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F

ederal

Re s e r v e Ba n k
DALLAS. TEXAS

of

Dallas

75222
Circular No. 76-135
October 8, 1976

A m e ric a n R e v o lu tio n B ic en ten n ia l

NEW REGULATION A A — UNFAIR O R DECEPTIVE ACTS OR PRACTICES
Consumer Complaint Procedure

TO ALL BANKS
AND OTHERS CONCERNED IN THE
ELEVENTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT:
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System has announced
the establishment of a consumer complaint procedure regarding alleged unfair or
deceptive acts or practices of State member banks and other banks. The new regu­
lation i effective as of September 27, 1976.
s
The Board will receive complaints regarding any bank. For those banks
other than State member banks of the Federal Reserve System, complaints will be
referred to the appropriate regulatory agency.
The procedures for dealing with consumer complaints are designed t :
o
1 Assure consumers of prompt and responsive action on complaints
.
involving State member banks, and prompt referral of complaints
involving other banks;
2.

Through records kept of complaints, and of findings concerning
them, provide the means to single out banking practices or acts
that are widespread or frequent enough to require possible reg­
ulatory action by the Board.

The Board's complaint procedure i not limited to those persons who are
s
customers of the bank in question, nor to those acts or practices which are already
the subject of Federal regulation. Any person with knowledge of an act or practice
which that person considers unfair or deceptive may utilize the complaint
procedures.
Complaints should describe the bank practice or action objected to, give
the name and address of the bank concerned, and the name and address of the per­
son complaining.
Complaints should be submitted (preferably) in writing to the Director
of the Office of Saver and Consumer Affairs at the Board of Governors of the Federal

This publication was digitized and made available by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' Historical Library (FedHistory@dal.frb.org)

- 2 Reserve System, Washington, D.C. 20551, or the Federal Reserve Bank for the
District in which the bank i located. In the Eleventh Federal Reserve District this
s
would be the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Regulations Department, 400 South
Akard, Dallas, Texas 75222.
Printed on the following pages i the text of the Board's order as sub­
s
mitted for publication in the FEDERAL REGISTER. Copies of the new regulation will
be sent to you as soon as they become available.
Any questions concerning Regulation A A should be directed to Samuel E.
McCloud of our Regulations Department at (214) 651-6169.
Sincerely yours,
T. W. Plant
First Vice President

TITLE 12 - BANKS AND BANKING
CHAPTER I - FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
I
SUBCHAPTER A - BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
(REG. AA)
(DOCKET NO. R-0056)
(PART 227 - UNFAIR OR DECEPTIVE ACTS OR PRACTICES)
Consumer Complaint Procedure Regarding Alleged Unfair or Deceptive
Acts or Practices of State Member Banks

The Federal Trade Commission Act as amended (Public Law 93-637) requires
each of the Federal bank supervisory agencies to establish a separate division of consumer
affairs and to institute a procedure for handling consumer complaints regarding unfair or
deceptive acts or practices of banks under their jurisdiction. Pursuant to §18(f) of that
Act, the Board of Governors has instituted a procedure for receiving and handling con­
sumer complaints regarding State-chartered banks that are members of the Federal Reserve
System.
In August 1974, in anticipation of the passage of Public Law 93-637, the Board
established a separate Office of Saver and Consumer Affairs which administers the con­
sumer legislation for which the Board has been given responsibility. Among these statutes
are the Truth-in-Lending Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Credit Billing Act,
the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act as amended, and the
Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.
The Board instituted a formal System-wide procedure for handling consumer
complaints regarding State member banks in January 1976. The procedure i designed to
s
serve two purposes. First, i assures consumers of prompt and responsive action on their
t
complaints involving State member banks. Second, i provides a mechanism for identifying
t
those acts or practices of commercial banks that may require further investigation and pos­
sible regulatory action by the Board. In order to provide the Board with comprehensive
current information on complaints against commercial banks not under i s direct supervi­
t
sion, the other two Federal bank supervisory agencies (the Comptroller of the Currency
and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) have established ongoing procedures by
which the Board receives quarterly reports on the number and substance of complaints
against national and insured nonmember State banks.
The Board's complaint procedure i not limited to those persons who are cus­
s
tomers of the State member bank in question or to those acts or practices that are already
the subject of Federal regulation. Any person with knowledge of an act or practice of a
State member bank that the person considers unfair or deceptive may utilize the complaint
procedure. Similarly, while a consumer complaint may arise under an existing Federal

- 2 statute or Board regulation, a complaint may also be directed at an act or practice that i
s
either expressly authorized or not prohibited by current Federal or State laws or regula­
tions. However, the complaint procedure does not apply to requests for general informa­
tion or publications such as statistical data. Nor does i apply to complaints regarding
t
such matters as monetary policy, fiscal agency functions, or Treasury issues.
Complaints regarding State member banks should be addressed to the Director,
Office of Saver and Consumer Affairs, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System,
Washington, D.C. 20551. Such complaints may also be addressed to the Federal Reserve
Bank serving the district in which the State member bank i located. The locations of these
s
Federal Reserve Banks and names and addresses to whom complaints may be addressed
follow:
Mr. Luther M. Hoyle, Jr.
Vice President
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
30 Pearl Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02106

Mr. Harris C. Buell, Jr.
Assistant Vice President
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
230 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, Illinois 60690

Mr. Edward F. Kipfstuhl
Manager, Bank Regulations Department
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
33 Liberty Street
New York, New York 10045

Mr. Harold E. Uthoff
Vice President
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
411 Locust Street
St. Louis, Missouri 63166

Mr. Lawrence C. Murdoch, Jr.
Vice President and Secretary
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
925 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19105

