Federal Register: July 1, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 126)
DOCID: FR Doc 03-16477
FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE BOARD
Federal Housing Finance Board
CFR Citation: 12 CFR Parts 900, 932, 955
RIN ID: RIN 3069-AB18
DOCUMENT ID: [No. 2003-10]
NOTICE: PROPOSED RULES
ACTION: Federal home loan bank system:
DOCUMENT ACTION: Proposed rule.
Federal Home Loan Bank Acquired Member Assets
DATES: Comments on this proposed rule must be received in writing on or before September 2, 2003.
The Federal Housing Finance Board (Finance Board) is proposing to amend its Acquired Member Assets (AMA) regulation, which authorizes the Federal Home Loan Banks (Banks) to acquire certain whole loans from their members. The changes proposed would place greater responsibility with each Bank to design and manage its AMA program, subject to ongoing supervisory review by the Finance Board. The proposed regulation would maintain the core provisions relating to safety and soundness, but would be less prescriptive and simpler than the current rule. The proposed rule also would codify the authority of a Bank to acquire as AMA assets instruments that are created by Bank members or housing associates in cooperation with a Bank and that represent an interest in loans that individually could qualify as AMA.
Acquired member assets, core mission activities, and investments and advances; amendments,
This proposed rule is an important first step in the Finance Board's effort to shift the focus of its regulations from a prescriptive approach to an approach that places greater responsibility on the Banks and relies more on supervisory review. The Finance Board believes that an increased focus on the process of supervisory review will enhance the safety and soundness of the Bank System.
On May 3, 2000, the Finance Board published a proposed rule to authorize the Banks to acquire certain whole loans. See proposed rule, Federal Home Loan Bank Acquired Member Assets, Core Mission Activities, Investments and Advances, 65 FR 25676 (May 3, 2000) (hereinafter the ``Proposed AMA Rule''). The Finance Board subsequently adopted a final AMA regulation, which became effective on July 17, 2000. See final rule, Federal Home Loan Bank Acquired Member Assets, Core Mission Activities, Investment and Advances, 65 FR 43969 (July 17, 2000) (hereinafter the ``current rule'' or ``final AMA rule''). The current rule authorizes the Banks to acquire certain loans (principally conforming residential mortgage loans) from their members and housing associates as a means of advancing their housing finance mission, and prescribes in some detail the manner in which the Banks may do so.
Since implementation of the current rule, the Finance Board has recognized that an alternative approach, one that places greater responsibility on the Banks, would likely prove to be more effective and efficient in regulating the Banks' mortgage purchase programs. In addition, the Finance Board, now with several years experience in overseeing these programs, has identified a number of opportunities to clarify and simplify the current rule.
Specifically, the current rule includes prescriptive provisions concerning the risksharing structure that may not be necessary for safety and soundness purposes. Such provisions include the requirement that the rating methodology be verified in writing by a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (NRSRO), even though the methodology remains subject to Finance Board approval, and that there must be certain restrictions on the credit enhancement structure, even though the member must bear the economic cost regardless of structure. Also, the current rule includes terms that have proven to be unclear and difficult to define, such as ``expected losses'' and ``valid business purpose.'' Further, the current rule does not specifically incorporate language to authorize the Banks to acquire as AMA certain instruments that are created by Bank members or housing associates in cooperation with a Bank and that represent an interest in AMAeligible loans. See final AMA rule, 65 FR at 4397478. Finally, the practice of collecting AMA data has evolved from the reporting requirements set forth in the current rule, such that some data elements have been found to be either unnecessary or readily available from other sources, while others must be collected going forward to comply with revised modeling requirements and regulatory standards.
Although some opportunities to improve the current rule exist, the current rule does contain a number of appropriate and necessary safety and soundness provisions. These provisions would be maintained or strengthened in the proposed rule, and include the requirements that all AMA must be at least investment grade when acquired, and that only highly rated insurers may provide some portion of the credit enhancement.
The Finance Board invites anyone with an interest in this proposed rule to submit written comments to the Finance Board during the comment period.
II. Analysis of Proposed Rule
The proposed rule would revise the current rule as described in the following sections.
A. DefinitionsSection 955.1
The proposed rule would add four new defined terms, and would
delete two of the existing definitions. Changes to individual
definitions in the proposed rule are discussed in later sections of this SUPPLEMENTARY
INFORMATION section in the context of specific regulatory requirements. B. Authorization To Invest in AMASection 955.2
Section 955.2 of the current rule authorizes a Bank to invest in AMA, and establishes a threepart test for AMAeligible investments. See 12 CFR 955.2. The current rule prescribes the types of assets that may qualify as AMA, the required nexus between the Bank and its member or housing associate, and the details of the credit risksharing provisions. Under the proposed rule, this section would simply authorize a Bank to invest in AMA, subject to the provisions of part 955 and 12 CFR part 980 (relating to new business activities). The existing provisions relating to asset type, member nexus, and credit risk sharing would be relocated to separate sections.
The proposed rule also would add a definition of ``AMA'' to Sec.
955.1, and would make conforming changes to the existing definition of
``AMA'' in 12 CFR 900.2. Under those definitions, the term ``AMA''
would mean any assets acquired in accordance with, and satisfying the
applicable requirements of, proposed Sec. Sec. 955.3, 955.4 and 955.5,
which address the asset type, member nexus, and credit enhancement requirements, respectively.
C. ThreePart TestProposed Sec. Sec. 955.3, 955.4 and 955.5
The proposed rule would relocate and revise each element of the threepart test, which currently is set forth in Sec. Sec. 955.2(a), 955.2(b) and 955.2(c).
1. Asset RequirementProposed Sec. 955.3
Proposed Sec. 955.3, which would specify the types of assets that are AMAeligible, would eliminate one item that currently qualifies as AMA and add another item that the Finance Board has included as AMA by interpretation. The proposed rule would retain the provisions of the current rule relating to the acquisition of whole loans that are eligible to secure Bank advances, or that are secured by manufactured housing. See 12 CFR 955.2(a)(1), (a)(2). The proposed rule would eliminate the current provision that allows certain state or local housing finance agency (HFA) bonds to qualify as AMA. 12 CFR 955.2(a)(3). The Banks are authorized to invest in certain highly rated HFA bonds under other provisions of the regulations, and the Finance Board believes that eliminating the separate investment authority under the AMA regulation would not affect the ability of a Bank to invest in HFA bonds rated AA or higher. See 12 CFR 956.2(f), 956.3(a)(4)(iii). Because the proposed rule would remove HFA bonds as AMA, the proposed rule also would eliminate provisions that establish a process for acquiring HFA bonds as AMA from a member or housing associate of another Bank. 12 CFR 955.2(b)(2)(ii).
