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7500 - FRB Regulations


§ 225.112  Indirect control of small business concern through convertible debentures held by small business investment company.

(a)  A question has been raised concerning the applicability of provisions of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 to the acquisition by a bank holding company of stock of a small business investment company ("SBIC") organized pursuant to the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 ("SBI Act").

(b)  As indicated in the interpretation of the Board (§ 225.107) published at 23 F.R. 7813, it is the Board's opinion that, since stock of an SBIC is eligible for purchase by national banks and since section 4(c)(4) of the Holding Company Act exempts stock eligible for investment by national banks from the prohibitions of section 4 of that Act, a bank holding company may lawfully acquire stock in such an SBIC.

(c)  However, section 304 of the SBI Act provides that debentures of a small business concern purchased by a small business investment company may be converted at the option of such company into stock of the small business concern. The question therefore arises as to whether, in the event of such conversion, the parent bank holding company would be regarded as having acquired "direct or indirect ownership or control" of stock of the small business concern in violation of section 4(a) of the Holding Company Act.

(d)  The Small Business Investment Act clearly contemplates that one of the primary purposes of that Act was to enable SBICs to provide needed equity capital to small business concerns through the purchase of debentures convertible into stock. Thus, to the extent that a stockholder in an SBIC might acquire indirect control of stock of a small business concern, such control appears to be a natural and contemplated incident of ownership of stock of the SBIC. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has informally indicated concurrence with this interpretation insofar as it affects investments by national banks in stock of an SBIC.

(e)  Since the exception as to stock eligible for investment by national banks contained in section 4(c)(4) of the Holding Company Act was apparently intended to permit a bank holding company to acquire any stock that would be eligible for purchase by a national bank, it is the Board's view that section 4(a)(1) of the Act does not prohibit a bank holding company from acquiring stock of an SBIC, even though ownership of such stock may result in the acquisition of indirect ownership or control of stock of a small business concern which would not itself be eligible for purchase directly by a national bank or a bank holding company.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 225.112]

[Source: 24 Fed. Reg. 1584, March 4, 1959]

§ 225.113  Services under section 4(a) of Bank Holding Company Act.

(a)  The Board of Governors has been requested for an opinion as to whether the performance of certain functions by a bank holding company for four banks of which it owns less than 25 percent of the voting shares is in violation of section 4(a) of the Bank Holding Company Act.

(b)  It is claimed that the holding company is engaged in "managing" four nonsubsidiary banks, for which services it receives "management fees." Specifically, the company engages in the following activities for the four nonsubsidiary banks: (1) Establishment and supervision of loaning policies; (2) direction of the purchase and sale of investment securities; (3) selection and training of officer personnel; (4) establishment and enforcement of operating policies; and (5) general supervision over all policies and practices.

(c)  The question raised is whether these activities are prohibited by section 4(a)(2) of the Bank Holding Company Act, which permits a bank holding company to engage in only three categories of business: (1) Banking; (2) managing or controlling banks; and (3) furnishing services to or performing services for any bank of which the holding company owns or controls 25 percent or more of the voting shares.

(d)  Clearly, the activities of the company with respect to the four nonsubsidiary banks do not constitute "banking." With respect to the business of "managing or controlling" banks, it is the Board's view that such business, within the purview of section 4(a)(2), is essentially the exercise of a broad governing influence of the sort usually exercised by bank stockholders, as distinguished from direct or active participation in the establishment or carrying out of particular policies or operations. The latter kinds of activities fall within the third category of businesses in which a bank holding company is permitted to engage. In the Board's view, the activities enumerated above fall in substantial part within that third category.

(e)  Section 4(a)(2), like all other sections of the Holding Company Act, must be interpreted in the light of all of its provisions, as well as in the light of other sections of the Act. The expression "managing * * * banks," if it could be taken by itself, might appear to include activities of the sort enumerated. However, such an interpretation of those words would virtually nullify the last portion of section 4(a)(2), which permits a holding company to furnish services to or perform services for "any bank of which it owns or controls 25 per centum or more of the voting shares."

