MINORITY LENDING: The Office of Thrift Supervision on June 30 issued new guidelines for lending programs aimed at disadvantaged borrowers. Thrifts must establish plans in writing and describe the class of borrowers who will benefit. Thrifts must also have detailed procedures and standards for extending credit under the program.
FHLB MEMBERSHIP: The Finance Board permitted small banks to count loans secured by farm or business properties toward the Home Loan Bank System's membership requirement if the properties include a permanent residence. Published June 29. Effective July 29.
PAYMENT SYSTEMS: The Fed updated its risk-management rules for privately operated multilateral settlement systems that have an aggregate gross volume of more than $5 billion a day. Operators of these systems must address credit, liquidity, operational, and legal risks. Published June 26. Effective Jan. 4.
ELECTRONIC BENEFITS: Despite its goal of making most federal government payments electronically by 1999, the Treasury Department announced that people who receive government payments by check will not be switched to electronic delivery unless they request it. In a June 25 preview of final regulations expected late this month, the Treasury also said it will require federal agencies to inform beneficiaries of their payment options.
FHLB FINANCES: The Finance Board at its June 24 board meeting adopted a final policy statement and a final rule requiring additional disclosures in the financial reports of the Federal Home Loan Bank System and the individual Home Loan banks, respectively. Both changes conform to the reporting requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission. To be published by the end of July in the Federal Register. Effective 30 days after publication.
ON-LINE PRIVACY: To help national banks protect confidential customer data, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on June 12 announced it has established a Privacy Working Group that will develop model disclosures that national banks can use to inform consumers about how data will be used and whether it will be shared with outside parties.