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Title 12 Part 1273

Title 12 → Chapter XII → Subchapter D → Part 1273

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 12 Part 1273

e-CFR data is current as of September 21, 2018

Title 12Chapter XIISubchapter D → Part 1273


Title 12: Banks and Banking


§1273.1   Definitions.

For purposes of this part:

Audit Committee means the OF Independent Directors acting as the committee established in accordance with §1273.9 of this part.

Chair means the chairperson of the board of directors of the Office of Finance.

Chief Executive Officer or CEO means the chief executive officer of the Office of Finance.

Independent Director means a member of the OF board of directors who meets the qualifications set forth in §1273.7(a)(2) of this part.

[75 FR 23161, May 3, 2010, as amended at 78 FR 2328, Jan. 13, 2013; 81 FR 76298, Nov. 2, 2016]

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§1273.2   Authority of the OF.

(a) General. The OF shall enjoy such incidental powers under section 12(a) of the Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1432(a)), as are necessary, convenient and proper to accomplish the efficient execution of its duties and functions pursuant to this part, including the authority to contract with a Bank or Banks for the use of Bank facilities or personnel in order to perform its functions or duties.

(b) Agent. The OF, in the performance of its duties, shall have the power to act on behalf of the Banks in issuing consolidated obligations and in paying principal and interest due on the consolidated obligations, or other obligations of the Banks.

(c) Assessments. The OF shall have authority to assess the Banks for the funding of its operations in accordance with §1273.5 of this part.

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§1273.3   Functions of the OF.

(a) Joint debt issuance. Subject to part 1270, subparts B and C, of this chapter, and this part, the OF, as agent for the Banks, shall offer, issue, and service (including making timely payments on principal and interest due) consolidated obligations.

(b) Preparation of combined financial reports. The OF shall prepare and issue the combined annual and quarterly financial reports for the Bank System in accordance with the requirements of §1273.6(b) and appendix A of this part, using consistent accounting policies and procedures as provided in §1273.9(b) of this part.

(c) Fiscal agent. The OF shall function as the fiscal agent of the Banks.

(d) Financing Corporation and Resolution Funding Corporation. The OF shall perform such duties and responsibilities for FICO as may be required under part 1271, subpart D, of this chapter, or for REFCORP as may be required under part 1271, subpart E, of this chapter or authorized by FHFA pursuant to section 21B(c)(6)(B) of the Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1441b(c)(6)(B)).

[75 FR 23161, May 3, 2010, as amended at 81 FR 76298, Nov. 2, 2016]

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§1273.4   FHFA oversight.

(a) Oversight and enforcement actions. FHFA shall have such oversight authority over the OF, the OF board of directors, the officers, employees, agents, attorneys, accountants, or other OF staff as set forth in the Bank Act, the Safety and Soundness Act, and FHFA regulations issued thereunder.

(b) Examinations. Pursuant to section 20 of the Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1440), FHFA shall examine the OF, all funds and accounts that may be established pursuant to this part 1273, and the operations and activities of the OF, as provided for in the Bank Act, the Safety and Soundness Act, or any regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

(c) Combined financial reports. FHFA shall determine whether a combined Bank System annual or quarterly financial report complies with the standards of this part.

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§1273.5   Funding of the OF.

(a) Generally. The Banks are responsible for jointly funding all the expenses of the OF, including the costs of indemnifying the members of the OF board of directors, the Chief Executive Officer, and other officers and employees of the OF, as provided for in this part.

(b) Funding policies. (1) At the direction of and pursuant to policies and procedures adopted by the OF board of directors, the Banks shall periodically reimburse the OF in order to maintain sufficient operating funds under the budget approved by the OF board of directors. The OF operating funds shall be:

(i) Available for expenses of the OF and the OF board of directors, according to their approved budgets; and

(ii) Subject to withdrawal by check, wire transfer or draft signed by the Chief Executive Officer or other persons designated by the OF board of directors.