(f)  Since Congress explicitly authorized the performance of services for banks that are at least 25 percent owned by a holding company, it obviously intended that the holding company should not perform services for banks in which it owns less than 25 percent of the voting shares. However, if the second category--"managing or controlling banks"--were interpreted to permit the holding company to perform services for any bank, including a bank in which it held less than 25 percent of the stock (or no stock whatsoever), the last clause of section 4(a)(2) would be meaningless.

(g)  It is principally for this reason--that is, to give effective meaning to the final clause of section 4(a)(2)--that the Board interprets "managing or controlling banks" in that 2-28-06>provision as referring to the exercise of a stockholder's management or control of banks, rather than direct and active participation in their operations. To repeat, such active participation in operations falls within the third category ("furnishing services to or performing services for any bank") and consequently may be engaged in only with respect to banks in which the holding company "owns or controls 25 per centum or more of the voting shares."

(h)  Accordingly, it is the Board's conclusion that, in performing the services enumerated, the bank holding company is "furnishing services to or performing services for" the four banks referred to. Under the Act such furnishing or performing of services is permissible only if the holding company owns or controls 25 percent of the voting shares of each bank receiving such services, and, since the company owns less than 25 percent of the voting shares of these banks, it follows that these activities are prohibited by section 4(a)(2).

(i)  While this conclusion is required, in the Board's opinion, by the language of the statute, it may be noted further that any other conclusion would make it possible for a bank holding company or any other corporation, through arrangements for the "managing" of banks in the manner here involved, to acquire effective control of banks without acquiring bank stocks and thus to evade the underlying objectives of section 3 of the Act.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 225.113]

[Source: 25 Fed. Reg. 281, January 14, 1960]

§ 225.115  Applicability of Bank Service Corporation Act in certain bank holding company situations.

(a)  Questions have been presented to the Board of Governors regarding the applicability of the recently enacted Bank Service Corporation Act (Public Law 87-856, approved October 23, 1962) in cases involving service corporations that are subsidiaries of bank holding companies under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956. In addition to being charged with the administration of the latter Act, the Board is named in the Bank Service Corporation Act as the Federal supervisory agency with respect to the performance of bank services for State member banks.

(b)  Holding company-owned corporation serving only subsidiary banks.  (1)  One question is whether the Bank Service Corporation Act is applicable in the case of a corporation, wholly owned by a bank holding company, which is engaged in performing "bank services," as defined in section 1(b) of the Act, exclusively for subsidiary banks of the holding company.

(2)  Except as noted below with respect to section 5 thereof, the Bank Service Corporation Act is not applicable in this case. This is true because none of the stock of the corporation performing the services is owned by any bank and the corporation, therefore, is not a "bank service corporation" as defined in section 1(c) of the Act. A corporation cannot meet that definition unless part of its stock is owned by two or more banks. The situation clearly is unaffected by section 2(b) of the Act which permits a corporation that fell within the definition initially to continue to function as a bank service corporation although subsequently only one of the banks remains as a stockholder in the corporation.

(3)  However, although it is not a bank service corporation, the corporation in question and each of the banks for which it performs bank services are subject to section 5 of the Bank Service Corporation Act. That section, which requires the furnishing of certain assurances to the appropriate Federal supervisory agency in connection with the performance of bank services for a bank, is applicable whether such services are performed by a bank service corporation or by others.

(4)  Section 4(a)(1) of the Bank Holding Company Act prohibits the acquisition by a bank holding company of "direct or indirect ownership or control" of shares of a nonbanking company, subject to certain exceptions. Section 4(c)(1) of the Act exempts from section 4(a)(1) shares of a company engaged "solely in the business of furnishing services to or performing services for" its bank holding company or subsidiary banks thereof. Assuming that the bank services performed by the corporation in question are "services" of the kinds contemplated by section 4(c)(1) of the Bank Holding Company Act (as would be true, for example, of the electronic data processing of deposit accounts), the holding company's ownership of the corporation's shares in the situation described above clearly is permissible under that section of the Act.

(c)  Bank service corporation owned by holding company subsidiaries and serving also other banks.   (1)  The other question concerns the applicability of the Bank Service Corporation Act and the Bank Holding Company Act in the case of a corporation, all the stock of which is owned either by a bank holding company and its subsidiary banks together or by the subsidiary banks alone, which is engaged in performing "bank services," as defined in section 1(b) of the Bank Service Corporation Act, for the subsidiary banks and for other banks, as well.

