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5000 - Statements of Policy


COVERED BOND POLICY STATEMENT

Background

Insured depository institutions ("IDIs") are showing increasing interest in issuing covered bonds. Although covered bond structures vary, in all covered bonds the IDI issues a debt obligation secured by a pledge of assets, typically mortgages. The debt obligation is either a covered bond sold directly to investors, or mortgage bonds which are sold to a trust or similar entity ("special purpose vehicle" or "SPV") as collateral for the SPV to sell covered bonds to investors. In either case, the IDI's debt obligation is secured by a perfected first priority security interest in pledged mortgages, which remain on the IDI's balance sheet. Proponents argue that covered bonds provide new and additional sources of liquidity and diversity to an institution's funding base. Based upon the information available to date, the FDIC agrees that covered bonds may be a useful liquidity tool for IDIs as part of an overall prudent liquidity management framework and the parameters set forth in this policy statement. Because of the increasing interest IDIs have in issuing covered bonds, the FDIC has determined to issue this policy statement with respect to covered bonds.

(a)  Definitions.

(1)  For the purposes of this policy statement, a "covered bond" shall be defined as a non-deposit, recourse debt obligation of an IDI with a term greater than one year and no more than thirty years, that is secured directly or indirectly by perfected security interests under applicable state and federal law on assets held and owned by the IDI consisting of eligible mortgages, or AAA-rated mortgage-backed securities secured by eligible mortgages if for no more than ten percent of the collateral for any covered bond issuance or series. Such covered bonds may permit substitution of cash and United States Treasury and agency securities for the initial collateral as necessary to prudently manage the cover pool.

(2)  The term "eligible mortgages" shall mean performing first-lien mortgages on one-to-four family residential properties, underwritten at the fully indexed rate and relying on documented income, and complying with existing supervisory guidance governing the underwriting of residential mortgages, including the Interagency Guidance on Non- Traditional Mortgage Products, October 5, 2006, and the Interagency Statement on Subprime Mortgage Lending, July 10, 2007, and such additional guidance applicable at the time of loan origination. Due to the predictive quality of loan-to-value ratios in evaluating residential mortgages, issuers should disclose loan-to-value ratios for the cover pool to enhance transparency for the covered bond market.

(3)  The term "covered bond obligation," shall be defined as the portion of the covered bond transaction that is the insured depository institution's debt obligation, whether to the SPV, mortgage bond trustee, or other parties.

(4)  The term "covered bond obligee" is the entity to which the insured depository institution is indebted.

(5)  The term "monetary default" shall mean the failure to pay when due (taking into account any period for cure of such failure or for forbearance provided under the instrument or in law) sums of money that are owed, without dispute, to the covered bond obligee under the terms of any bona fide instrument creating the obligation to pay.

(6)  The term "total liabilities" shall mean, for banks that file quarterly Reports of Condition and Income (Call Reports), line 21 "Total liabilities" (Schedule RC); and for thrifts that file quarterly Thrift Financial Reports (TFRs), line SC70 "Total liabilities" (Schedule SC).

(b)  Coverage. This policy statement only applies to covered bond issuances made with the consent of the IDI's primary federal regulator in which the IDI's total covered bond obligation as a result of such issuance comprises no more than 4 percent of an IDI's total liabilities, and only so long as the assets securing the covered bond obligation are eligible mortgages or AAA-rated mortgage securities on eligible mortgages, if not exceeding 10 percent of the collateral for any covered bond issuance, Substitution for the initial cover pool collateral may include cash and Treasury and agency securities as necessary to prudently manage the cover pool.

(c)  Consent to certain actions. The FDIC as conservator or receiver consents to a covered bond obligee's exercise of the rights and powers listed in 12 U.S.C. 1821(e)(13)(C), and will not assert any rights to which it may be entitled pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1821(e)(13)(C), after the expiration of the specified amount of time, and the occurrence of the following events:

(1)  If at any time after appointment the conservator or receiver is in a monetary default to a covered bond obligee, as defined above, and remains in monetary default for ten (10) business days after actual delivery of a written request to the FDIC pursuant to paragraph (d) hereof to exercise contractual rights because of such monetary default, the FDIC hereby consents pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1821(e)(13)(C) to the covered bond obligee's exercise of any such contractual rights, including liquidation of properly pledged collateral by commercially reasonable and expeditious methods taking into account existing market conditions, provided no involvement of the receiver or conservator is required.

(2)  If the FDIC as conservator or receiver of an insured depository institution provides a written notice of repudiation of a contract to a covered bond obligee, and the FDIC does not pay the damages due pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1821(e) by reason of such repudiation within ten (10) business days after the effective date of the notice, the FDIC hereby consents pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1821(e)(13)(C) for the covered bond obligee's exercise of any of its contractual rights, including liquidation of properly pledged collateral by commercially reasonable and expeditious methods taking into account existing market conditions, provided no involvement of the receiver or conservator is required.

(3)  The liability of a conservator or receiver for the disaffirmance or repudiation of any covered bond issuance obligation, or for any monetary default on, any covered bond issuance, shall be limited to the par value of the bonds issued, plus contract interest accrued thereon to the date of appointment of the conservator or receiver.

(d)  Consent. Any party requesting the FDIC's consent as conservator or receiver pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1821(e)(13)(C) pursuant to this policy statement should provide to the Deputy Director, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street, NW., F--7076, Washington DC 20429-- 0002, a statement of the basis upon which such request is made, and copies of all documentation supporting such request, including without limitation a copy of the applicable contract and of any applicable notices under the contract.

(e)  Limitations. The consents set forth in this policy statement do not act to waive or relinquish any rights granted to the FDIC in any capacity, pursuant to any other applicable law or any agreement or contract. Nothing contained in this policy alters the claims priority of collateralized obligations. Nothing contained in this policy statement shall be construed as permitting the avoidance of any legally enforceable or perfected security interest in any of the assets of an insured depository institution, provided such interest is not taken in contemplation of the institution's insolvency, or with the intent to hinder, delay or defraud the IDI or its creditors. Subject to the provisions of 12 U.S.C. 1821(e)(13)(C), nothing contained in this policy statement shall be construed as permitting the conservator or receiver to fail to comply with otherwise enforceable provisions of a contract or preventing a covered bond obligee's exercise of any of its contractual rights, including liquidation of properly pledged collateral by commercially reasonable methods.

(f)  No waiver. This policy statement does not authorize, and shall not be construed as authorizing the waiver of the prohibitions in 12 U.S.C. 1825(b)(2) against levy, attachment, garnishment, foreclosure, or sale of property of the FDIC, nor does it authorize nor shall it be construed as authorizing the attachment of any involuntary lien upon the property of the FDIC. Nor shall this policy statement be construed as waiving, limiting or otherwise affecting the rights or powers of the FDIC to take any action or to exercise any power not specifically mentioned, including but not limited to any rights, powers or remedies of the FDIC regarding transfers taken in contemplation of the institution's insolvency or with the intent to hinder, delay or defraud the institution or the creditors of such institution, or that is a fraudulent transfer under applicable law.

(g)  No assignment. The right to consent under 12 U.S.C. 1821(e)(13)(C) may not be assigned or transferred to any purchaser of property from the FDIC, other than to a conservator or bridge bank.

(h)  Repeal. This policy statement may be repealed by the FDIC upon 30 days notice provided in the Federal Register, but any repeal shall not apply to any covered bond issuance made in accordance with this policy statement before such repeal

[Source:  73 Fed. Reg. 43754, July 28, 2008].


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