Fed revises process for handling appeals of adverse supervisory findings; ombudsman policy also updated

Changes to the Federal Reserve’s internal appeals process for handling appeals of adverse material supervisory determinations, and its policy for the Fed’s ombudsman, have been adopted by the Fed Board with an effective date of April 1.

The proposal was issued in 2018 and attracted five comment letters. The Fed Board has revised the final appeals process “in a number of significant ways” from the proposed policy changes, the rule notice states. The revisions, in particular:

  • clarify that matters requiring attention (MRAs) and matters requiring immediate attention (MRIAs) are appealable material supervisory determinations;
  • permit an institution’s senior management to file an appeal, provided that management informs the institution’s board of directors of their decision to file an appeal and keeps the board informed of the status of the appeal;
  • permit an institution to request an extension of time to file an appeal in appropriate circumstances; and
  • clarify that, at an institution’s request, the initial review panel must schedule a meeting with the institution.

The Fed said the final appeals process will apply to all material supervisory determination appeals initiated after the effective date.

Regarding the policy for the Fed’s ombudsman, the policy revisions formalize the ombudsman’s role with respect to appeals and provide that the ombudsman may attend meetings or deliberations relating to the appeal as an observer if requested by the institution or Federal Reserve personnel.

The revisions also, according to the rule summary, formalize the ombudsman’s role as the decisionmaker with respect to claims of retaliation; emphasize the ombudsman’s availability to facilitate the informal resolution of concerns that could ultimately lead to formal appeals and provide for tracking of complaints made by regulated institutions; and update the policy with respect to the ombudsman’s role in consumer complaint appeals.

Internal Appeals Process for Material Supervisory Determinations and Policy Statement Regarding the Ombudsman for the Federal Reserve System