(2)  In contrast to the situation under paragraph (b) of this section, the corporation in this case is in a "bank service corporation" within the meaning of section 1(c) of the Bank Service Corporation Act because of the ownership by each of the subsidiary banks of a part of the corporation's stock. This stock ownership is one of the important facts differentiating this case from the first one. Being a bank service corporation, the corporation in question is subject to section 3 of the Act concerning applications to bank service corporations by competitive banks for bank services, and to section 4 forbidding a bank service corporation from engaging in any activity other than the performance of bank services for banks. Section 5, mentioned previously and relating to "assurances," also is applicable in this case.

(3)  The other important difference between this case and the situation in paragraph (b) of this section is that here the bank service corporation performs services for nonsubsidiary banks, as well as for subsidiary banks. This is permissible because section 2(a) of the Bank Service Corporation Act, which authorizes any two or more banks to invest limited amounts in a bank service corporation, removes all limitations and prohibitions of Federal law exclusively relating to banks that otherwise would prevent any such investment. From the legislative history of section 2(a), it is clear that section 6 of the Bank Holding Company Act is among the limitations and prohibitions so removed. But for such removal, section 6(a)(1) of that Act would make it unlawful for any of the subsidiary banks of the bank holding company in question to own stock in the bank service corporation subsidiary of the holding company, as the exemption in section 6(b)(1) would not apply because of the servicing by the bank service corporation of nonsubsidiary banks.

(4)  Because the bank service corporation referred to in the question is serving banks other than the subsidiary banks, the bank holding company is not exempt under section 4(c)(1) of the Bank Holding Company Act from the prohibition of acquisition of nonbanking interests in section 4(a)(1) of that Act. The bank holding company, however, is entitled to the benefit of the exemption in section 4(c)(4) of the Act. That section exempts from section 4(a) "shares which are of the kinds and amounts eligible for investment by national banking associations under the provisions of section 5136 of the Revised Statutes." Section 5136 provides, in part, that: "Except as hereinafter provided or otherwise permitted by law, nothing herein contained shall authorize the purchase by the association for its own account of any shares of stock of any corporation." As the provisions of section 2(a) of the Bank Service Corporation Act and its legislative history make it clear that shares of a bank service corporation are of a kind eligible for investment by national banks under section 5136, it follows that the direct or indirect ownership or control of such shares by a bank holding company are permissible within the amount limitation discussed in paragraph (d) of this section.

(d)  Limit on investment by bank holding company system in stock of bank service corporation. (1) In the situation presented by paragraph (c) the bank holding company clearly owns or controls, directly or indirectly, all of the stock of the bank service corporation. The remaining question, therefore, is whether the total direct and indirect investment of the bank holding company in the bank service corporation exceeds the amount permissible under the Bank Holding Company Act.

(2)  The effect of sections 4(a)(1) and 4(c)(4) of the Bank Holding Company Act is to limit the amount of shares of a bank service corporation that a bank holding company may own or control, directly or indirectly, to the amount eligible for investment by a national bank, as previously indicated. Under section 2(a) of the Bank Service Corporation Act, the amount of shares of a bank service corporation eligible for investment by a national bank may not exceed "10 per centum [of the bank's] * * * paid-in and unimpaired capital and unimpaired surplus."

(3)  The Board's view is that this aspect of the matter should be determined in accordance with the principles set forth in § 225.111, as revised (27 F.R. 12671), involving the application of sections 4(a)(1) and 4(c)(4) of the Bank Holding Company Act in the light of section 302(b) of the Small Business Investment Act limiting the amount eligible for investment by a national bank in the shares of a small business investment company to two percent of the bank's capital and surplus."

(4)  Except for the differences in the percentage figures, the investment limitation in section 302(b) of the Small Business Investment Act is essentially the same as the investment limitation in section 2(a) of the Bank Service Corporation Act since, as an accounting matter and for the purposes under consideration, "capital and surplus" may be regarded as equivalent in meaning to "paid-in and unimpaired capital and unimpaired surplus." Accordingly, the maximum permissible investment by a bank holding company system in the stock of a bank service corporation should be determined in accordance with the formula prescribed in § 225.111.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 225.115]

[Source:  27 Fed. Reg. 12918, December 29, 1962]

§ 225.118  Computer services for customers of subsidiary banks.