AMAqualified interests in whole loans. Section 955.3(c) of the
proposed rule would expressly authorize as AMA investments certain
instruments that represent an interest in qualifying whole loans. The
Banks currently are authorized to make such AMA investments, based on
Finance Board guidance provided in the preamble to the current rule.
See final AMA rule, 65 FR at 4397478. The proposed rule would codify
the existing guidance. The several provisions of the proposed rule that
relate to these interests are discussed together below, under the section captioned AMAQualified Interests in Whole Loans.
2. Member or Housing Associate Nexus Requirement Proposed Sec. 955.4
Section 955.4 of the proposed rule would retain a nexus requirement
by providing that a Bank may acquire AMAeligible loans only from its
members and housing associates, from members and housing associates of
another Bank, or from another Bank. The nexus requirement is intended
to ensure that AMA assets have an appropriate connection to the Bank's
member or housing associate. That connection advances the cooperative
nature of the Bank System, and effectively precludes the extension of
membership benefits to nonmembers. The proposed rule, however, would
simplify this member or housing associate nexus requirement. The specific revisions are described below.
``Valid business purpose'' requirement. The proposed rule would eliminate the ``valid business purpose'' requirement from Sec. 955.2(b)(1)(ii) of the current rule. 12 CFR 955.2(b)(1)(ii). This provision of the current rule recognizes that members often acquire mortgage loans both by originating them, as well as by purchasing them from other parties and allows the Banks to acquire loans originated by third parties, provided that the members have acquired them for a valid business purpose. It is intended to discourage the use of members as conduits for the sole purpose of passing mortgage loans from a nonmember to the Bank. The current rule, however, does not define what constitutes a ``valid business purpose,'' and this provision has been difficult to enforce as written. The proposed elimination of this requirement is intended only to simplify the rule, and does not alter the underlying policy that AMAeligible whole loans may be acquired only from members and housing associates.
Origination or issuance requirement. The proposed rule would eliminate the requirement that AMA must be originated or issued by or through a member, housing associate, or affiliate thereof. 12 CFR 955.2(b)(1)(i). Eliminating this requirement is consistent with the elimination of the ``valid business purpose'' requirement, noted above. To eliminate only the ``valid business purpose'' requirement would render ineligible for purchase by Banks AMAqualifying loans owned by, but not originated by, members. This limitation would put a large segment of the mortgage market out of reach of the AMA programs.
If the ``valid business purpose'' and ``origination or issuance'' provisions are eliminated, as proposed, the AMA rule would no longer use the term ``affiliate.'' Thus, the Finance Board is also proposing to delete the definition of ``affiliate'' from Sec. 955.1.
Acquisition of assets from affiliates of a member. As noted
previously, the proposed rule would retain the requirement that a Bank
may acquire AMA only from a member, a housing associate, or another
Bank. 12 CFR 955.2(b)(2). Accordingly, a Bank could not purchase
mortgage assets directly from an affiliate of a member, and any such
assets would have to be acquired by the member before a Bank could
acquire them as AMA. A number of Banks have suggested that the Finance
Board permit the Banks to acquire assets directly from affiliates of a
member. As noted above, the nexus requirement ensures that AMA assets
have a connection to the members that reflects the cooperative nature
of the Bank System. Allowing a Bank to purchase AMA directly from an
affiliate would raise concerns about the extension of membership
benefits to a nonmember, even if the nonmember were under common
control with a member. Such an arrangement might also present practical
and operational concerns relating to AMA collateral and credit
enhancement because a Bank would have more extensive means of requiring
a member to meet its obligations than would be the case for a nonmember
institution. The Finance Board, however, is willing to consider this
issue further and requests comment on whether, and under what
conditions, a Bank may be permitted to acquire AMAqualifying assets
from an affiliate of a member. Among the issues on which the Finance
Board seeks comments are whether the rule should treat a wholly [[Page 39029]]
owned subsidiary of a member differently from other affiliates that are not controlled by the member, and whether the rule should allow an affiliate to sell loans to a Bank, so long as the related member provides the required credit enhancement.
3. Credit RiskSharing RequirementsProposed Sec. 955.5
The proposed rule would revise certain aspects of the credit risk
sharing requirements and would reorganize the credit risksharing
requirements to achieve greater clarity. As noted below, the proposed
rule would retain the requirements that the member must enhance the AMA
to at least investment grade and that supplemental insurance providers
must be rated at least the second highest investment grade. The Finance
Board believes that these provisions are important for safety and soundness reasons.
a. Required Credit RiskSharing StructureProposed Sec. 955.5(a)
AMA product requirement. Proposed Sec. 955.5(a)(1) would retain
the current requirement that the Bank implement a credit risksharing
structure for each AMA Product,\1\ under which a member or housing
associate provides the credit enhancement necessary to enhance an asset
or pool of assets acquired by the Bank to the equivalent of investment
grade. 12 CFR 955.3(b). The proposed rule also would add a definition
of ``investment grade'' to Sec. 955.1, which would define the term to
mean a credit quality rating in one of the four highest credit rating categories provided by an NRSRO.
\1\ The Finance Board is proposing to add a new definition to Sec. 955.1 that ``AMA Product'' means an AMA structure defined by a specific set of terms and conditions.
Asset requirement. Proposed Sec. 955.5(a)(2) would require a Bank to specify the level within investment grade to which the credit quality of the particular AMA asset or pool of assets must be equivalent. In substance, this revision is the same as the current provision, which authorizes a Bank to require a member or housing associate to provide sufficient credit enhancement to raise the credit quality of the AMA assets above the minimum level of investment grade, e.g., BBB. See 12 CFR 955.3(b).
Satisfaction of credit enhancement requirement. Proposed Sec. 955.5(a)(3) would require, for each AMA Product, that the Bank have in place a process and methodology that determines the credit enhancement required, and that demonstrates that the economic value of the credit enhancement provided by the member or housing associate is sufficient to meet the credit enhancement required. The Bank must have the process and methodology in place prior to the acquisition of any AMA assets, and must maintain the process and methodology for however long the assets remain on its books. The Bank would be required to satisfy the Finance Board as to the adequacy of the process and methodology.