(2) Each Bank's respective pro rata share of the reimbursement described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall be based on a reasonable formula approved by the OF board of directors. Such formula shall be subject to the review of FHFA, and the OF board of directors shall make any changes to the formula as may be ordered by FHFA from time to time.

(c) Alternative funding method. With the prior approval of FHFA, the OF board of directors may, by contract with a Bank or Banks, choose to be reimbursed through a fee structure, in lieu of or in addition to assessment, for services provided to the Bank or Banks.

(d) Prompt reimbursement. Each Bank from time to time shall promptly forward funds to the OF in an amount representing its share of the reimbursement described in paragraph (b) of this section when directed to do so by the Chief Executive Officer pursuant to the procedures of the OF board of directors.

(e) Indemnification expenses. All expenses incident to indemnification of the members of the OF board of directors, the Chief Executive Officer, and other officers and employees of the OF shall be treated as an expense of the OF to be reimbursed by the Banks under the provisions of this part.

(f) Operating funds segregated. Any funds received by the OF from the Banks pursuant to this section for OF operating expenses promptly shall be deposited into one or more accounts and shall not be commingled with any proceeds from the sale of consolidated obligations in any manner.

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§1273.6   Debt management duties of the OF.

(a) Issuing and servicing of consolidated obligations. The OF, as agent for the Banks, shall issue and service (including making timely payments on principal and interest due, subject to §§1270.9 and 1270.10 of this chapter) consolidated obligations pursuant to and in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the OF board of directors under this part.

(b) Combined financial reports requirements. The OF, under the oversight of the Audit Committee, shall prepare and distribute the combined annual and quarterly financial reports for the Bank System in accordance with the following requirements:

(1) The scope, form, and content of the disclosure generally shall be consistent with the requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission Regulations S-K and S-X (17 CFR parts 229 and 210).

(2) Information about each Bank shall be presented as a segment of the Bank System as if generally accepted accounting principles regarding business segment disclosure applied to the combined annual and quarterly financial reports of the Bank System, and shall be presented using consistent accounting policies and procedures as provided in §1273.9(b) of this part.

(3) The standards set forth in paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section are subject to the exceptions set forth in Appendix A to this part.

(4) The combined Bank System annual financial reports shall be filed with FHFA and distributed to each Bank and Bank member within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year. The combined Bank System quarterly financial reports shall be filed with FHFA and distributed to each Bank and Bank member within 45 days after the end of the of the first three fiscal quarters of each year.

(5) The Audit Committee shall ensure that the combined Bank System annual or quarterly financial reports comply with the standards of this part.

(6) The OF and the OF board of directors, including the Audit Committee, shall comply promptly with any directive of FHFA regarding the preparation, filing, amendment, or distribution of the combined Bank System annual or quarterly financial reports.

(7) Nothing in this section shall create or be deemed to create any rights in any third party.

(c) Capital markets data. The OF shall provide capital markets information concerning debt to the Banks.

(d) NRSROs. The OF shall manage the relationships with NRSROs in connection with their rating of consolidated obligations.

(e) Research. The OF shall conduct research reasonably related to the issuance or servicing of consolidated obligations.

(f) Monitor Banks' credit exposure. The OF shall timely monitor, and compile relevant data on, each Bank's and the Bank System's unsecured credit exposure to individual counterparties.

[75 FR 23161, May 3, 2010, as amended at 81 FR 76298, Nov. 2, 2016]

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§1273.7   Structure of the OF board of directors.

