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FCA issues guidance to Farm Credit System institutions on their use of electronic commerce (e-commerce). Provided on this page are links to e-commerce guidance provided by FCA and by the Federal Reserve Board, as well as to the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN).

Borrower Privacy

In late 1999, FCA issued a Board policy statement on borrower privacy. This policy statement explains how FCS institutions are to protect borrower information, which includes electronic information.

Laws and Regulations

E-SIGN (PDF, 14 pages, 130.96 KB) was passed by Congress in 2000 to ensure the validity and legal effect of electronic records and signatures. This act allows businesses like FCS institutions—provided they adhere to certain requirements—to use electronic records and electronic signatures in lieu of paper documents and personal signatures.

In April 2002, the FCA Board approved an e-commerce final rule (PDF, 8 pages, 70.422 KB), which explains how E-SIGN affects FCS institutions. The e-commerce final rule resulted from our e-commerce proposed rule (PDF, 7 pages, 64.685 KB) dated October 22, 2001.

In addition, Regulations B, M, and Z, which were issued by the Federal Reserve Board, contain sections pertaining to electronic communication and the electronic delivery of disclosures. FCA’s e-commerce regulation (12 CFR § 609.915) requires that System institutions must comply with Regulations B, M, and Z.

Regulation B implements the Equal Credit Opportunity Act; Regulation M implements the Consumer Leasing Act; and Regulation Z implements the Truth in Lending Act.

Each of these regulations was amended on November 9, 2007. The following PDF files contain the amendments as they were published in the Federal Register:

The amendments are effective December 1, 2007, with a mandatory compliance date of October 1, 2008.

FCA Informational Memorandums

FCA has issued Informational Memorandums related to e-commerce since 1999. The following Informational Memorandums are in effect:

  1. Electronic Filing of Part 620 Regulatory Reports (October 16, 2006)

  2. Guidance on Preparing Your Institution for a Catastrophic Event (June 22, 2006)

  3. Guidance on Response Program for Unauthorized Access to Customer Information and Customer Notice (April 21, 2005)

  4. Compliance with Farm Credit Administration E-commerce Regulations in Business Plans (November 25, 2004)

  5. Guidance on Instant Messaging (August 2, 2004)

  6. Guidance on Safeguarding Customers Against E-mail and Internet-Related Fraudulent Schemes (April 29, 2004)

  7. Recommended Elements of a Privacy Policy (July 29, 2003)

  8. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (June 26, 2003)

  9. Additional Guidance on the Risks of Weblinking (June 4, 2003)

  10. Alert: Managing Risk Associated with Wireless Networks and Customer Access (December 17, 2002)

  11. Guidance for Weblinking Relationships (September 19, 2002)

  12. Specific Guidance on Electronic Disclosures and Notices (July 26, 2002)

  13. Guidance on Authentication in an Electronic Banking Environment (July 2, 2002)

  14. Insurance Considerations for E-commerce Activities (December 20, 2001)

  15. Outsourcing of Technology-Related Products and Services (January 16, 2001)

  16. Risk Management of Outsourcing (October 25, 2000)

  17. E-commerce and Security Risks (October 2, 2000)

  18. Network Security—Support Web Sites (September 7, 2000)

  19. Web Site and Internet Guidelines (November 8, 1999)

  20. Threats to Information Management Systems (August 30, 1999)