While the proposed rule would maintain the requirement that a Bank
must demonstrate the sufficiency of the methodology and economic value
of the credit enhancement, to the satisfaction of the Finance Board,
the proposed rule would eliminate the requirement that such
demonstration may be provided only by written verification from an
NRSRO. 12 CFR 955.3(a), (b)(4). Although a Bank could continue to use
written NRSRO verification to demonstrate this sufficiency, the
proposed rule is intended to allow the Banks the opportunity to
determine other means by which to satisfy the requirement. Moreover,
although the Finance Board is proposing to eliminate the specific
requirement that a Bank obtain written verification from an NRSRO, the
Finance Board would continue to use NRSRO standards and practices as
the benchmark against which it judges the sufficiency of a Bank's
methodology and the economic value of the credit enhancement. Thus, as
under the current rule, to the extent an NRSRO were to decline to rate
a structured finance transaction because the underlying asset pool
included particular types or categories of assets, then the presence of
such assets within an AMA pool would effectively preclude a Bank from
calculating a putative credit rating for that pool and from complying
with the proposed credit enhancement requirements with regard to that particular pool.\2\
\2\ For example, if Standard & Poor's continues to decline to rate mortgage pools that contain loans subject to the Georgia Fair Lending Act, as in effect from October 1, 2002, until March 7, 2003, the Banks would not be in a position to demonstrate that they could rate such loans. Thus, the Banks could not buy such mortgage loans as AMA and still comply with proposed Sec. 955.5(a)(3).
The proposed requirement that a Bank must have in place its process and methodology ``prior to the acquisition of any asset or pool of assets and throughout the life of the asset or pool of assets on the Bank's books,'' would replace the current requirement that the Bank must determine the required credit enhancement at the earlier of 270 days from the date of the Bank's acquisition of the first loan in a pool, or the date at which the amount of a pool's assets reaches $100 million. 12 CFR 955.3(a). As a result of this provision, a Bank would be responsible for ensuring that none of its actions, such as the approval of the sale of mortgage servicing rights by a member or housing associate that is responsible for the required credit enhancement, would affect the estimated credit rating of an asset.
Elimination of outdated provisions. The proposed rule would eliminate Sec. 955.3(c) of the current rule, which established a 90 day period within which AMA programs in existence at the time of the effective date of the current rule had to obtain new NRSRO opinion letters. 12 CFR 955.3(c). This provision no longer has any effect, as the 90day period has since passed.
Decline in estimated credit rating. Section 955.5(a)(4) of the proposed rule would clarify the responsibilities of a Bank in the event that the estimated credit rating of an AMA asset or pool of assets were to decline to below the initially required credit rating. In those circumstances, the Bank must either require the member or housing associate to provide sufficient additional credit enhancement to restore the rating, or must recalculate and comply with the riskbased capital requirement for that asset to reflect the reduced estimated credit rating. The substance of this provision is much the same as Sec. 955.6(b) of the current rule. See 12 CFR 955.6(b).
b. Credit Enhancement RequirementsProposed Sec. 955.5(b)
Member or housing associate responsibility. Proposed Sec. 955.5(b)(1) would retain the requirement in Sec. 955.3(b) of the current rule that the credit enhancement must be provided by a member or housing associate of the Bank or, with the approval of both Banks, by a member or housing associate of another Bank. 12 CFR 955.3(b). The proposed rule would eliminate, however, many of the prescriptive structural requirements with regard to the credit enhancement that are now contained in Sec. 955.3(b). Instead, the proposed rule would allow a Bank greater freedom to design specific AMA Products. The Finance Board intends to rely on its examination and review process to verify that a Bank's AMA Products comply with the proposed credit enhancement requirements. Because the proposed credit enhancement requirements would not refer to ``expected losses,'' as does the current rule, the Finance Board is also proposing to delete the definition of this term from Sec. 955.1.
Economic cost; third party credit enhancement. Section 955.5(b)(2) of the proposed rule would broadly state that
the member or housing associate that initially provides the credit enhancement must bear all of the direct economic consequences of the credit enhancement responsibility. This means that no part of the credit enhancement costs can be paid by a Bank, either directly or indirectly. The proposed rule also would eliminate the criteria in Sec. 955.3(b)(1) of the current rule that apply if a member or housing associate provides a portion of its required credit enhancement through a third party, i.e., by contracting with an insurance affiliate, by purchasing loanlevel or poollevel insurance, or by contracting with another member or housing associate. Instead, the authority to provide the required credit enhancement through a third party would be implied from the more general requirement in proposed Sec. 955.5(b)(2) that the member or housing associate must bear all of the economic consequences of the credit enhancement responsibility. This broader language would allow a member or housing associate to purchase insurance (which could include United States government guarantees or insurance) for a portion or all of the credit enhancement obligation, or to sell a portion or all of the obligation to another qualified party, so long as the member or housing associate bears all of the economic consequences of the credit enhancement obligation. See proposed Sec. 955.5(b)(1). The current requirement that a third party may cover only those losses that remain after the member or housing associate has borne expected losses, would be eliminated. See 12 CFR 955.3(b)(1)(i), (b)(1)(ii)(B), (b)(1)(iii)(B), (b)(2). Additional requirements applicable where the third party is an insurer are discussed in the Use of mortgage insurance section below.
Although the proposed rule would retain the current requirement that members or housing associates are responsible for providing the necessary credit enhancement to raise the credit quality to investment grade, it is less prescriptive than the current rule. This approach is not intended to alter the economics of the current risksharing requirement. Instead, it is intended that with fewer restrictions on the form of the credit enhancement, and on the type and degree of supplemental mortgage insurance (SMI), the Banks may develop alternative credit enhancement structures, such as through greater use of pool insurance.
Direct obligations of members. Section 955.5(b)(3) of the proposed rule would clarify provisions in the current rule by stating that any portion of a credit enhancement that is a direct obligation of a member or housing associate and that is not covered by third party insurance generally must be fully secured by that member or housing associate with collateral that is eligible to secure an advance. The current rule had prompted questions about the need for collateral for obligations that are covered by insurance, and the proposed rule would make clear that collateral is required only to support a direct obligation of the member or housing associate itself, not the obligations of an insurer. The proposed rule also would clarify the effect of a transfer of the credit enhancement responsibility to another member or housing associate, by providing expressly that the successor shall continue to comply with any collateral requirements that applied to the initial member or housing associate. Under the proposed rule, a Bank would have an option of holding permanent capital against such direct obligations, in an amount equal to 100 percent of the nominal value of the obligation, in lieu of obtaining collateral from the member or housing associate.
The Finance Board has been asked previously to permit a member or housing associate to secure its credit enhancement obligation with collateral that is not eligible under the Bank Act to secure advances. The Finance Board has not included such a provision in the proposed rule, but requests comment on whether it would be appropriate to allow a member or housing associate to use such nonBank Acteligible collateral to secure its credit enhancement obligations.