(a) Membership. The OF board of directors shall consist of part-time members as follows:

(1) Each of the Bank presidents, ex officio, provided that if the presidency of any Bank becomes vacant, the person designated by the Bank's board of directors to temporarily fulfill the duties of president of that Bank shall serve on the OF board of directors until the presidency is filled permanently; and

(2) Five Independent Directors who—

(i) Each shall be a citizen of the United States;

(ii) As a group, shall have substantial experience in financial and accounting matters; and

(iii) Shall not have any material relationship with a Bank, or the OF (directly or as a partner, shareholder, or officer of an organization), as determined under criteria set forth in a policy adopted by the OF board of directors. At a minimum, such policy shall provide that an Independent Director may not:

(A) Be an officer, director, or employee of any Bank or member of a Bank, or have been an officer, director, or employee of a Bank or member of a Bank during the previous three years;

(B) Be an officer or employee of the OF, or have been an officer or employee of the OF during the previous three years; or

(C) Be affiliated with any consolidated obligations selling or dealer group under contract with OF, or hold shares or any other financial interest in any entity that is part of a consolidated obligations seller or dealer group in an amount greater than the lesser of $250,000 or 0.01% of the market capitalization of the seller or dealer group, or in an amount that exceeds $1,000,000 for all entities that are part of any consolidated obligations seller dealer group, combined. For purposes of this paragraph (a)(2)(iii)(C), a holding company of an entity that is part of a consolidated obligations seller or dealer group shall be deemed to be part of the consolidated obligations selling or dealer group if the assets of the holding company's subsidiaries that are part of a consolidated obligation seller or dealer group constitute 35% or more of the consolidated assets of the holding company.

(b) Terms. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, each Independent Director shall serve for five-year terms (which shall be staggered so that no more than one Independent Director seat would be scheduled to become vacant in any one year), and shall be subject to removal or suspension in accordance with §1273.4(a). An Independent Director may not serve more than two full, consecutive terms, provided that any partial term served by an Independent Director pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section shall not count as a term for purposes of this restriction.

(2) The OF board of directors shall fill any vacancy among the Independent Directors occurring prior to the scheduled end of a term by majority vote, subject to FHFA's review of, and non-objection to, the new Independent Director. The OF board of directors shall provide FHFA with the same biographic and background information about the new Independent Director required under paragraph (c) of this section, and FHFA shall have the same rights of non-objection to the Independent Director (and to appoint a different Independent Director) as set forth in paragraph (c) of this section. A person shall be elected (or otherwise appointed by FHFA) under this paragraph (b)(2) to serve only for the remainder of the term associated with the vacant directorship.

(c) Election of Independent Directors. The Independent Directors shall be elected by majority vote of the OF board of directors, subject to FHFA's review of, and non-objection to, each Independent Director. The OF board of directors shall provide FHFA with relevant biographic and background information, including information demonstrating that the new Independent Director meets the requirements of paragraph (a)(2) of this section, at least 20 business days before the person assumes any duties as a member of the OF board of directors. If the OF board of directors, in FHFA's judgment, fails to elect a suitably qualified person, FHFA may appoint some other person who meets the requirements of paragraph (a)(2) of this section. FHFA will provide notice of its objection to a particular Independent Director prior to the date that such Director is to assume duties as a member of the OF board of directors. Such notice shall indicate whether, given FHFA's objection, FHFA intends to fill the seat through appointment or a new election should be held by the OF board of directors.

(d) Election of Chair and Vice-Chair. (1) The Chair shall be elected by majority vote of the OF board of directors from among the Independent Directors then serving on the OF board of directors, and the Vice Chair shall be elected by majority vote of the OF board of directors from among all directors.

(2) The OF board of directors shall promptly inform FHFA of the election of a Chair or Vice Chair. If FHFA objects to any Chair or Vice Chair elected by the OF board of directors, FHFA shall provide written notice of its objection within 20 business days of the date that FHFA first receives the notice of the election of the Chair and or Vice Chair, and the OF board of directors must then promptly elect a new Chair or Vice Chair, as appropriate.

(e) By-laws and Committees. (1) The OF board of directors shall adopt by-laws governing the manner in which the board conducts its affairs, which shall be consistent with the requirements of this part and other applicable laws and regulations as administered by FHFA. The by-laws of the board of directors shall be subject to review and approval by FHFA.

(2) In addition to the Audit Committee required under §1273.9, the OF board of directors may establish other committees, including an Executive Committee. The duties and powers of such committee, including any powers delegated by the OF board of directors, shall be specified in the by-laws of the board of directors or the charter of the committee.

