits to the Fed. Published May 2. Effective July 1.

SECURITIES OPTIONS: The Fed adopted a final rule freeing bank broker- dealers to extend credit on securities options. The SEC and exchanges will determine shortly what portion of the purchase price can be loaned. Published May 3. Effective July 1.

CAPITAL DEFINITION: The Fed replaced the definition of "capital stock and surplus" used by banks when determining the maximum amount they can lend to affiliates. Capital stock and surplus now is defined as Tier 1 and Tier 2 capital plus loan-loss and lease-loss reserves. Published May 3. Effective July 1.

ELECTRONIC BANKING: The Fed adopted a 1994 proposal updating and streamlining Regulation E. Among other things, the asset size of institutions exempt from the regulation was increased to $100 million, from $25 million. Published May 2. Effective May 1, but compliance is not mandatory until Jan. 1.

MORTGAGE BANKING: The OCC issued risk-based exam guidelines for national banks' mortgage activities. Released May 1. Effective immediately.

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