Use of mortgage insurance. Section 955.5(b)(4) of the proposed rule
would authorize a member or housing associate to provide all or a
portion of its required credit enhancement through mortgage insurance,
provided that the insurer is rated not lower than the second highest
credit rating. If the rating of the insurer were to fall below the
second highest credit rating, the member or housing associate would
have 60 days to replace the insurance with an insurer that has the
required credit rating. This provision would modify the current rule,
which requires that such insurance be maintained at all times, and is
intended to recognize that a member or housing associate may not be able to immediately obtain replacement insurance. 12 CFR
955.3(b)(1)(ii)(A). The proposed rule also would clarify the current rule by making clear that the minimum credit rating requirement is applicable to both loanlevel and poollevel insurers.
The proposed rule also would eliminate the current restrictions on the type of insurance, particularly pool insurance, that may be used to cover any portion of the credit enhancement. Under the current rule, a member may use poollevel insurance only to cover that portion of the credit enhancement obligation that is attributable to geographic concentration and pool size. See 12 CFR 955.3(b)(1)(iii). Allowing broader use of pool insurance may enhance the safety and soundness of the Banks' AMA programs. Although the proposed rule would place fewer limitations on the use of mortgage insurance, the Finance Board expects the Banks to continue to monitor closely their exposures to individual mortgage insurers and to manage these exposures prudently. A Bank should perform an independent credit analysis of the SMI companies with which it does business to gain a more detailed understanding of their financial condition and operating performance considering the potential credit concentrations and exposure levels involved. A Bank should evaluate its potential exposure in determining the depth of credit analysis appropriate for individual SMI providers.
c. Grandfathered Transactions
The proposed rule would retain the existing AMA grandfather provision, with minor technical revisions, and would relocate it to proposed Sec. 955.5(c). 12 CFR 955.2(c)(2). Under the proposed provision, any AMAtype assets acquired by a Bank in accordance with prior resolutions of the Finance Board would not be subject to the credit enhancement requirements in proposed Sec. 955.5 of the AMA rule, provided that they remain within any total dollar cap imposed by the Finance Board.
D. AMAQualified Interests in Whole Loans
The Finance Board is proposing to incorporate into the AMA rule
previous guidance addressing the acquisition of instruments that
represent an interest in AMAeligible loans. The Finance Board had
previously provided this guidance as part of the SUPPLEMENTARY
INFORMATION section of the final AMA rule. See final AMA rule, 65 FR at
4397478. Codifying this guidance is intended to make more transparent
the existing authority for the Banks to acquire such instruments as
AMA. In adopting the Final AMA Rule, the Finance Board stated that a
Bank may acquire certificates representing interests in whole loans as AMA only if:
(1) The certificates are rated by an NRSRO to meet the credit enhancement requirement of Sec. 955.3;
(2) The certificates are issued following the execution of, and for the purpose of implementing an agreement between and
initiated by the Bank and a Bank System member or housing associate to share risks in compliance with the requirements of Sec. 955.3(b); and
(3) The initiating Bank or Banks acquire substantially all of the certificates. It is the Finance Board's view that, in such a case, the use of a third party to securitize the whole loans would merely represent a vehicle to invest in certain types of AMA under more favorable terms and should therefore be permitted under the rule. However, if the certificates have been created as a security initially available to investors generally, they will not be considered to qualify as ``whole loans'' under Sec. 955.2(a)(1). Id. at 43974. The Finance Board further explained that mortgage financing instruments structured into senior and subordinated tranches also could be included in the general definition of AMA as long as the transaction was ``implemented through a Bank's AMA program using assets that conform with the AMA requirements'' and the member involved in the transaction ``bore the risk of holding or selling the credit support tranches.'' Id. at 43977. The proposed rule would incorporate the above criteria, albeit in a less prescriptive form, into the threepart AMA test in Sec. Sec. 955.3(c), 955.4(b) and 955.5.\3\
\3\ The Finance Board's guidance in the final AMA rule was applied in reviewing the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago's (Chicago Bank) new business activity notice with regard to the Chicago Bank's Shared Funding TM Program (SFP), an AMA product offered under the Mortgage Partnership Finance Program TM (MPF). See Approval of New Business Activity Notice, 2002APP07 (Dec. 4, 2002) (available at www.fhfb.gov). Generally, under SFP, a member of the Chicago Bank will purchase AMAeligible whole loans from other Bank members that have been approved to participate in the program. The Chicago Bank member will transfer these loans to a special purpose entity (SPE) that it establishes. The SPE, in turn, will issue certificates that represent senior investment grade securities and credit support tranches and that are backed by the whole loans. The member will acquire the credit support tranches. The Chicago Bank will acquire the senior investment grade securities, all of which will receive a credit rating from an NRSRO of the second highest investment grade or better. The approval permits the Chicago Bank, or any Bank that subsequently purchases these senior securities, to sell the securities only to other Banks or qualified Bank members. The new business activity approval does not apply to transactions that would involve any loans that a Bank previously purchased as AMA. Id. The Chicago Bank announced the completion of its first SFP transaction on March 21, 2003.
Section 955.3(c) of the proposed rule, first, would require any instrument that represents an interest in whole loans to be backed only by loans that would be eligible for a Bank to acquire as AMA. In order to qualify as AMA, any such interests also must be created by a member or housing associate, in cooperation with a Bank. To help assure that the Bank's purchase of such instruments is not a mere capital markets transaction that would not advance the housing finance mission of the Bank System, the Bank cooperating in the creation of the instruments would be required initially to acquire substantially all of the assets issued under this arrangement.
Proposed Sec. 955.3(c) also would make clear that interest only
strips (IOs), principal only strips (POs), as well as other interests
in the underlying loans that have risk characteristics similar to IOs
or POs, would not qualify as AMA.\4\ At this time, the Finance Board
does not believe that these classes of assets would be consistent with
the underlying purpose of the AMA rule, which is to allow a Bank to
acquire a highquality asset from or through its members and housing
associates by transactions that support its statutory housing finance mission. See proposed AMA rule, 65 FR at 25681.
\4\ The Finance Board recognizes that Banks have expressed interest in buying IOs or POs, specifically as hedging vehicles. This proposed provision would not prevent the Finance Board from removing restrictions that currently prohibit a Bank from acquiring these types of assets for investment or hedging purposes under authority in part 956 of the Finance Board's rules, should the Finance Board decide that such restrictions are no longer warranted. 12 CFR part 956. The proposed provision, instead, would merely clarify that these assets could not be considered AMA and could not be purchased under the authority granted in proposed part 955.
Second, Sec. 955.4(b)(1) of the proposed rule would require that the whole loans underlying an AMAqualified instrument may be acquired only from the same sources from which a Bank may acquire AMAqualified whole loans. Thus, if a member were to use a trust or other special purpose entity to issue the AMAqualified interests, the underlying loans must be purchased from: A member or housing associate of the Bank; a member of another Bank, pursuant to an arrangement with that Bank; or a Bank, if approved by the Finance Board. Section 955.6 of the proposed rule would prohibit the use of existing AMA assets to create an AMAqualified instrument, without the prior approval of the Finance Board. To preserve the nexus between any such AMAqualified interests in whole loans and the Bank System, the proposed rule also would allow a Bank to sell AMAqualified interests in whole loans only to other Banks or to members of any Bank.
