Bowing to technology, FDIC gives state banks a break by dumping disclosure requirement

Annual disclosures of financial and other information would no longer be required for insured state nonmember banks and insured state-licensed branches of foreign banks under a final rule set for publication as early as next week – largely because the information is already available on the federal regulator’s website.

In a final rule released Friday (and expected to be published as early as Monday in the Federal Register– taking effect 30 days after that), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) said that “technological advancements over the past 30 years provide the public with ready access to more extensive and timely information on the condition and performance of individual banks, obviating the need for the annual disclosure statement requirements” in the agency’s regulations.

The agency explained that, through its action of rescinding and removing part 350 of FDIC rules from the Code of Federal Regulations, it is attempting to simplify its regulations by “removing unnecessary or redundant regulations.” That part of FDIC rules was adopted, the agency said, 32 years ago. It requires affect banks to prepare and make available to the public the annual disclosure statements (which are required to include, among other things, “required financial data comparable to specified schedules in the Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income (Call Report) filed for the previous two year-ends.”

However, much has changed since 1987 when the disclosure requirement was adopted, the FDIC indicated. “With advancements in information technology since part 350 was adopted, including widespread public access to the Internet (including through public libraries for individuals without their own direct personal access to the internet), information about the financial condition of individual insured depository institutions is now reliably and directly offered to the public through the FDIC’s and the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s (FFIEC) websites,” the final rule states.

“For example, information about the financial condition and performance of all insured depository institutions is publicly available each quarter through the Call Report and the Uniform Bank Performance Report (UBPR). In addition, enforcement actions taken by the FDIC are readily available to the public from the FDIC’s website.”

Disclosure of Financial and Other Information by FDIC-Insured State Nonmember Banks