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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Fed reshaping “novel institutions” guidelines

Bank Regulatory Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Federal Reserve Federal Reserve Banks Federal Register Payments Fintech

On March 1, the Federal Reserve Board announced that it is soliciting comments on a supplement to a previous proposal intended to ensure that the Fed’s banks utilize a transparent and consistent set of factors when reviewing requests to access Federal Reserve Bank accounts and payment services. The framework, which builds on a proposal from May 2021 (covered by InfoBytes here), would establish a three tier system. Tier 1 would consist of eligible institutions that are federally-insured, and would be “subject to a less intensive and more streamlined review.” Tier 2 would consist of certain eligible institutions or holding companies that are not federally-insured but subject to prudential supervision, and would generally receive an “intermediate” level of review. Tier 3 would consist of eligible institutions that are “not federally insured and not subject to prudential supervision by a federal banking agency at the institution or holding company level,” and, given their potential higher risk, “would be subject to the strictest level of review.” Comments close 45 days after publication in the Federal Register.