(a)  The question has been presented to the Board of Governors whether a wholly-owned nonbanking subsidiary ("service company") of a bank holding company, which is now exempt from the prohibitions of section 4 of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 ("the Act") because its sole business is the providing of services for the holding company and the latter's subsidiary banks, would lose its exempt status if it should provide data processing services for customers of the subsidiary banks.

(b)  The Board understood from the facts presented that the service company owns a computer which it utilizes to furnish data processing services for the subsidiary banks of its parent holding company. Customers of these banks have requested that the banks provide for them computerized billing, accounting, and financial records maintenance services. The banks wish to utilize the computer services of the service company in providing these and other services of a similar nature. It is proposed that, in each instance where a subsidiary bank undertakes to provide such services, the bank will enter into a contract directly with the customer and then arrange to have the service company perform the services for it, the bank. In no case will the service company provide services for anyone other than its affiliated banks. Moreover, it will not hold itself out as, nor will its parent corporation or affiliated banks represent it to be, authorized or willing to provide services for others.

(c)  Section 4(c)(1) of the Act permits a holding company to own shares in "any company engaged solely * * * in the business of furnishing services to or performing services for such holding company and banks with respect to which it is a bank holding company * * * ." The Board has ruled heretofore that the term "services" as used in section 4(c)(1) is to be read as relating to those services (excluding "closely related" activities of "a financial, fiduciary, or insurance nature" within the meaning of section 4(c)(6)) which a bank itself can provide for its customers (§ 225.104). A determination as to whether a particular service may legitimately be rendered or performed by a bank for its customers must be made in the light of applicable Federal or State statutory or regulatory provisions. In the case of a State-chartered bank, the laws of the State in which the bank operates, together with any interpretations thereunder rendered by appropriate bank authorities, would govern the right of the bank to provide a particular service. In the case of a national bank, a similar determination would require reference to provisions of Federal law relating to the establishment and operation of national banks, as well as to pertinent rulings or interpretations promulgated thereunder.

(d)  Accordingly, on the assumption that all of the services to be performed are of the kinds that the holding company's subsidiary banks may render for their customers under applicable Federal or State law, the Board concluded that the rendition of such services by the service company for its affiliated banks would not adversely affect its exempt status under section 4(c)(1) of the Act.

(e)  In arriving at the above conclusion, the Board emphasized that its views were premised explicitly upon the facts presented to it, and particularly its understanding that banks are permitted, under applicable Federal or State law to provide the proposed computer services. The Board emphasized also that in respect to the service company's operations, there continues to effect the requirement under section 4(c)(1) that the service company engage solely in the business of furnishing services to or performing services for the bank holding company and its subsidiary banks. The Board added that any substantial change in the facts that had been presented might require re-eximination of the service company's status under section 4(c)(1).

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 225.118]

[Source:  29 Fed. Reg. 12361, August 28, 1964]

§ 225.121  Acquisition of Edge corporation affiliate by State member banks of registered bank holding company.

(a)  The Board has been asked whether it is permissible for the commercial banking affiliates of a bank holding company registered under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended, to acquire and hold the shares of the holding company's Edge corporation subsidiary organized under section 25(a) of the Federal Reserve Act.

(b)  Section 9 of the Bank Holding Company Act amendments of 1966 (Public Law 89-485, approved July 1, 1966) repealed section 6 of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956. That rendered obsolete the Board's interpretation of section 6 that was published in the March 1966 Federal Reserve Bulletin, page 339 (§ 225.120). Thus, so far as Federal banking law applicable to State member banks is concerned, the answer to the foregoing question depends on the provisions of section 23A of the Federal Reserve Act, as amended by the 1966 amendments to the Bank Holding Company Act. By its specific terms, the provisions of section 23A do not apply to an affiliate organized under section 25(a) of the Federal Reserve Act.

