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4000 - Advisory Opinions


Questions Concerning FDIC Enforcement of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act

FDIC-87-39

November 24, 1987

Claude A. Rollin, Attorney

This is in response to your letter of November 10, 1987, wherein you raise questions concerning the enforcement of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act ("ECOA") by the FDIC. In your letter, you suggest that there appears to be a conflict between Appendix A of the Federal Reserve Board's Regulation B and the ECOA statute itself in designating the appropriate enforcement agency, under ECOA, for FDIC-insured state nonmember banks. For the reasons cited below, I am of the opinion that there is no conflict between those provisions.

Section 1691(c) of the ECOA statute, 15 U.S.C. § 1691(c), provides, in relevant part, that the FDIC's Board of Directors shall enforce the requirements of ECOA for banks insured by the FDIC (other than members of the Federal Reserve System). This provision clearly designates the FDIC's Board of Directors as the appropriate enforcement entity, under ECOA, for FDIC-insured state nonmember banks. Consequently, if the FDIC brings an enforcement action against a state nonmember bank for noncompliance with ECOA, the Board of Directors would have to approve and rule on such action, unless the Board's authority is properly delegated to some committee or individual within the FDIC.

Appendix A of the Federal Reserve Board's Regulation B does not, however, provide the FDIC's regional directors with similar enforcement authority. It states, in relevant part, that:

The following list indicates the federal agencies [that] enforce Regulation B for particular classes of creditors. Any questions concerning a particular creditor, should be directed to its enforcement agency.

Nonmember Insured Banks: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation regional director for the region in which the nonmember insured bank is located.

12 C.F.R. Part 202, App. A.

This provision provides only two pieces of information: (1) The FDIC is the designated enforcement agency, under ECOA, for FDIC-insured state nonmember banks; and (2) any questions concerning ECOA which relate to the actions of FDIC-insured state nonmember banks should be directed to an appropriate FDIC Regional Director. Appendix A of Regulation B does not create any enforcement authority, but instead, it simply recites the appropriate entities and addresses, within the various ECOA enforcement agencies, to which ECOA questions should be directed.

In summary, the ECOA statute provides the FDIC's Board of Directors with the authority to enforce the ECOA provisions as they relate to FDIC-insured state nonmember banks and Appendix A of Regulation B provides that any question concerning ECOA which relate to the actions of such banks should be directed to the appropriate FDIC regional director. Therefore, there does not appear to be any conflict between these two provisions.


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