While the Treasury Department has emphasized that it is allowing institutions to individually announce pre-approval of TARP Capital, Section 114(a) of EESA requires public disclosure of the completion of such purchases within two business days of the actual purchase.  (This is also confirmed in the Treasury’s FAQ, which provides “Treasury will provide electronic reports detailing any completed transactions, as required by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, within 48 hours.”)

The Treasury Department has now begun publicly announcing completed transactions.  As of October 29, 2008, the Treasury Report on Transactions listed only the original “Big 9.”

Confidential Treatment Request Update

As noted by several of our readers, the Treasury Department allows anyone to subscribe for email updates on the TARP program.  Unfortunately, these updates are typically cryptic messages that then force you to search for an update, as the updates are not clearly identified.  One of those updates recently, was a revision to the answer in the FAQ on whether applications filed by institutions or the names of the applying institutions will be released publicly.

The original answer was:

No. The CPP applications are confidential proposals submitted for review by each institution’s appropriate Federal banking agency. Applications which are denied or withdrawn will not be disclosed.

However, that answer has been significantly revised:

Any applicant desiring confidential treatment of specific portions of the application must submit a request in writing with the application. The request must discuss the justification for the requested treatment. The applicant’s reasons for requesting confidentiality should specifically demonstrate the harm (for example, loss of competitive position, invasion of privacy) that would result from public release of information (5 U.S.C. 552). Information for which confidential treatment is requested should be: (1) specifically identified in the public portion of the application (by reference to the confidential section); (2) separately bound; and (3) labeled “Confidential.” The applicant should follow the same procedure when requesting confidential treatment for the subsequent filing of supplemental information to the application.

The applicant should contact the appropriate regulatory agency for specific instructions regarding requests for confidential treatment. The appropriate regulatory agency will determine whether the information will be treated as confidential and will advise the applicant of any decision to make available to the public information labeled as “Confidential.”

In light of these revisions to the Treasury FAQ’s, our advice on Seeking Confidential Treatment is essential.