(c)  Accordingly, the Board concludes that, except for such restrictions as may exist under applicable State law, it would be legally permissible by virtue of paragraph 20 of section 9 of the Federal Reserve Act for any or all of the State member banks that are affiliates of a registered bank holding company to acquire and hold shares of the Edge corporation subsidiary of the bank holding company within the amount limitation in the last sentence of paragraph 12 of section 25(a) of the Federal Reserve Act.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 225.121]

[Source:  31 Fed. Reg. 10263, July 29, 1966]

§ 225.122  Bank holding company ownership of mortgage companies.

(a)  The Board of Governors recently considered whether a bank holding company may acquire, either directly or through a subsidiary, the stock of a so-called "mortgage company" that would be operated on the following basis: The company would solicit mortgage loans on behalf of a bank in the holding company system, assemble credit information, make property inspections and appraisals, and secure title information. The company would also participate in the preparation of applications for mortgage loans, which it would submit, together with recommendations with respect to action thereon, to the bank, which alone would decide whether to make any or all of the loans requested. The company would in addition solicit investors to purchase mortgage loans from the bank and would seek to have such investors contract with the bank for the servicing of such loans.

(b)  Under section 4 of the Bank Holding Company Act (12 U.S.C. 1843), a bank holding company is generally prohibited from acquiring "direct or indirect ownership" of stock of nonbanking corporations. The two exceptions principally involved in the question presented are with respect to (1) stock that is eligible for investment by a national bank (section 4(c)(5) of the Act) and (2) shares of a company "furnishing services to or performing services for such bank holding company or its banking subsidiaries" (section 4(c)(1)(C) of the Act).

(c)  The Board has previously indicated its view that a national bank is forbidden by the so-called "stock-purchase prohibition" of paragraph "Seventh" of section 5136 of the Revised Statutes (12 U.S.C. 24) to purchase "for its own account * * * any shares of stock of any corporation" except (1) to the extent permitted by specific provisions of Federal law or (2) as comprised within the concept of "such incidental powers as shall be necessary to carry on the business of banking" referred to in the first sentence of said paragraph "Seventh." There is no specific statutory provision authorizing a national bank to purchase stock in a mortgage company, and in the Board's view such purchase may not properly be regarded as authorized under the "incidental powers" clause. (See 1966 Federal Reserve Bulletin 1151; 12 CFR 208.119.) Accordingly, a bank holding company may not acquire stock in a mortgage company on the basis of the section 4(c)(5) exemption.

(d)  However, the Board does not believe that such conclusion prejudices consideration of the question whether such a company is within the section 4(c)(1)(C) "servicing" exemption. The basic purpose of section 4 of the Act is to confine a bank holding company's activities to the management and control of banks. In determining whether an activity in which a bank could itself engage is within the servicing exemption, the question is simply whether such activity may appropriately be considered as "furnishing services to or performing services for" a bank.

(e)  As indicated in the Board's interpretation published in the 1958 Federal Reserve Bulletin at page 431 (12 CFR 225.104), the legislative history of the servicing exemption indicates that it includes the following activities: "auditing, appraising, investment counseling" and "advertising, public relations, developing new business, organization, operations, preparing tax returns, and personnel." The legislative history further indicates that some other activities also are within the scope of the exemption. However, the types of servicing permitted under such exemption must be distinguished from activities of a "financial, fiduciary, or insurance nature," such as those that might be considered for possible exemption under section 4(c)(8) of the Act.

(f)  In considering the interrelation of these exemptions in the light of the purpose of the prohibition against bank holding company interests in nonbanking organizations, the Board has concluded that the appropriate test for determining whether a mortgage company may be considered as within the servicing exemption is whether the company will perform as principal any banking activities--such as receiving deposits, paying checks, extending credit, conducting a trust department, and the like. In other words, if the mortgage company is to act merely as an adjunct to a bank for the purpose of facilitating the bank's operations, the company may appropriately be considered as within the scope of the servicing exemption.1

(g)  On this basis, the Board concluded that, insofar as the Bank Holding Company Act is concerned, a bank holding company may acquire, either directly or through a subsidiary, the stock of a mortgage company whose functions are as described in the question presented. On the other hand, in the Board's view, a bank holding company may not acquire, on the basis of the servicing exemption, a mortgage company whose functions include such activities as extending credit for its own account, arranging interim financing, entering into mortgage service contracts on a fee basis, or otherwise performing functions other than solely on behalf of a bank.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 225.122]

[Source:  32 Fed. Reg. 15004, October 31, 1967, as amended at 35 Fed. Reg. 19662, December 29, 1970, effective December 21, 1970]

§ 225.123  Activities closely related to banking.

