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Deadline Approaching – Opt-Out Deadline for Extended Transaction Account Guarantee is November 2, 2009

As a reminder, the FDIC has extended the Transaction Account Guarantee portion of the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program until June 30, 2010.  Institutions that have not previously opted-out of the program will automatically continue in the program (at increased costs) unless they pro-actively opt-out of the extension.

Starting January 1, 2009, the FDIC assessment for its full guarantee of funds held in non-interest bearing demand deposit accounts will rise to an annualized rate of 15 to 25 basis points, depending on the Risk Category rating of the institution.

The deadline to affirmatively opt out of the Transaction Account Guarantee program is November 2, 2009. We have previously posted information about how to opt out.

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FDIC Extends Transaction Account Guarantee until June 30, 2010

Update: On April 13, 2010, the FDIC granted a further extension until December 31, 2010.

On August 26, 2009, the FDIC extended the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) portion of the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program for six months, through June 30, 2010.  In addition to extending the expiration date of the TAG program, the FDIC’s final rule (1) increases the assessment fee for participation; and (2) provides an opportunity for participating institutions to opt out of the program as of January 1, 2010 (and thereby avoid the additional assessments).

All currently participating institutions have until November 2, 2009 to determine whether to continue in the program (at increased cost) or opt out of the program.  Attorneys in Bryan Cave’s financial institutions practice can discuss the advantages and disadvantages of opting out for particular financial institutions.

Six-Month Extension

Funds held in non-interest bearing demand deposit accounts (as well as NOW accounts that are obligated to pay less than 50 basis points and IOLTA accounts) will be fully guaranteed by the FDIC for participating entities through June 30, 2010.

The FDIC received comments supporting no extension, as well as supporting extensions for up to three years.  The FDIC determined a six-month extension of the TAG program “will provide the optimum balance between continuing to provide support to those institutions most affected by the recent financial and economic turmoil and phasing out the program in an orderly manner.”

Increased Assessment

Beginning January 1, 2010, participants in the TAG program will be subject to increased quarterly fees.  The amount of the assessment will depend on the institution’s Risk Category rating assigned with respect to regular FDIC assessments.  The fee will continue to be assessed only on the amount of deposits that exceed the existing deposit insurance limits.

Institutions in Risk Category I (generally well-capitalized institutions with composite CAMELS 1 or 2 ratings) will pay an annualized assessment rate of 15 basis points.  Institutions in Risk Category II (generally adequately capitalized institutions with composite CAMELS 3 or better) will pay an annualized assessment rate of 20 basis points.  Institutions in Risk Category III or IV (generally under capitalized or composite CAMELS 4 or 5) will pay an annualized assessment rate of 25 basis points.  (Through December 31, 2009, the fee will remain an annualized 10 basis point assessment for all participating institutions.)

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FDIC Proposes Possible Extension of Transaction Account Guarantee

On June 23, 2009, the FDIC voted to seek comment on whether to extend the Transaction Account Guarantee under beyond its current expiration date of December 31, 2009.  The Transaction Account Guarantee provides unlimited deposit insurance for funds held in noninterest-bearing accounts (as well as IOLTA accounts and certain NOW accounts).  The Transaction Account Guarantee is part of the FDIC’s Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program.

The FDIC proposal offers two alternatives:

  • allow the guarantee to expire as scheduled on December 31, 2009; or
  • extend the guarantee through June 30, 2010, with increased fees.

If the guarantee is allowed to expire, then insurance limits will revert to the $250,000 threshold.

If the guarantee is extended for six months through June 30, 2010, then the FDIC proposes to also increase the fee to 25 basis points annualized (from the 10 basis points currently charged).  In light of this increase, the FDIC proposes that it would give all institutions a single opportunity to opt out of the extended guarantee program (and thereby avoid the increased cost).

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FDIC Updates TLGP Opt-Out Lists

On May 6, 2009, the FDIC provided updated opt-out lists for the Debt Guarantee Program and Transaction Account Guarantee Program.  The decision to opt-out of either program was a binding decision as of December 5, 2008, and the FDIC has not given any explanation for why the opt-out lists have been updated, other than a generic statement that “entities may be added as we finalize the election submissions.”

As of December 12, 2008, 863 banks had elected to opt-out of the Transaction Account Guarantee, but that number is 1,110 banks as of May 6, 2009.  Similarly, 3,116 entities (which includes affiliated bank holding companies) had elected to opt-out of the Debt Guarantee as of December 12, 2008, but that number is 6,501 entities as of May 6, 2009 (a 109% increase).  In Georgia, 25 banks have opted out of the Transaction Account Guarantee, while 165 entities have opted out of the Debt Guarantee.

The continued updates of the opt-out lists serves as a strong reminder to review these lists before (a) presuming that noninterest bearing deposit accounts have an unlimited guarantee; or (b) accepting any senior unsecured debt as being guaranteed by the FDIC.

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An Update on All Things TARP

An Update on All Things TARP

February 2, 2009

Authored by: Robert Klingler

On January 30, 2009, Rob Klingler presented An Update on All Things TARP at the Alabama Bankers Association Community Bank Directors College.  The presentation gives an overview of the TARP Capital Purchase Program and FDIC’s Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program.

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Issuance of FDIC Guaranteed Debt

Issuance of FDIC Guaranteed Debt

January 14, 2009

Authored by: Robert Klingler

Over the last several weeks, we have had further conversations with clients and the FDIC regarding the details of the Debt Guarantee Program under the FDIC’s Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program.  In the course of these conversations, we have noticed a misunderstanding of several key components of the program.

