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Informational Memorandum
Subject:Amendments to and Spousal Signature Provisions of Regulation B
Date of Memorandum:03/18/2004
Expiration Date:
Signed By:Smith, Roland
FCA Contact Person:Holland, Tom
Contact Phone:703-883-4484
List of Attachments:Equal Credit Opportunity Amendments to Reg B FIL-5-2004 and Equal Credit Opportunity Spousal Signature Provisions of Reg B FIL-6-2004


March 18, 2004

To: The Chief Executive Officer
All Farm Credit System Institutions

From: Roland E. Smith, Director
Office of Examination

Subject: Amendments to and Spousal Signature Provisions of Regulation B

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation recently issued two Financial Institution Letters (FIL) to assist banks in complying with Regulation B (1), which implements the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). (2) The ECOA and Regulation B prohibit discrimination in any aspect of a credit transaction on the basis of an applicant’s national origin, marital status, religion, sex, color, race, age, receipt of public assistance benefits, or exercise of rights under the Consumer Credit Protection Act.

FIL-5-2004 summarizes the major changes to Regulation B with which compliance will soon be required. The amendments became effective on April 15, 2003, but to allow time for any necessary operational changes, the mandatory compliance date is April 15, 2004. Changes to the regulation’s official staff commentary, which interprets the regulation, were also made. The amendments to Regulation B and official staff commentary may be found on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve’s Web site at:

FIL-6-2004 provides guidance on complying with the complex marital status and spousal signature provisions of Regulation B. Those provisions significantly affect critical steps in the lending process, including underwriting, asset valuation, collateral selection and document preparation.

Copies of FIL-5-2004 and FIL-6-2004 are attached.

If you have any questions regarding this memorandum please call Thomas J. Holland, Director, Special Examination and Supervision Division, Office of Examination, at (703) 883-4483, or write to him on the Internet at e-mail address

Attachments: FIL-5-2004 (1) 12 CFR Part 202.
(2) 15 U.S.C. 1691 - 1691f.