(f) Compensation. (1) The Bank presidents shall not receive any additional compensation or reimbursement as a result of their service as a director of the OF board.

(2) The OF shall pay reasonable compensation and expenses to the Independent Directors in accordance with the requirements for payment of compensation and expenses to Bank directors as set forth in part 1261 of this chapter.

(g) Corporate Governance and Indemnification—(1) General. The corporate governance practices and procedures of the OF, and practices and procedures related to indemnification (including advancement of expenses) shall comply with applicable Federal law, rules, and regulations.

(2) Election and designation of body of law. (i) To the extent not inconsistent with paragraph (g)(1) of this section, the OF shall elect to follow the corporate governance and indemnification practices and procedures set forth in one of the following:

(A) The law of the jurisdiction in which the principal office of the OF is located;

(B) The Delaware General Corporation Law (Del. Code Ann. Title 8); or

(C) The Revised Model Business Corporation Act.

(ii) The OF board of directors shall designate in its by-laws the body of law elected pursuant to this paragraph (g)(2).

(3) Indemnification. Subject to paragraphs (g)(1) and (2) of this section, to the extent applicable, the OF shall indemnify (and advance the expenses of) its directors, officers, and employees under such terms and conditions as are determined by the OF board of directors. The OF shall be authorized to maintain insurance for its directors, the CEO, and any other officer or employee of the OF. Nothing in this paragraph (g)(3) shall affect any rights to indemnification (including the advancement of expenses) that a director, the CEO, or any other officer or employee of the OF had with respect to any actions, omissions, transactions, or facts occurring prior to December 2, 2016.

(h) Delegation. In addition to any delegation to a committee allowed under paragraph (e) of this section, the OF board of directors may delegate any of its authority or duties to any employee of the OF in order to enable OF to carry out its functions.

(i) Outside staff and consultants. In carrying out its duties and responsibilities, the OF board of directors, or any committee thereof, shall have authority to retain staff and outside counsel, independent accountants, or other outside consultants at the expense of the OF.

[81 FR 76298, Nov. 2, 2016]

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§1273.8   General duties of the OF board of directors.

(a) General. Each director shall have the duty to:

(1) Carry out his or her duties as director in good faith, in a manner such director believes to be in the best interests of the OF and the Bank System, and with such care, including reasonable inquiry, as an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would use under similar circumstances;

(2) Administer the affairs of the OF fairly and impartially and without discrimination in favor of or against any Bank;

(3) At the time of appointment or election, or within a reasonable time thereafter, have a working familiarity with basic finance and accounting practices, including the ability to read and understand the Banks' combined balance sheets and income statements and the relevant financial statements of the OF and to ask substantive questions of management and the internal and external auditors with regard to both the combined financial statements of the Bank System and the operations and financial statements of the OF, as appropriate; and

(4) Direct the operations of the OF in conformity with the requirements set forth in the Bank Act, Safety and Soundness Act, and this chapter.

(b) Meetings and quorum. The OF board of directors shall conduct its business by majority vote of its members at meetings convened in accordance with its by-laws, and shall hold no fewer than six in-person meetings annually. Due notice shall be given to FHFA by the Chair prior to each meeting. A quorum, for purposes of meetings of the OF board of directors, shall require a majority of sitting board members, which must include a majority of sitting Independent Directors.