(a)  Effective June 15, 1971, the Board of Governors has amended § 225.4(a) of Regulation Y to implement its regulatory authority under section 4(c)(8) of the Bank Holding Company Act. In some respects activities determined by the Board to be closely related to banking are described in general terms that will require interpretation from time to time. The Board's views on some questions that have arisen are set forth below.

(b)  Section 225.4(a) states that a company whose ownership by a bank holding company is authorized on the basis of that section may engage solely in specified activities. That limitation refers only to activities the authority for which depends on section 4(c)(8) of the Act. It does not prevent a holding company from establishing one subsidiary to engage, for example, in activities specified in § 225.4(a) and also in activities that fall within the scope of section 4(c)(1)(C) of the Act--the "servicing" exemption.

(c)  The amendments to § 225.4(a) do not apply to restrict the activities of a company previously approved by the Board on the basis of section 4(c)(8) of the Act. Activities of a company authorized on the basis of section 4(c)(8) either before the 1970 Amendments or pursuant to the amended § 225.4(a) may be shifted in a corporate reorganization to another company within the holding company system without complying with the procedures of § 225.4(b), as long as all the activities of such company are permissible under one of the exemptions in section 4 of the Act.

(d)  Under the procedures in § 225.4(c), a holding company that wishes to change the location at which it engages in activities authorized pursuant to § 225.4(a) must publish notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the community to be served. The Board does not regard minor changes in locations as within the coverage of that requirement. A move from one site to another within a 1-mile radius would constitute such a minor change if the new site is in the same State.

(e)  Data Processing:  In providing packaged data processing and transmission services for banking, financial and economic data for installation on the premises of the customer, as authorized by § 225.4(a)(8)(ii), a bank holding company should limit its activities to providing facilities that perform banking functions, such as check collection, or other similar functions for customers that are depository or other similar institutions, such as mortgage companies. In addition, the Board regards the following as incidental activities necessary to carry on the permissible activities in this area:

(1)  Providing excess capacity, not limited to the processing or transmission of banking, financial or economic data on data processing or transmission equipment or facilities used in connection with permissible data processing and data transmission activities, where:

(A)  equipment is not purchased solely for the purpose of creating excess capacity;

(B)  hardware is not offered in connection therewith; and

(C)  facilities for the use of the excess capacity do not include the provision of any software, other than systems software (including language), network communications support, and the operating personnel and documentation necessary for the maintenance and use of these facilities.

(2)  Providing by-products of permissible data processing and data transmission activities, where not designed, or appreciably enhanced, for the purpose of marketability.

(3)  Furnishing any data processing service upon request of a customer if such data processing service is not otherwise reasonably available in the relevant market area; and

In order to eliminate or reduce to an insignificant degree any possibility of unfair competition where services, facilities, by-products or excess capacity are provided by a bank holding company's nonbank subsidiary or related entity, the entity providing the services, facilities, by-products and/or excess capacity should have separate books and financial statements, and should provide these books and statements to any new or renewal customer requesting financial data. Consolidated or other financial statements of the bank holding company should not be provided unless specifically requested by the customer.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 225.123]

[Source:  36 Fed. Reg. 10778, June 3, 1971, effective June 15, 1971, as amended at 36 Fed. Reg. 11806, June 19, 1971, effective July 1 1971; 37 Fed. Reg. 11316, June 7, 1972; 39 Fed. Reg. 11254, 11255, March 27, 1974, effective April 17, 1974; 40 Fed. Reg. 11710, March 13, 1975, effective March 7, 1975; 40 Fed. Reg. 13304, March 26, 1975; 40 Fed. Reg. 13477, March 27, 1975; 47 Fed. Reg. 37373, August 26, 1982, effective September 25, 1982; 52 Fed. Reg. 45161, November 25, 1987]

§ 225.124  Foreign bank holding companies.