Finally, to qualify as AMA, an instrument representing an interest
in whole loans would have to meet the same credit risksharing
requirements as are applicable to other AMAqualified assets. Thus, the
instrument would need to be creditenhanced to a credit quality
equivalent to one of the four categories of investment grade, as
determined by the Bank. The proposed rule would differ from the prior
guidance provided in the Final AMA Rule, in that it would not require
an AMAqualified interest in whole loans to receive a public rating
from an NRSRO. If an NRSRO were to provide a public investment grade
rating of the level required by the Bank, that rating would generally
satisfy the requirements of proposed Sec. 955.5(a). Further, under
proposed Sec. Sec. 955.5(b)(1) and (b)(2), the member that arranged
the creation of the AMAqualified interest would need to provide the
required credit enhancement, and bear all of the economic consequences
of the credit enhancement responsibility, as is the case with respect
to whole loan AMA assets. The required credit enhancement could be
provided through subordinated or credit support tranches. A member
generally could meet its obligations under the proposed rule if it were
to acquire these support tranches, even if the member later sold these
interests.\5\ The proposed rule also would allow forms of credit
enhancement other than a credit support or subordinated tranche,
subject to the Bank satisfying the Finance Board that the credit
enhancement obligations of the member or housing associate would meet the requirements of proposed Sec. 955.5(b).
\5\ By acquiring the subordinated credit support tranches, the member would be bearing the direct economic consequences of losses from the underlying loans. Clearly, this will be true if the member holds the support tranches for the entire life of the pool of loans underlying the assets, because it will absorb all actual losses up to the required credit enhancement level. The member also will bear the economic consequence of these losses, however, if it sells some or all of the subordinated credit support interests, because of the price risk inherent in the sale of these instruments. Markets will reward low credit losses in the underlying pool of loans with higher prices, and penalize high losses with lower prices. Because of this, the member maintains a strong incentive to assure the credit quality of the loans that will back the senior, AMAqualified tranches purchased by the Bank, even if the member intends to sell the credit support tranches.
Moreover, given that credit support tranches would be structured
to absorb losses up to the initial required amount of the credit
enhancement, a Bank that buys the senior investment grade tranches
would have no credit exposure to the member that initially acquires
the credit support tranches or to any subsequent party that may
purchase these support tranches. A credit support tranche,
therefore, would not be within the meaning of the phrase ``direct
obligation of a member or a housing associate'' as used in proposed
Sec. 955.5(b)(3), and a member or housing associate would not need
to provide collateral in connection with this form of credit
enhancement. Because the member would not be required to post
collateral for the credit support tranches, there also would be no
need to restrict the member's sale of those tranches to other Bank members.
E. Restructuring of AMAProposed Sec. 955.6
The Finance Board is proposing to add new Sec. 955.6 to the AMA regulation. This provision would prohibit a Bank from using or selling AMA that it has already purchased and is holding on its books to create alternative asset structures, including those assets described in Sec. 955.3(c) of the proposed rule, without first obtaining Finance Board approval. Actions taken by a Bank with the intent to alter the putative or actual rating of its existing AMA or otherwise change the form of an asset or an asset's existing credit risksharing structure, would be covered by this provision. Among the factors the Finance Board would consider in reviewing a request for approval under this proposed section would be: How a Bank intends to unwind an existing credit enhancement structure or incorporate the credit enhancement into the structure of the new asset; whether, after the proposed repackaging is complete, a Bank would be holding an asset that it would not be authorized to purchase under Finance Board rules; and whether the new asset would advance or enhance the housing finance mission embedded in the AMA rule.
F. Reporting Requirements for AMAProposed Sec. 955.7
Under the proposed rule, the reporting requirements for AMA, which currently are contained in Sec. 955.4, would be revised and relocated to Sec. 955.7.
The proposed rule would clarify, in new Sec. 955.7(a), that each Bank that has members or housing associates that have provided the initial credit enhancement for AMA, would be responsible for collecting and maintaining the loanlevel and poollevel data required by Sec. 955.7 for all residential mortgage loans that constitute or otherwise back such AMA, including assets described in Sec. 955.3(c). The Bank would have this responsibility regardless of whether the AMA is participated in whole or in part to other Banks. Although the Bank would be responsible for collecting and maintaining this data and reporting the data to the Finance Board, the Bank could arrange by contract with another Bank to have this responsibility carried out by the other Bank.
The proposed rule is intended to reduce the overall burden of AMA data collection on the Banks while improving the informational content of the data that are collected. The burden would be lessened by reducing the number of data elements to be collected, by eliminating reporting redundancies, and by eliminating a requirement that the Banks aggregate data prior to reporting. Informational content would be improved by increasing the frequency of loanlevel data reporting, codifying in the proposed rule the current practice of reporting certain data elements added since the implementation of the current rule, and adding a few more data elements needed to satisfy updated credit risk modeling requirements and to comply with revised Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reporting classifications.
Conforming the requirements to existing practice. In consultation
with the Banks, the Finance Board designed a reporting format for the
semiannual loanlevel mortgage reports. In the course of these
consultations, nonsubstantive changes were made to the data
requirements of Sec. 955.4, including refining the definitions of some
of the reporting elements, and adding new elements to improve database
management and enhance monitoring.\6\ In addition, while the current
rule only requires reporting on loans acquired yeartodate, it was
determined that for purposes of safety and soundness monitoring,
certain variables should be required to be reported for all outstanding
AMA residential mortgage loans, not just for AMA residential mortgage
loans acquired during the calendar year. Thus, programtodate data are
currently collected along with data on loans acquired in the calendar
year in order to track the performance of each loan and enhance the
ability to track delinquencies. The proposed amendments to the data
reporting structure and content would reflect the current reporting system in this regard.
\6\ The definition of ``County'' was changed from the county name to the 3digit Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) code for the county. The definition of ``PMI Percent'' was changed from percent of private mortgage insurance to percent of primary mortgage insurance, including mortgages insured by government agencies. The definition of ``Credit Enhancement'' was changed from the numeric code indicating the type of credit enhancement to the dollar value of the calculated loanlevel credit enhancement. ``Prepayment Penalty Terms'' was changed to ``Prepayment Penalty Date'' and defined as the date that the application of the prepayment penalty ends. ``Default Status'' was changed to ``Delinquency Status'' and represented the delinquency status of the loan at the end of the reporting period. ``Pool Rating'' for the letter credit rating of the loan pool was added to the loanlevel data reporting requirement. ``Interest Rate'' was defined as the note rate on the loan at the time of loan origination. New variables added for database management purposes were: ``Program Type'' and ``Pool Number.''
