WASHINGTON - A coalition of seven bank trade groups on Monday demanded that the Federal Reserve Board reconsider its recent decision to change the way annual percentage yields are calculated under Truth-in- Savings.
The change, overwhelmingly opposed by bankers, will reflect both the effect of compounding and the value of receiving interest during the term of an account.
In a Jan. 9 letter, the trade groups noted that the Fed staff expects the new APY calculation to cost the industry more than $200 million in training, software, and disclosure expenses.
"The board is ill-advised to impose such a great and unnecessary cost on the industry when the benefits to consumers are dubious," the trade groups argued.
The groups also charged the central bank with violating the Administrative Procedures Act by adopting a final rule that differed significantly from the proposed rule. That law gives the public a right to comment on agency proposals.
Among the trade groups signing the letter are the American Bankers Association, the Independent Bankers Association of America, and the Savings and Community Bankers of America.
The Fed's decision surprised not only bankers, but the central bank's own staff as well. The staff's recommendation was rejected in the 4-to-3 decision. In a rare result, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan was on the losing end of that vote.
Steven Zeisel, senior counsel for the Consumer Bankers Association, said the split vote gives him hope that the central bank will reconsider.
"The board obviously wasn't of one mind," Mr. Zeisel said.
The Fed refused to comment on the letter Monday.