(a)  Effective December 1, 1971, the Board of Governors has added a new § 225.4(g) to Regulation Y implementing its authority under section 4(c)(9) of the Bank Holding Company Act. The Board's views on some questions that have arisen in connection with the meaning of terms used in § 225.4(g) are set forth in paragraphs (b) through (g) of this section.

(b)  The term "activities" refers to nonbanking activities and does not include the banking activities that foreign banks conduct in the United States through branches or agencies licensed under the banking laws of any State of the United States or the District of Columbia.

(c)  A company (including a bank holding company) will not be deemed to be engaged in "activities" in the United States merely because it exports (or imports) products to (or from) the United States, or furnishes services or finances goods or services in the United States, from locations outside the United States. A company is engaged in "activities" in the United States if it owns, leases, maintains, operates, or controls any of the following types of facilities in the United States:

(1)  A factory,

(2)  A wholesale distributor or purchasing agency,

(3)  A distribution center,

(4)  A retail sales or service outlet,

(5)  A network of franchised dealers,

(6)  A financing agency, or

(7)  Similar facility for the manufacture, distribution, purchasing, furnishing, or financing of goods or services locally in the United States.

A company will not be considered to be engaged in "activities" in the United States if its products are sold to independent importers, or are distributed through independent warehouses, that are not controlled or franchised by it.

(d)  In the Board's opinion, section 4(a)(1) of the Bank Holding Company Act applies to ownership or control of shares of stock as an investment and does not apply to ownership or control of shares of stock in the capacity of an underwriter or dealer in securities. Underwriting or dealing in shares of stock are nonbanking activities prohibited to bank holding companies by section 4(a)(2) of the Act, unless otherwise exempted. Under § 225.4(g) of Regulation Y, foreign bank holding companies are exempt from the prohibitions of section 4 of the Act with respect to their activities outside the United States; thus foreign bank holding companies may underwrite or deal in shares of stock (including shares of United States issuers) to be distributed outside the United States, provided that shares so acquired are disposed of within a reasonable time.

(e)  A foreign bank holding company does not "indirectly" own voting shares by reason of the ownership or control of such voting shares by any company in which it has a noncontrolling interest. A foreign bank holding company may, however, "indirectly" control such voting shares if its noncontrolling interest in such company is accompanied by other arrangements that, in the Board's judgment, result in control of such shares by the bank holding company. The Board has made one exception to this general approach. A foreign bank holding company will be considered to indirectly own or control voting shares of a bank if that bank holding company acquires more than 5 percent of any class of voting shares of another bank holding company. A bank holding company may make such an acquisition only with prior approval of the Board.

(f)  A company is "indirectly" engaged in activities in the United States if any of its subsidiaries (whether or not incorporated under the laws of this country) is engaged in such activities. A company is not "indirectly" engaged in activities in the United States by reason of a noncontrolling interest in a company engaged in such activities.

(g)  Under the foregoing rules, a foreign bank holding company may have a noncontrolling interest in a foreign company that has a United States subsidiary (but is not engaged in the securities business in the United States) if more than half of the foreign company's 12-29-12>consolidated assets and revenues are located and derived outside the United States. For the purpose of such determination, the assets and revenues of the United States subsidiary would be counted among the consolidated assets and revenues of the foreign company to the extent required or permitted by generally accepted accounting principles in the United States. The foreign bank holding company would not, however, be permitted to "indirectly" control voting shares of the said United States subsidiary, as might be the case if there are other arrangements accompanying its noncontrolling interest in the foreign parent company that, in the Board's judgment, result in control of such shares by the bank holding company.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 225.124]

[Source:  36 Fed. Reg. 21808, November 16, 1971, effective December 1, 1971]

1 Insofar as the 1958 interpretation referred to above suggested that the branch banking laws are an appropriate general test for determining the scope of the servicing exemption, such interpretation is hereby modified. In view of the different purposes to be served by the branch banking laws and by section 4 of the Bank Holding Company Act, the Board has concluded that basing determinations under the latter solely on the basis of determinations under the former is inappropriate. Go back to Text


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