Proposed elimination of data elements. Since the current rule went into effect, loanlevel data have been reported for four semiannual reports, and this reporting experience has revealed that some fields required in the current rule are either very sparsely populated or are relatively difficult to collect and provide little information relative to the housing finance mission of the Banks or safety and soundness monitoring. The proposed rule would eliminate these fields.\7\ \7\ Fields that were found to provide little information were the geographic indicator ``Place Code,'' and mortgage identifiers ``Cooperative Unit Mortgage,'' ``Mortgage Purchased under the Banks'' Community Investment Cash Advances (CICA) Programs'' (for singlefamily AMA), and ``Bank Real Estate Owned.'' ``Acquisition Type'' would be eliminated due to the addition of the ``Program Type'' data element.
The current rule also has resulted in reporting duplication. Basic
information on loans acquired during the first two quarters of the year
is reported twicefirst in the second quarter loanlevel report and
again in the fourth quarter loanlevel report. Under proposed Sec. 955.7, loanlevel data on the loan, borrower and property
characteristics would be required to be reported only onceat the end of the calendar quarter in which the loan is acquired. See proposed Appendices A and B, part I.
Proposed reduction in reporting burden. Proposed Sec. 955.7 would reduce the reporting burden on the Banks by eliminating the requirement that the Banks generate aggregate data reports from the loanlevel data they collect. Instead, the proposed rule would require that the Banks submit loanlevel data in place of the aggregate data. Because the loanlevel data are collected and maintained by the Banks in any event, eliminating the aggregate reporting requirement would reduce the Banks' computational burden of aggregating the loanlevel data.
In addition, the proposed rule would relieve the Banks from
reporting elements that are already collected elsewhere by the Finance
Board. Specifically, elements the Banks would no longer report are
those that describe the acquiring lender, or member selling the AMA to
the Bank, and those containing census level demographic information
related to the property.\8\ These elements are collected now by the
Finance Board through its membership data collection and directly from
the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The proposed rule
would instead add only a single element to identify such member, the ``Federal Housing Finance Board Identification (FHFBID) Number,'' which will permit linking the AMA data with the Finance Board's membership database.
\8\ The eliminated elements include ``Acquiring Lender Institution,'' ``Acquiring Lender City,'' ``Acquiring Lender State,'' ``Type of Acquiring Lender Institution,'' ``Census Tract Percent Minority,'' ``Census TractMedian Income,'' ``Local Area Median Income,'' ``Tract Income Ratio,'' ``Area Median Family Income,'' ``Borrower Income Ratio,'' ``UnitAffordable Category,'' ``Unit Type XXAffordability Level'' (for multifamily AMA), and ``Geographically Targeted Indicator.''
The proposed rule would also reduce reporting redundancy by
removing pool variables from the loanlevel data report and requiring a
separate poollevel data report. Under the current reporting system,
the poollevel credit rating, as well as the participation percentage
of each Bank in a loan's pool, is reported at the loanlevel. Thus, the
same information about the pool is reported numerous times, once for
each loan in the pool. Under the proposed rule, a pool identifier would
be reported at the loanlevel, and poollevel information would be
reported only once in the poollevel report. In addition to
streamlining the poollevel data reporting, proposed Sec. Sec.
955.7(c) and (d) would require the Banks to provide a quarterly update
on loan pools so that the Finance Board can monitor changes in the
credit quality of pools and estimated or actual credit enhancements,
which are important safety and soundness considerations. See proposed
Appendices A and B, part III. The poollevel report would include: The
``Bank District Flag;'' the ``Pool Number;'' 12 variables representing
the ``Participation Percentages'' of each of the 12 Banks in the pool;
and four variables representing information on the pool credit
enhancement and credit rating``Pool Rating,'' ``Pool Credit
Enhancement,''\9\ ``Recalculated Pool Rating,'' and ``Recalculated Credit Enhancement.''
\9\ The new data element ``Pool Credit Enhancement'' would replace the current data element ``Credit Enhancement,'' which itself has been redefined since the current rule was adopted. See n.6, supra. The Finance Board has effectively been collecting pool level credit enhancement values because it aggregates the loanlevel credit enhancement values currently collected. Standing alone, however, the loanlevel credit enhancement values are not as meaningful as the poollevel values, and the Finance Board, therefore, is proposing to collect the poollevel values directly.
Proposed addition of new data elements. The proposed rule would add several new fields to the list of required data elements to comply with OMB Notice of Decision, ``Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity,'' 62 FR 58782 (October 30, 1997) (OMB Notice of Decision). Specifically, ``Borrower Ethnicity'' and ``CoBorrower Ethnicity,'' which currently are collected and reported under the ``Borrower Race or National Origin'' and ``CoBorrower Race or National Origin'' fields, would be separately collected and reported. The race fields would be renamed ``Borrower Race'' and ``CoBorrower Race,'' consistent with the OMB Notice of Decision.
The proposed rule also would add the following loanlevel data elements to allow for better tracking and modeling of prepayment and default rates of AMA: ``Type of Credit Score;'' redefinitions of ``Borrower Credit Score'' and ``CoBorrower Credit Score'' to include, in addition to the Fair, Isaacs, Co. (FICO) score, the NextGen FICO credit score; ``Adjustment Frequency;'' ``Negative Amortization;'' ``Current Unpaid Principal Balance;'' ``Current Coupon;'' and ``Loan Amount'' (for multifamily AMA).
Each of the two proposed Appendices would be subdivided into three
parts for the three types of data that would be required to be
collected and reported: Part ILoanlevel data elements to be reported
for all singlefamily and multifamily AMA acquired during the calendar
quarter; part IILoanlevel data elements to be reported for all
singlefamily and multifamily AMA outstanding in the calendar quarter;
and part IIIPoollevel data elements to be reported for pools of
singlefamily and multifamily AMA. The loanlevel data elements contained in part I of both Appendices generally reflect
characteristics of the loan or the borrower(s) and should not change over the life of the loan. As indicated above, to simplify the current reporting requirements, loanlevel data specified in part I would only be required to be submitted during the calendar quarter in which the loan is acquired by a Bank.
The loanlevel data elements contained in part II of the Appendices would include data that the Bank would be required to report for all singlefamily and multifamily AMA outstanding in a calendar quarter. These data elements are more meaningful when monitored on a continuing basis. This information would be used by the Finance Board to create and maintain a database to be used for safety and soundness monitoring, particularly of the Bank's risk management.