(c) Duties regarding COs. The OF board of directors shall oversee the establishment of policies regarding COs that shall:

(1) Govern the frequency and timing of issuance, issue size, minimum denomination, CO concessions, underwriter qualifications, currency of issuance, interest-rate change or conversion features, call features, principal indexing features, selection and retention of outside counsel, selection of clearing organizations, and the selection and compensation of underwriters for consolidated obligations, which shall be in accordance with the requirements and limitations set forth in paragraph (c)(4) of this section;

(2) Prohibit the issuance of COs intended to be privately placed with or sold without the participation of an underwriter to retail investors, or issued with a concession structure designed to facilitate the placement of the COs in retail accounts, unless the OF has given notice to the board of directors of each Bank describing a policy permitting such issuances, soliciting comments from each Bank's board of directors, and considering the comments received before adopting a policy permitting such issuance activities;

(3) Require all broker-dealers or underwriters under contract to the OF to have and maintain adequate suitability sales practices and policies, which shall be acceptable to, and subject to review by, the OF;

(4) Require that COs shall be issued efficiently and at the lowest all-in funding costs over time, consistent with—

(i) Prudent risk-management practices, prudential debt parameters, short and long-term market conditions, and the Banks' role as GSEs;

(ii) Maintaining reliable access to the short-term and long-term capital markets; and

(iii) Positioning the issuance of debt to take advantage of current and future capital market opportunities.

(d) Other duties. The OF board of directors shall:

(1) Set policies for management and operation of the OF;

(2) Approve a strategic business plan for the OF in accordance with the provisions of §1239.31 of this chapter, as appropriate;

(3) Select, employ, determine the compensation for, and assign the duties and functions of a Chief Executive Officer of the OF who shall—

(i) Be head of the OF and direct the implementation of the OF board of directors' policies;

(ii) Serve as a member of the Directorate of the FICO, pursuant to section 21(b)(1)(A) of the Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1441(b)(1)(A)); and

(iii) Serve as a member of the Directorate of the REFCORP, pursuant to section 21B(c)(1)(A) of the Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1441b(c)(1)(A)).

(4) Review and approve all contracts of the OF, except for contracts for which exclusive authority is provided to the Audit Committee by paragraphs (b)(5) and (b)(6) of §1273.9; and

(5) Assume any other responsibilities that may from time to time be assigned to it by FHFA.

(e) No rights created. Nothing in this part shall create or be deemed to create any rights in any third party.

[75 FR 23161, May 3, 2010, as amended at 81 FR 76299, Nov. 2, 2016]

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§1273.9   Audit Committee.

(a) Composition. The Independent Directors shall serve as the Audit Committee. The Audit Committee shall elect its chairperson from among its members. The Chairperson of the OF may also serve as chairperson of the Audit Committee, if the Audit Committee members so decide.

(b) Responsibilities. (1) The Audit Committee shall be responsible for overseeing the audit function of the OF and the preparation and the accurate and meaningful combination of information submitted by the Banks in the Bank System's combined financial reports.

(2) For purposes of the combined financial reports, the Audit Committee shall ensure that the Banks adopt consistent accounting policies and procedures to the extent necessary for information submitted by the Banks to the OF to be combined to create accurate and meaningful combined financial reports.

(3) The Audit Committee, in consultation with FHFA, may establish common accounting policies and procedures for the information submitted by the Banks to the OF for the combined financial reports where the Committee determines such information provided by the several Banks is inconsistent and that consistent policies and procedures regarding that information are necessary to create accurate and meaningful combined financial reports.

(4) To the extent possible the Audit Committee shall operate consistent with the requirements pertaining to audit committee reports set forth in Item 407(d)(3) of Regulation S-K promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

(5) The Audit Committee shall oversee internal audit activities, including the selection, evaluation, compensation, and, where appropriate, replacement of the internal auditor. The internal auditor shall report directly to the Audit Committee on substantive matters, and is ultimately accountable to the Audit Committee and the board of directors.

(6) The Audit Committee shall have the exclusive authority to employ and contract for the services of an independent, external auditor for the Banks' annual and quarterly combined financial statements and of an independent, external auditor for OF.

(7) The Audit Committee shall direct senior management to maintain the reliability and integrity of the accounting policies and financial reporting of the OF.

(8) The Audit Committee shall review the basis for the OF's financial statements and the external auditor's opinion rendered with respect to such financial statements.

