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Comment for 1030.4 - Account Disclosures

4(a) Delivery of account disclosures.

4(a)(1) Account opening.

1. New accounts. New account disclosures must be provided when:

i. A time account that does not automatically rollover is renewed by a consumer.

ii. A consumer changes a term for a renewable time account (see comment 5(b)-5 regarding disclosure alternatives.)

iii. An institution transfers funds from an account to open a new account not at the consumer's request, unless the institution previously gave account disclosures and any change-in-term notices for the new account.

iv. An institution accepts a deposit from a consumer to an account that the institution had deemed closed for the purpose of treating accrued but uncredited interest as forfeited interest (see comment 7(b)-3.)

2. Acquired accounts. New account disclosures need not be given when an institution acquires an account through an acquisition of or merger with another institution (but see § 1030.5(a) of this part regarding advance notice requirements if terms are changed).

4(a)(2) Requests.

4Paragraph (a)(2)(i).

1. Inquiries versus requests. A response to an oral inquiry (by telephone or in person) about rates and yields or fees does not trigger the duty to provide account disclosures. But when consumers ask for written information about an account (whether by telephone, in person, or by other means), the institution must provide disclosures unless the account is no longer offered to the public.

2. General requests. When responding to a consumer's general request for disclosures about a type of account (a NOW account, for example), an institution that offers several variations may provide disclosures for any one of them.

3. Timing for response. Ten business days is a reasonable time for responding to requests for account information that consumers do not make in person, including requests made by electronic means (such as by electronic mail).

4. Use of electronic means. If a consumer who is not present at the institution makes a request for account disclosures, including a request made by telephone, email, or via the institution's Web site, the institution may send the disclosures in paper form or, if the consumer agrees, may provide the disclosures electronically, such as to an email address that the consumer provides for that purpose, or on the institution's Web site, without regard to the consumer consent or other provisions of the E-Sign Act. The regulation does not require an institution to provide, nor a consumer to agree to receive, the disclosures required by § 1030.4(a)(2) in electronic form.

4Paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(A).

1. Recent rates. Institutions comply with this paragraph if they disclose an interest rate and annual percentage yield accurate within the seven calendar days preceding the date they send the disclosures.

4Paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(B).

1. Term. Describing the maturity of a time account as “1 year” or “6 months,” for example, illustrates a statement of the maturity of a time account as a term rather than a date (“January 10, 1995”).

4(b) Content of account disclosures.

4(b)(1) Rate information.

4(b)(1)(i) Annual percentage yield and interest rate.

1. Rate disclosures. In addition to the interest rate and annual percentage yield, institutions may disclose a periodic rate corresponding to the interest rate. No other rate or yield (such as “tax effective yield”) is permitted. If the annual percentage yield is the same as the interest rate, institutions may disclose a single figure but must use both terms.

2. Fixed-rate accounts. For fixed-rate time accounts paying the opening rate until maturity, institutions may disclose the period of time the interest rate will be in effect by stating the maturity date. (See appendix B, B-7 - Sample Form.) For other fixed-rate accounts, institutions may use a date (“This rate will be in effect through May 4, 1995”) or a period (“This rate will be in effect for at least 30 days”).

3. Tiered-rate accounts. Each interest rate, along with the corresponding annual percentage yield for each specified balance level (or range of annual percentage yields, if appropriate), must be disclosed for tiered-rate accounts. (See appendix A, Part I, Paragraph D.)

4. Stepped-rate accounts. A single composite annual percentage yield must be disclosed for stepped-rate accounts. (See appendix A, Part I, Paragraph B.) The interest rates and the period of time each will be in effect also must be provided. When the initial rate offered for a specified time on a variable-rate account is higher or lower than the rate that would otherwise be paid on the account, the calculation of the annual percentage yield must be made as if for a stepped-rate account. (See appendix A, Part I, Paragraph C.)

4(b)(1)(ii) Variable rates.

4Paragraph (b)(1)(ii)(B).

1. Determining interest rates. To disclose how the interest rate is determined, institutions must:

i. Identify the index and specific margin, if the interest rate is tied to an index.

ii. State that rate changes are within the institution's discretion, if the institution does not tie changes to an index.

4Paragraph (b)(1)(ii)(C).

1. Frequency of rate changes. An institution reserving the right to change rates at its discretion must state the fact that rates may change at any time.

4Paragraph (b)(1)(ii)(D).

1. Limitations. A floor or ceiling on rates or on the amount the rate may decrease or increase during any time period must be disclosed. Institutions need not disclose the absence of limitations on rate changes.

4(b)(2) Compounding and crediting.

4(b)(2)(ii) Effect of closing an account.

