It’s a “sign” of compliance. Financial institutions are buried under disclosure requirements; but none are more conspicuous as those required to be posted or made available for public scrutiny. Public signage and notice requirements run the gamut from loans and deposits to privacy and the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001. We’ve gathered a list of federal regulations and laws requiring public notice or disclosures for a quick compliance checkup.
A financial institution engaged in making loans for the purpose of purchasing, constructing, improving, repairing, or maintaining a dwelling or any loan secured by a dwelling must conspicuously display either:
The poster must be at least 11 by 14 inches in size and prominently displayed in a central location in the bank where deposits are received or where covered loans are made.
For financial institutions covered by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (“HMDA”), a general notice about the availability of its HMDA data must be posted in the lobby of its home office and of each branch office located in a metropolitan statistical area (“MSA”) and Metropolitan Division. A covered institution must also make its modified loan/application register (“LAR”) available to the public for a period of three years. The loan/application register made available to the public should be modified to remove the following information regarding each entry: the application or loan number, the date that the application was received, and the date action was taken.
The HMDA disclosure statement prepared by the FFIEC must be made available to the public within ten business days of receiving it, at the main office and in at least one branch office in each other MSA and each other Metropolitan Division where the institution has offices. The disclosure statement must be available for a period of five years, and the disclosures for the prior two calendar years must be maintained in the bank’s Community Reinvestment Act Public File. An institution must make the disclosure available for inspection and copying during the hours the office is normally open to the public for business and may impose a reasonable fee for any cost incurred in providing or reproducing the it.
A bank is required to post in the lobby of its main office and each of its branches a public notice about the availability of its CRA Public File. Appendix B to Regulation BB provides example formats for each type of notice to fit the institution and the location of its offices.
The CRA also requires each financial institution to maintain public files of specified information. The contents of the CRA Public File required to be maintained at the main bank office is more extensive, and, each bank branch must also maintain a file with more abbreviated contents.
Regulation CC requires that financial institutions provide customers who have a transaction account with a posted disclosure of the funds availability policy. One common error is a policy disclosure that does not reflect the actual practices followed by the institution in most cases. Regulation CC requires that you post the notice of your availability policy pertaining to consumer accounts in locations where employees accept consumer deposits. The notice must specifically state the availability periods for the various types of deposits that may be made to consumer accounts. It need not be posted at each teller window, but it must be posted in a place where consumers seeking to make deposits are likely to see it before making their deposits. The notice is not required at drive-through teller windows or at night depository locations, but it is required at all automated teller machines.
Section 326 of the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 requires adequate customer notice of the financial institution’s Customer Identification Program (“CIP”). The CIP must include procedures for providing customers with adequate notice that the bank is requesting information to verify their identities. The notice must generally describe the bank’s identification requirements and be provided in a manner that is reasonably designed to allow a customer to view it or otherwise receive the notice before the account is opened. Examples that meet the requirement include posting the notice in the lobby, on an Internet website, or within loan application documents. The notice can be given verbally, or posted or printed on documents.
Part 328 of the FDIC Rules requires the display of the official FDIC sign. Each insured depository institution must continuously display the official sign at each station or window where insured deposits are usually and normally received in the depository institution’s principal place of business and in all its branches. The official sign must be 7″ by 3″ in size, with black lettering and gold background. The official sign includes the dollar limit prescribed for FDIC insurance coverage for each depositor.
Many insured depository institutions have expanded their activities in recommending or selling to retail customers nondeposit investment products, such as mutual funds and annuities. Depository institutions commonly offer these products at the retail level, directly or through various types of arrangements with third parties. Because the products are not FDIC-insured, where nondeposit investment products are recommended or sold to retail customers, depository institutions should ensure that customers are fully informed that the products:
To minimize customer confusion with deposit products, sales or recommendations of nondeposit investment products on the premises of a depository institution should be conducted in a physical location distinct from the area where retail deposits are taken. Signs or other means should be used to distinguish the investment sales area from the retail deposit-taking area of the institution.
Financial institutions must at all times display a notice that the annual financial disclosure statement may be obtained from the bank. The notice is required to be displayed in the lobby of the main office and each branch. It must include, at a minimum, an address and telephone number to which requests should be directed. The first copy of the annual financial disclosure statement must be provided to a requester free of charge.
 Under Section 343 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), temporary unlimited deposit insurance coverage for noninterest-bearing transaction accounts (NIBTAs), including Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts, was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2012. Absent a change in law, beginning January 1, 2013, the FDIC no longer provided separate, unlimited deposit insurance coverage for NIBTAs at insured depository institutions (IDIs). IDIs were encouraged to take reasonable steps to provide adequate advance notice to NIBTA depositors of the changes in FDIC insurance coverage so that they may consider the impact of any change in coverage in their management of these transaction accounts. On November 5, 2012, the FDIC issued FIL-45-2012 Notice of Expiration: Temporary Unlimited Coverage for Noninterest-Bearing Transaction Accounts.