(9) The Audit Committee shall ensure that senior management has established and is maintaining an adequate internal control system within the OF by:

(i) Reviewing the OF's internal control system and the resolution of identified material weaknesses and reportable conditions in the internal control system, including the prevention or detection of management override or compromise of the internal control system; and

(ii) Reviewing the programs and policies of the OF designed to ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies and monitoring the results of these compliance efforts.

(10) The Audit Committee shall review the policies and procedures established by senior management to assess and monitor implementation of the OF strategic business plan and the operating goals and objectives contained therein.

(11) The Audit Committee shall provide an independent, direct channel of communication between the OF's board of directors and the internal and external auditors.

(12) The Audit Committee shall conduct or authorize investigations into any matters within the Audit Committee's scope of responsibilities.

(13) The Audit Committee shall report periodically its findings to the OF's board of directors.

(14) The Audit Committee shall prepare written minutes of each Audit Committee meeting.

(c) Charter. (1) The Audit Committee shall adopt, and the OF board of directors shall approve, a formal written charter, consistent with the duties and authority set forth in this section, that specifies the scope of the Audit Committee's powers and responsibilities. The Audit Committee and the OF board of directors shall:

(i) Review, and assess the adequacy of and, where appropriate, amend the Audit Committee charter on an annual basis; and

(ii) Re-adopt and re-approve, respectively, the Audit Committee charter not less often than every three years.

(2) The charter of the Audit Committee shall be subject to review and approval by FHFA.

(d) No delegation. The Audit Committee may not delegate the responsibilities assigned to it under this section to any person, or to any other committee or sub-committee of the OF board of directors.

[75 FR 23161, May 3, 2010, as amended at 81 FR 76299, Nov. 2, 2016]

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Appendix A to Part 1273—Exceptions to the General Disclosure Standards

A. Related-party transactions. Item 404 of Regulation S-K, 17 CFR 229.404, requires the disclosure of certain relationships and related party transactions. In light of the cooperative nature of the Bank System, related-party transactions are to be expected, and a disclosure of all related-party transactions that meet the threshold would not be meaningful. Instead, the combined annual report will disclose the percent of advances to members an officer of which serves as a Bank director, and list the top ten holders of advances in the Bank System and the top five holders of advances by Bank, with a further disclosure indicating which of these members had an officer that served as a Bank director. The combined financial report will also disclose the top ten holders of advances in the Bank System by holding company, where the advances of all affiliates within a holding company are aggregated.

B. Biographical information. The biographical information required by Items 401 and 405 of Regulation S-K, 17 CFR 229.401 and 405, will be provided only for members of the OF board of directors, including the Bank presidents, the Chair and Vice-Chair of the board of directors of each Bank, and the Chief Executive Officer of OF.

C. Compensation. The information on compensation required by Item 402 of Regulation S-K, 17 CFR 229.402, will be provided only for Bank presidents and the CEO of the OF.

D. Submission of matters to a vote of stockholders. No information will be presented on matters submitted to shareholders for a vote, as otherwise required by Item 4 of the SEC's form 10-K, 17 CFR 249.310.

E. Exhibits. The exhibits required by Item 601 of Regulation S-K, 17 CFR 229.601, are not applicable and will not be provided.

F. Per share information. The statement of financial information required by Items 301 and 302 of Rule S-K, 17 CFR 229.301 and 302, is inapplicable because the shares of the Banks are subscription capital that trades at par, and the shares expand or contract with changes in member assets or advance levels.

G. Beneficial ownership. Item 403 of Rule S-K, 17 CFR 229.403, requires the disclosure of security ownership of certain beneficial owners and management. The combined financial report will provide a listing of the ten largest holders of capital stock in the Bank System and a listing of the five largest holders of capital stock by Bank. This listing will also indicate which members had an officer that served as a director of a Bank. The combined financial report will also disclose the top ten holders of Bank stock in the Bank System by holding company, where the Bank stock of all affiliates within a holding company is aggregated.

[75 FR 23161, May 3, 2010, as amended at 81 FR 76299, Nov. 2, 2016]

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