Part III of the Appendices would contain the data that the Bank would be required to report for pools or assets backed by pools. This information also would be used by the Finance Board to monitor the safety and soundness of the Bank's AMA program.
The Finance Board seeks comments on whether the data descriptions in proposed Appendices A and B are clear with regard to whole loans, or pools of such loans, that would back assets described in proposed Sec. 955.3(c).
Failure to obtain data elements. The Finance Board recognizes that members or housing associates from whom the Banks acquire AMA may be unable to supply, or may fail to supply, all of the data items specified in Appendices A and B for all assets.
Neither the Bank, nor the member or housing associate from which
the Bank acquires an asset, is expected to guarantee that all data
items for each asset will be supplied. However, the Finance Board does
expect the Banks to: Monitor how completely members or housing
associates supply the requested data; identify and report to the
Finance Board difficulties, problems or issues with respect to
particular data fields or particular members or housing associates; and
work with members and housing associates to minimize gaps in the data
submissions. This guidance should not be interpreted to mean that the
Banks may acquire an asset or a pool of assets if the Banks cannot
collect data items necessary for purposes of establishing the
equivalent credit rating of such asset or pool of assets under proposed Sec. 955.5(a).
G. Administrative and Investment Transactions Between BanksProposed Sec. 955.8
Under the proposed rule, the provisions governing administrative
and investment transactions between Banks, which currently are
contained in Sec. 955.5, would be relocated to Sec. 955.8. See 12 CFR
955.5. Section 955.5(c) of the current rule states that a Bank that has
delegated its AMA pricing function to another Bank shall retain a right
to refuse to acquire AMA at prices it does not consider appropriate. 12
CFR 955.5(c). Under the AMA programs, one Bank can provide the back
office services for other Banks. Section 955.5(c) was included in the
current rule to ensure that the other Banks are not obligated to
acquire AMA at prices set by the Bank providing the backoffice
functions. The Banks have now experienced several years of
participation in AMA programs, which have grown significantly in
volume. The Finance Board seeks comment on whether Sec. 955.5(c) is no
longer necessary or appropriate now that the Banks have more experience and options relating to AMA programs.
H. RiskBased Capital Requirement for AMAProposed Sec. 955.9
The proposed rule would include a riskbased capital provision that
specifies the type and amount of capital that a Bank must hold against
AMA for which the estimated credit rating is less than the second highest category of
investment grade, e.g., less than AA. Until a Bank implements its capital structure plan and complies with the capital requirements of 12 CFR part 932, it must hold retained earnings against any outstanding AMA with an estimated credit rating of less than the second highest category of investment grade. The amount to be held is to be determined in accordance with Table 1 set forth in the proposed rule, which assigns a factor to particular credit rating categories. This provision simplifies Sec. 955.6(a) of the current rule by eliminating the provision that would allow Banks to also hold general allowance for losses in meeting their riskbased capital requirement. Because the Banks do not hold general allowance for losses, this provision has no practical effect. See 12 CFR 955.6(a).
The proposed rule also would make clear that a Bank's riskbased capital requirement for its AMA is governed by Sec. 955.9 only until it has implemented its capital structure plan and has complied with the capital requirements of 12 CFR part 932. After that time, a Bank would be governed solely by part 932 with respect to the riskbased capital requirement for AMA. This provision codifies a position previously stated by the Finance Board. See final AMA rule, 65 FR at 43978.
The proposed rule also would make a technical correction to apply the riskbased capital requirement to multifamily AMA, as well as singlefamily AMA.
The proposed rule would delete current Sec. 955.6(b) regarding the recalculation of the credit enhancement, as provisions for dealing with a decline in the estimated credit rating of an AMA asset or pool of assets would be included under proposed Sec. 955.5(a)(4), discussed above.
I. Acquisition Restrictions on Certain Loans
The Finance Board seeks comment on whether it should take measures
to prevent a Bank from acquiring loans or assets backed by loans,
through its AMA program, where the loans have certain features or were
made under circumstances that may be considered ``predatory'' or
``abusive.'' If the Finance Board seeks to limit the Banks' authority
to acquire such loans, or assets backed by such loans, what specific
measures would need to be incorporated in the rule? Among the issues on which the Finance Board seeks comments are:
(a) Whether the Finance Board should address concerns regarding the acquisition of loans or assets backed by loans where the loans have certain features or were made under circumstances that may be considered ``predatory'' or ``abusive,'' by adopting a new regulatory provision that would require each Bank to develop policies to preclude acquiring such loans, or assets backed by such loans;
(b) Whether the Finance Board should address the acquisition of loans or assets backed by loans where the loans have certain features or were made under circumstances that may be considered ``predatory'' or ``abusive,'' through specific and detailed guidance to each Bank, as other Federal financial institution regulators have done with respect to the institutions they regulate; and
(c) How loans covered by such regulation or guidance should be identified.
III. Paperwork Reduction Act
The Finance Board's information collection related to AMA assets under the current rule has been reviewed and authorized by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, as implemented by OMB in regulations at 5 CFR part 1320. The OMB control number is 30690058. As described more fully in part F of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION regarding information collection under the proposed section 955.7, the proposed rule makes a series of minor changes to the information presently collected under the current information collection. Because the information collection changes contained in this proposed rule are neither substantive nor material, no additional review or approval is required from OMB. Thus, the Finance Board has not submitted any information to OMB for review. IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act
The proposed rule, if adopted as a final rule, will apply only to
the Banks, which do not come within the meaning of ``small entities,''
as defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). See 5 U.S.C.
601(6). Therefore, in accordance with section 605(b) of the RFA, 5
U.S.C. 605(b), the Finance Board hereby certifies that the proposed
rule, if promulgated as a final rule, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
List of Subjects
12 CFR Part 900
Credit, Federal home loan banks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
12 CFR Part 932
Capital, Credit, Federal home loan banks, Housing, Investments, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
12 CFR Part 955
Credit, Federal home loan banks, Housing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
Accordingly, the Finance Board hereby proposes to amend parts 900,
932 and 955, chapter IX, title 12, Code of Federal Regulations, to read as follows:
PART 900GENERAL DEFINITIONS APPLYING TO ALL FINANCE BOARD
1. The authority citation for part 900 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 12 U.S.C. 1422b(a).
2. Revise the definition of ``acquired member assets'' to read as follows:
Sec. 900.2 Terms relating to Bank operations, mission and supervision.
* * * * *
Acquired member assets or AMA means assets acquired in accordance
with, and satisfying the applicable requirements of, Sec. Sec. 955.3, 955.4 and 955.5 of this chapter.
* * * * *
PART 932FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK CAPITAL REQUIREMENTS
3. The authority citation for part 932 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 12 U.S.C. 1422a(a)(3), 1422b(a), 1426, 1440, 1443, 1446.