  • Lines of Credit are not Senior Unsecured Debt. Under the regulations, senior unsecured debt must have “a specified and fixed principal amount.”  (12 CFR 370.2(e)(1).)  As a result, lines of credit are not eligible for an FDIC guarantee, and should not be included in calculating the amount of senior unsecured debt outstanding at September 30, 2008.
  • 2% of Liabilities Test is Only Available for Depository Institutions. If a bank holding company had no “senior unsecured debt” outstanding at September 30, 2008 (and remember that lines of credit are not included), then its maximum amount of guaranteed debt that can be issued is zero.  Only depository institutions themselves (and not their parent entities) can take advantage of the alternative cap of 2% of the total liabilities outstanding as of September 30, 2008.
  • Approvals to Establish or Increase a Debt Guarantee Cap will be “Very Rare.” The regulations provide a process for entities to establish or increase a debt guarantee cap.  However, we understand that all applications go to the highest levels of the FDIC in Washington DC, and there face high levels of scrutiny.  No timeframe has been provided, but given the level of scrutiny and DC review, bottlenecks are virtually guaranteed to develop.  We understand that the FDIC has lots of applications currently in the system, but the FDIC believes that approvals will be “very rare.”
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FDIC Clarifies Use of Guaranteed Debt to Provide Capital

We have previously posted on the possibility of bank holding companies using the TLGP Debt Guarantee to provide capital to subsidiary banks.  In that post, we commented on the odds of success and noted that the FDIC had not taken a formal position.  Today, the FDIC updated its TLGP FAQ and confirmed that the odds of success are in fact very low.

The FDIC’s revised answer states:

Can guaranteed debt issued by the parent company be put in a subsidiary bank as capital?

The FDIC envisions few if any circumstances under which it would approve holding company applications to establish a cap or to increase a cap where the proceeds from the resulting guaranteed debt issuance would be injected as capital into a subsidiary bank.  The Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program was not intended to be a capital enhancement program.  The Treasury Department’s TARP program has been set up for that purpose.  The purpose of the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program is to restore liquidity to the intermediate term debt market.

As a reminder, the TLGP’s alternative guarantee cap of 2% of liabilities only applies to depository institutions.  Bank holding companies are not entitled to use the 2% of liabilities test and are only eligible to issue 125% of the amount of senior unsecured debt that was outstanding as of September 30, 2008.  As a result, we believe most community bank holding companies will be required to seek FDIC approval to establish a cap or to increase a cap in order to issue FDIC guaranteed debt.  Based on the FDIC’s updated analysis, this approval seems highly unlikely.

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TLGP Opt-Out Lists

TLGP Opt-Out Lists

December 12, 2008

Authored by: Robert Klingler

On December 10, 2008, the FDIC published preliminary lists of financial institutions that have elected to opt-out of either the Debt or Transaction Account Guarantees under the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program.  As noted by the FDIC,  the decision to opt-out should not be read as a signal, either positive or negative, about the financial health of the entity.  The FDIC recommends that depositors and investors with questions ask the entities on either of these lists for a further explanation concerning the entity’s decision to opt-out of the TLGP.

As of December 12, 2008, 863 banks elected to opt-out of the Transaction Account Guarantee, while 3,116 entities (which includes affiliated bank holding companies) elected to opt-out of the Debt Guarantee.  Looking specifically at Georgia, 16 banks elected to opt-out of the Transaction Account Guarantee, while 54 entities elected to opt-out of the Debt Guarantee.

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Further Guidance on Debt Guarantee

Further Guidance on Debt Guarantee

December 11, 2008

Authored by: Robert Klingler

On December 11, 2008, the FDIC updated its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program.  The updated questions address both the Transaction Account and Debt Guarantee portions of the TLGP, but this post focuses on the Debt Guarantee.

Further Clarification on Brokered Interbank CDs

The FAQ clarifies that if an issuing bank owes a CD to a broker, the CD does not meet the definition of senior unsecured debt (and will not be guaranteed) even where an insured depository institution or credit union is the beneficiary of the CD.  If, on the other hand, the broker merely arranges placement of a CD and the bank or thrift owes the CD directly to another insured depository institution or credit union, then the CD meets the definition of senior unsecured debt (and will be guaranteed), provided that the debt is owed to the insured depository institution or credit union in its own capacity and not as agent for someone else.

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Further Guidance on Transaction Account Guarantee

On December 11, 2008, the FDIC updated its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program.  The updated questions address both the Transaction Account and Debt Guarantee portions of the TLGP, but this post focuses on the Transaction Account Guarantee.  Bank action is likely required to assure that NOW accounts are covered by the TLGP’s Transaction Account Guarantee.

The updated FAQ addresses four questions related to the guarantee of NOW accounts under the Transaction Account Guarantee.  NOW accounts with interest rates no higher than 0.50 percent are treated as noninterest-bearing transaction accounts and eligible for the guarantee “if the insured depository institution at which the account is held has committed to maintain the interest rate at or below 0.50 percent.”

The “Commitment” Process

The TLGP regulations do not provide a procedure for making this commitment or for reducing interest rates.  The FAQ clarifies that the Board of Directors or other authorized officials can make the commitment in accordance with the institution’s usual procedures for making decisions.  The commitment should be clear, in writing, and maintained in the institution’s books and records to avoid any confusion as to the nature of the commitment.

Tiered-Rate or Floating NOW Accounts

If it is possible for the interest rate paid on the NOW account to exceed 50 bps, then the account is not eligible for the guarantee, even if the interest rate remains below 50 bps.  If a NOW account (i) has a tiered-rate structure in which an interest rate above 0.50 percent is paid if the account balance is sufficiently large, or (ii) floats with an industry interest rate, then the NOW account will not be covered under the Transaction Account Guarantee “because the possibility exists that the interest rate will rise above 0.50 percent.”

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