FAQs on Changes to Regulation D

The Federal Reserve posted additional Q&As relating to their recent rule eliminating the six-per-month convenient withdrawal limitations on savings accounts.

Savings Deposits Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the definition of a “savings deposit” in Regulation D?
    A “savings deposit” is a deposit or account, such as an account commonly known as a passbook savings account, a statement savings account, or as a money market deposit account (MMDA), that otherwise meets the requirements of §204.2(d)(1) and from which, under the terms of the deposit contract or by practice of the depository institution, the depositor may be permitted or authorized to make transfers and withdrawals to another account (including a transaction account) of the depositor at the same institution or to a third party, regardless of the number of such transfers and withdrawals or the manner in which such transfers and withdrawals are made.
  2. Why did the Federal Reserve delete the numeric limits on certain kinds of transfers and withdrawals that can be made each month from the definition of a “savings deposit” in Regulation D?
    As a result of the elimination of reserve requirements on all transaction accounts, the retention of a regulatory distinction in Regulation D between reservable “transaction accounts” and non reservable “savings deposits” is no longer necessary. In addition, financial disruptions arising in connection with the novel coronavirus situation have caused many depositors to have a more urgent need for access to their funds by remote means, particularly in light of the closure of many depository institution branches and other in-person facilities. Thus, the amendments to Regulation D are intended to allow depository institution customers more convenient access to their funds and to simplify account administration for depository institutions.
  3. Are the recent amendments to Regulation D temporary or permanent?
    On April 24, 2020, the Board of Governors issued an interim final rule amending its Regulation D to delete the six-per-month limit on convenient transfers from “savings deposits.” The underlying reason enabling the changes in Regulation D is the FOMC’s choice of monetary policy framework of an ample reserve regime. In such a regime, reserve requirements are not needed. As a result, the distinction made by the transfer limit between reservable and non-reservable accounts is also not necessary. The Committee’s choice of a monetary policy framework is not a short-term choice. The Board does not have plans to re-impose transfer limits but may make adjustments to the definition of savings accounts in response to comments received on the Board’s interim final rule and, in the future, if conditions warrant.
  4. Does the interim final rule require depository institutions to suspend enforcement of the six convenient transfer limit on accounts classified as “savings deposits”?
    No. The interim final rule permits depository institutions to suspend enforcement of the six-transfer limit, but it does not require depository institutions to do so.
  5. May depository institutions continue to report accounts as “savings deposits” on their FR 2900 reports even after they suspend enforcement of the six-transfer limit on those accounts?
    Yes. Depository institutions may continue to report these accounts as “savings deposits” on their FR 2900 reports after they suspend enforcement of the six-transfer limit on those accounts.
  6. If a depository institution suspends enforcement of the six-transfer limit on a “savings deposit,” may the depository institution report the account as a “transaction account” rather than as a “savings deposit”?
    Yes. If a depository institution suspends enforcement of the six-transfer limit on a “savings deposit,” the depository institution may report that account as a “transaction account” on its FR 2900 reports. A depository institution may instead, if it chooses, continue to report the account as a “savings deposit.”
  7. Does the interim final rule have any impact on the “reservation of right” provisions set forth in section 204.2(d)(1) of Regulation D?
    No. The interim final rule does not have any impact on section 204.2(d)(1) of Regulation D. The “reservation of right” continues to be a part of the definition of “savings deposit” under the interim final rule.
  8. If a depository institution suspends enforcement of the six-transfer limit on a “savings deposit,” is the depository institution required to change the way that interest on the account is calculated or reported?
    No. The interim final rule does not require a depository institution to change the way it calculates or reports interest on an account where the depository institution has suspended enforcement of the six-transfer limit.
  9. Suppose a depository institution has account agreements with its “savings deposit” customers that require the depository institution to enforce the six-transfer limit. Suppose further that the depository institution would like to amend those account agreements so that the depository institution no longer has a contractual obligation to enforce the six-transfer limit on its “savings deposit” accounts. Does the interim final rule require the depository institution to amend those agreements in any particular way?
    No. The interim final rule does not specify the manner in which depository institutions that choose to amend their account agreements may do so.
  10. If a depository institution chooses to suspend enforcement of the six-transfer limit on a “savings deposit,” must the depository institution change the name of the account or product if the account or product name has the words “savings” or “savings deposit” in it?
    No. The interim final rule does not require depository institutions to change the name of any accounts or products that have the words “savings” or “savings deposit” in the name of the account or product.
  11. May depository institutions suspend enforcement of the six-transfer limit on a temporary basis, such as for six months?
    Yes.
  12. Suppose that a depository institution currently has policies or provisions in their savings deposit account agreements pursuant to which the depository institution charges fees to savings deposit customers for transfers and withdrawals that exceed the six-transfer limit. May a depository institution that suspends enforcement of the six-transfer limit continue to charge these fees when savings deposit customers make seven or more convenient transfers and withdrawals in a month?
    Regulation D does not require or prohibit depository institutions from charging their customers fees for transfers and withdrawals in violation of the six-transfer limit. Accordingly, the deletion of the six-transfer limit does not have a direct impact on the policies or account agreements of depository institutions that charge such fees to their customers.
  13. How did the recent amendments to Reg D impact Reg CC?
    On April 24, 2020, the Board of Governors issued an interim final rule amending its Regulation D to delete the six per month limit on convenient transfers from “savings deposits.” Among other things, the interim final rule amended the definition of “transaction account” in 12 CFR 204.2(e) such that the definition now includes accounts described in 204.2(d)(2) (savings deposits).

Regulation CC provides that an “account” subject to Regulation CC includes accounts described in 12 CFR 204.2(e) (transaction accounts) but excludes accounts described in 12 CFR 204.2(d)(2) (savings deposits). Because Regulation CC continues to exclude accounts described in 12 CFR 204.2(d)(2) from the Reg CC “account” definition, the recent amendments to Regulation D did not result in savings deposits or accounts described in 12 CFR 204.2(d)(2) now being covered by Regulation CC.

 

 

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