Sec. 932.4 [Amended]
4. Amend the first sentence in Sec. 932.4(e)(2)(ii)(E) by:
a. Removing the phrase ``described in Sec. 955.2 of this chapter''; and
b. Removing ``Sec. 955.3'' and adding, in its place, ``Sec. 955.5''.
Sec. 932.9 [Amended]
5. Amend the first sentence of Sec. 932.9(a)(3) by removing the
phrase ``acquired member assets identified in Sec. 955.2(a)(3) of this chapter or are otherwise''.
6. Revise part 955 to read as follows:
PART 955ACQUIRED MEMBER ASSETS
955.2 Authorization to invest in AMA.
955.3 Asset requirement.
955.4 Member or housing associate nexus requirement.
955.5 Credit risksharing requirements.
955.6 Restructuring of AMA.
955.7 Reporting requirements.
955.8 Administrative and investment transactions between Banks. 955.9 Riskbased capital requirement.
Appendix A to Part 955Reporting Requirements for AMA That Are Single Family
Residential Mortgage Loans or SingleFamily Residential Mortgage Loans Backing AMA
Appendix B to Part 955Reporting Requirements for AMA That Are Multi Family
Residential Mortgage Loans or MultiFamily Residential Mortgage Loans Backing AMA
Authority: 12 U.S.C. 1422a(a)(3), 1422b(a), 1426, 1430, 1430b, 1431.
Sec. 955.1 Definitions.
As used in this part:
Acquired member assets or AMA means assets acquired in accordance with, and satisfying the applicable requirements of, Sec. Sec. 955.3, 955.4 and 955.5.
AMA Product means an AMA structure defined by a specific set of terms and conditions.
Investment grade means a credit quality rating in one of the four highest credit rating categories provided by an NRSRO.
Pool means a group of assets acquired under a given master commitment or similar agreement.
Residential real property has the meaning set forth in Sec. 950.1 of this chapter.
Sec. 955.2 Authorization to invest in AMA.
Each Bank is authorized to invest in assets that qualify as AMA, subject to the requirements of this part and part 980 of this chapter. Sec. 955.3 Asset requirement.
Assets that qualify as AMA shall be limited to the following:
(a) Whole loans that are eligible to secure advances under
Sec. Sec. 950.7(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(ii), (a)(4), or (b)(1) of this chapter, excluding:
(1) Singlefamily mortgage loans where the loan amount exceeds the limits established pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1717(b)(2); and
(2) Loans made to an entity, or secured by property, not located in a state;
(b) Whole loans secured by manufactured housing, regardless of whether such housing qualifies as residential real property under state law; or
(c) Other assets that are created by a member or housing associate in cooperation with a Bank, where the assets are backed by whole loans that meet the requirements of paragraphs (a) or (b) of this section, provided that the Bank must initially acquire substantially all of such assets and the assets do not constitute interest only strips (IO), principal only strips (PO), or other interests in the underlying loans that have risk characteristics that are similar to IO or PO instruments.
Sec. 955.4 Member or housing associate nexus requirement. (a) In the case of assets described in Sec. Sec. 955.3(a) and (b), a Bank shall acquire the assets, by means of either a purchase or a funding transaction, only from:
(1) A member or housing associate of the Bank;
(2) A member of another Bank, pursuant to an arrangement with that other Bank; or
(3) Another Bank.
(b) In the case of assets described in Sec. 955.3(c):
(1) The whole loans underlying the assets shall be acquired only from:
(i) A member or housing associate of the Bank;
(ii) A member of another Bank, pursuant to an arrangement with that other Bank; or
(iii) A Bank, if approved by the Finance Board under Sec. 955.6; and
(2) The assets may be sold by a Bank only to other Banks or to members of any Bank.
Sec. 955.5 Credit risksharing requirements.
(a) Required credit risksharing structure. (1) Product requirement. For each AMA Product, the Bank shall implement, and have in place, a credit risksharing structure under which a member or housing associate provides the credit enhancement necessary to enhance an asset or pool of assets acquired by the Bank to a credit quality that is equivalent to investment grade.
(2) Asset requirement. For each AMA asset or pool of assets to be acquired, a Bank shall specify the particular credit rating within investment grade to which the credit quality of the asset or pool of assets shall be equivalent, after accounting for the credit enhancement provided by the member or housing associate.
(3) Satisfaction of credit enhancement requirement. For each AMA Product, prior to the acquisition of any asset or pool of assets and throughout the life of the asset or pool of assets on the Bank's books, the Bank shall have in place a process and methodology that, to the satisfaction of the Finance Board:
(i) Determines the applicable credit enhancement required under paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section; and
(ii) Demonstrates that the economic value of the credit enhancement provided by the member or housing associate is sufficient to meet the applicable credit enhancement required under paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section.
(4) Decline in estimated credit rating. If the estimated credit rating of an asset or pool of assets declines to a credit rating below the credit rating required by the Bank at the time of acquisition of the asset or pool of assets, the Bank, at its discretion, shall either: (i) Require the member or housing associate to provide additional credit enhancement in an amount sufficient to restore the estimated credit rating for such asset or pool of assets; or
(ii) Recalculate, and comply with, the riskbased capital requirement for the asset or pool of assets in accordance with Sec. 932.4 of this chapter or Sec. 955.9, as applicable, based on the reduced estimated credit rating.
(b) Credit enhancement requirements. (1) Members and housing associates. The credit enhancement required under paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section shall be provided by:
(i) A member or housing associate of the Bank; or
(ii) With the approval of both Banks, a member or housing associate of another Bank.
(2) Economic cost. The member or housing associate that initially provides the required credit enhancement shall bear all of the economic consequences of the credit enhancement responsibility.
(3) Direct obligations. Any portion of the required credit enhancement that is a direct obligation of a member or housing associate of any Bank and that is not covered by insurance from a third party insurance company, shall be fully secured by collateral eligible to secure advances under part 950 of this chapter, except as otherwise provided in this paragraph. If a member or housing associate transfers such credit enhancement responsibility to another member or housing associate, the successor shall continue to satisfy the collateral requirement. In lieu of obtaining collateral to secure such direct o
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Scott Smith, Associate Director,
firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 4082991; Christina Muradian, Senior Financial Analyst, email@example.com or (202) 4082584, Office of Supervision; Sharon Like, Senior Attorney Advisor, firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 4082930; Thomas Hearn, Senior Attorney Advisor, email@example.com or (202) 408 2976; or Thomas Joseph, Senior Attorney Advisor, firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 4082512, Office of General Counsel, Federal Housing Finance Board, 1777 F Street, NW., Washington, DC 20006.