YEAR 2000: The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council issued an advisory that institutions should identify by Sept. 30 any critical computer systems that are susceptible to the so-called year-2000 glitch. The advisory also outlines year-2000 examination procedures. Published and effective May 5.

SBIC EXAM FEES: The Small Business Administration reduced exam fees for small-business investment companies with assets greater than $60 million by adopting a fee cap of $14,000. Some smaller SBICs will pay higher fees. Published May 5. Effective April 30.

CREDIT UNIONS: The NCUA expanded the assistance it gives credit unions in danger of failing, including help in hiring new management. Approved and effective April 16.

COMMERCIAL LENDING: The OTS doubled the amount federal thrifts may lend to commercial borrowers. Published and effective April 3.

CROSS GUARANTEES: The FDIC revised its policy statement on the liability of banks and thrifts for failed sister institutions. The agency at its discretion can demand compensation for an institution's losses from a sister institution or grant conditional waivers. Published and effective April 1.

LEASING: The Fed revised its staff commentary to clarify what charges must be included in the periodic payment disclosure. Published and effective April 1, although compliance is optional until Oct. 1.

ELECTRONIC PAYMENT FEES: The Fed issued guidelines to help its 12 reserve banks set prices for electronic check payments. Published March 25. Effective March 24.

CHECK CLEARING: The Fed amended Regulation CC to update model disclosure forms, eliminate outdated provisions, and give banks more flexibility during emergencies. Published March 24. Effective April 28.

INSIDER LENDING: The Fed amended Regulation O to let banks extend credit to top officials at affiliates without seeking prior approval by the holding company's board of directors. Published March 20. Effective April 1.

GOVERNMENT SECURITIES: Final rule by the three banking agencies requiring banks to determine whether customers understand the risks associated with buying government securities. Published March 19. Effective July 1.

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