1. Deeming an account closed. An institution may, subject to state or other law, provide in its deposit contracts the actions by consumers that will be treated as closing the account and that will result in the forfeiture of accrued but uncredited interest. An example is the withdrawal of all funds from the account prior to the date that interest is credited.

4(b)(3) Balance information.

4(b)(3)(ii) Balance computation method.

1. Methods and periods. Institutions may use different methods or periods to calculate minimum balances for purposes of imposing a fee (the daily balance for a calendar month, for example) and accruing interest (the average daily balance for a statement period, for example). Each method and corresponding period must be disclosed.

4(b)(3)(iii) When interest begins to accrue.

1. Additional information. Institutions may disclose additional information such as the time of day after which deposits are treated as having been received the following business day, and may use additional descriptive terms such as “ledger” or “collected” balances to disclose when interest begins to accrue.

4(b)(4) Fees.

1. Covered fees. The following are types of fees that must be disclosed:

i. Maintenance fees, such as monthly service fees.

ii. Fees to open or to close an account.

iii. Fees related to deposits or withdrawals, such as fees for use of the institution's ATMs.

iv. Fees for special services, such as stop-payment fees, fees for balance inquiries or verification of deposits, fees associated with checks returned unpaid, and fees for regularly sending to consumers checks that otherwise would be held by the institution.

2. Other fees. Institutions need not disclose fees such as the following:

i. Fees for services offered to account and nonaccount holders alike, such as travelers checks and wire transfers (even if different amounts are charged to account and nonaccount holders).

ii. Incidental fees, such as fees associated with state escheat laws, garnishment or attorneys fees, and fees for photocopying.

3. Amount of fees. Institutions must state the amount and conditions under which a fee may be imposed. Naming and describing the fee (such as “$4.00 monthly service fee”) will typically satisfy these requirements.

4. Tied-accounts. Institutions must state if fees that may be assessed against an account are tied to other accounts at the institution. For example, if an institution ties the fees payable on a NOW account to balances held in the NOW account and a savings account, the NOW account disclosures must state that fact and explain how the fee is determined.

5. Fees for overdrawing an account. Under § 1030.4(b)(4) of this part, institutions must disclose the conditions under which a fee may be imposed. In satisfying this requirement institutions must specify the categories of transactions for which an overdraft fee may be imposed. An exhaustive list of transactions is not required. It is sufficient for an institution to state that the fee applies to overdrafts “created by check, in-person withdrawal, ATM withdrawal, or other electronic means,” as applicable. Disclosing a fee “for overdraft items” would not be sufficient.

4(b)(5) Transaction limitations.

1. General rule. Examples of limitations on the number or dollar amount of deposits or withdrawals that institutions must disclose are:

i. Limits on the number of checks that may be written on an account within a given time period.

ii. Limits on withdrawals or deposits during the term of a time account.

iii. Limitations required by Regulation D of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (12 CFR part 204) on the number of withdrawals permitted from money market deposit accounts by check to third parties each month. Institutions need not disclose reservations of right to require notices for withdrawals from accounts required by federal or state law.

4(b)(6) Features of time accounts.

4(b)(6)(i) Time requirements.

1. “Callable” time accounts. In addition to the maturity date, an institution must state the date or the circumstances under which it may redeem a time account at the institution's option (a “callable” time account).

4(b)(6)(ii) Early withdrawal penalties.

1. General. The term “penalty” may but need not be used to describe the loss of interest that consumers may incur for early withdrawal of funds from time accounts.

2. Examples. Examples of early withdrawal penalties are:

i. Monetary penalties, such as “$10.00” or “seven days' interest plus accrued but uncredited interest.”

ii. Adverse changes to terms such as a lowering of the interest rate, annual percentage yield, or compounding frequency for funds remaining on deposit.

iii. Reclamation of bonuses.

3. Relation to rules for IRAs or similar plans. Penalties imposed by the Internal Revenue Code for certain withdrawals from IRAs or similar pension or savings plans are not early withdrawal penalties for purposes of this part.

4. Disclosing penalties. Penalties may be stated in months, whether institutions assess the penalty using the actual number of days during the period or using another method such as a number of days that occurs in any actual sequence of the total calendar months involved. For example, stating “one month's interest” is permissible, whether the institution assesses 30 days' interest during the month of April, or selects a time period between 28 and 31 days for calculating the interest for all early withdrawals regardless of when the penalty is assessed.

4(b)(6)(iv) Renewal policies.

1. Rollover time accounts. Institutions offering a grace period on time accounts that automatically renew need not state whether interest will be paid if the funds are withdrawn during the grace period.

2. Nonrollover time accounts. Institutions paying interest on funds following the maturity of time accounts that do not renew automatically need not state the rate (or annual percentage yield) that may be paid. (See appendix B, Model Clause B-1(h)(iv)(2).)