SECURITIES TRADING: The Fed eased restrictions on bank lending to broker-dealers and to customers who will use the funds to buy certain securities. Expected to be published shortly. Effective April 1.
FANNIE OVERSIGHT: The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight initiated a comprehensive examination program for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Jan. 1.
FIDUCIARY ACTIVITIES: The Office of Thrift Supervision updated the rules governing federal thrift trust activities. The new rule details which activities are covered by thrift fiduciary regulations, closely tracking a rule issued a year earlier by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Published Dec. 30. Effective Jan. 1.
CROP INSURANCE: In an interpretive letter, the OCC lifted a restriction requiring national banks to sell crop insurance out of towns with less than 5,000 people. Issued Dec. 29. Effective immediately.
AUDIT GUIDELINES: Extending supervision-by-risk, the banking and thrift agencies issued guidelines Dec. 23 that require board members and senior executives to supervise internal audits directly.
FAIR LENDING: The Fed protected from subpoenas customer surveys and mystery shopping tests used to detect lending bias. Published Dec. 18. Effective Jan. 30.
HOME MORTGAGES: The Fed raised slightly to $29 million the asset size for banks that are exempt from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Published Dec. 18. Effective Jan. 1.
DERIVATIVES ACCOUNTING: The Financial Accounting Standards Board voted Dec. 17 to delay by six months the effective date of a controversial rule requiring companies to report derivatives at fair-market value on quarterly income statements. The new effective date is June 15, 1999.
YEAR 2000: The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council issued guidelines Dec. 17 urging senior bank executives to get personally involved in an institution's efforts to fix year-2000 computer glitches. Recommendations included detailed quarterly reports to boards and close monitoring of data-processing contractors.
OP-SUB UNDERWRITING: The OCC approved Dec. 11 an application filed by Zions First National Bank to underwrite municipal revenue bonds through an operating subsidiary.