Mr. Sheldon Azine
Assistant Counsel and Assistant Secretary
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
250 Marquette Street
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55480

Mr. Harry Huning
Vice President
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
1455 East Sixth Street
Cleveland, Ohio 44101

Mr. Robert Scott
Chief Examiner
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
925 Grand Avenue
Kansas City, Missouri 64198

Mr. James Slate
Assistant Counsel
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
100 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23261

Mr. George C. Cochran, II
I
Vice President
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
400 South Akard Street
Dallas, Texas 75222

M r . Jack Sicard
Assistant Vice President
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
104 Marietta Street, N.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Mr. Oscar Cel I
i
Credit and Consumer Affairs Officer
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
400 Sansome Street
San Francisco, California 94120

- 3 C o m p l a in t s r e g a r d i n g b a n k s o t h e r t h a n S ta t e m e m b e r b a n k s a r e n o t s u b j e c t to
t h e B o a r d ' s c o n s u m e r c o m p la i n t p r o c e d u r e s . S u c h c o m p la i n ts s h o u l d b e a d d r e s s e d to t h e
a g e n c y h a v i n g j u r i s d i c t i o n w ith r e s p e c t to t h a t i n s t i t u t i o n . F o llo w in g is a list of t h e a p p r o ­
p r i a t e F e d e r a l a g e n c i e s to w h i c h c o m p la i n ts s h o u l d b e a d d r e s s e d a n d t h e t y p e s of i n s t i t u ­
t i o n s f o r w h ic h t h e a g e n c i e s a r e r e s p o n s i b l e :
N ational B a n k s
C o m p t r o l l e r of t h e C u r r e n c y
W a s h i n g t o n , D . C . 20219
Nonmem ber In su re d B anks
F e d e r a l D e p o s it I n s u r a n c e C o r p o r a t i o n
R eg io n al D i r e c t o r f o r t h e r e g i o n in w h i c h t h e
n o n m e m b e r i n s u r e d b a n k is l o c a te d .
T h e p r o v i s i o n s of 5 U . S . C . §553 w ith r e s p e c t to n o tic e of p r o p o s e d r u l e m a k i n g ,
o p p o r t u n i t y for c o m m e n t, a n d d e l a y e d e f f e c tiv e d a t e a r e d e e m e d i n a p p l i c a b l e to t h i s r u l e
b e c a u s e it c o n s t i t u t e s a r u l e of a g e n c y o r g a n i z a t i o n , p r o c e d u r e o r p r a c t i c e , w i t h i n t h e
m e a n in g of 5 U . S . C . § 553(b) (A) . T h e r u l e is e f f e c tiv e im m e d ia te ly .
P u r s u a n t to § 1 8 (f) o f th e F e d e r a l T r a d e C o m m is s io n A ct a s a m e n d e d b y P u b l i c
Law 93-637, t h e B o a r d h e r e b y a m e n d s 12 CFR C h a p t e r II b y a d d i n g a n e w P a r t 227, to r e a d
a s follows:
PART 227—UNFAIR OR DECEPTIVE ACTS OR PRACTICES
SECTION 2 2 7 .1 — DEFINITIONS
F o r t h e p u r p o s e s of t h i s P a r t , ^ u n l e s s t h e c o n t e x t i n d i c a t e s o t h e r w i s e , t h e fol­
lo w in g d e f i n i t i o n s a p p l y :
(a) " B o a r d " m e a n s t h e B o a r d of G o v e r n o r s of t h e F e d e r a l R e s e r v e S y s t e m .
(b) " C o n s u m e r c o m p la i n t” m e a n s a n a l l e g a t i o n b y o r on b e h a l f of a n i n d i v i d u a l ,
g r o u p of i n d i v i d u a l s , o r o t h e r e n t i t y t h a t a p a r t i c u l a r a c t o r p r a c t i c e of a S ta t e m e m b e r b a n k
is u n f a i r o r d e c e p t i v e , o r in v io la tio n of a r e g u l a t i o n i s s u e d b y t h e B o a r d p u r s u a n t to a F e d ­
e r a l s t a t u t e , o r in v io la tio n of a n y o t h e r A ct o r r e g u l a t i o n u n d e r w h i c h t h e B a n k m u s t o p e r a t e .
(c) " S ta t e m e m b e r b a n k " m e a n s a b a n k th a t is c h a r t e r e d b y a S ta t e a n d is a mem­
b e r of t h e F e d e r a l R e s e r v e S y s t e m .
(d) U n l e s s t h e c o n t e x t i n d i c a t e s o t h e r w i s e , " b a n k " s h a l l b e c o n s t r u e d to m e an a
" S ta te m e m b e r b a n k , " a n d " c o m p l a in t " to m e a n a " c o n s u m e r c o m p l a i n t . "

1 T h e w o r d s " t h i s P a r t , " a s u s e d h e r e i n , m e a n T i t l e 12, C h a p t e r II, P a r t 227 o f t h e C o d e of
F e d e r a l R e g u l a t i o n s , c i te d a s 12 CFR 227 a n d d e s i g n a t e d a s R e g u l a t i o n AA.

- 4 SECTION 227.2—CONSUMER COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

(a)
S u b m i s s i o n of c o m p l a i n t s . (1) A n y c o n s u m e r h a v i n g a c o m p la i n t r e g a r d
a S t a t e m e m b e r b a n k is in v i t e d to s u b m i t it to t h e F e d e r a l R e s e r v e S y s t e m . T h e c o m p la i n t
s h o u l d b e s u b m i t t e d in w r i t i n g , if p o s s i b l e , a n d s h o u l d i n c l u d e t h e f o llo w in g in fo rm a tio n :
(i)
A d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e a c t o r p r a c t i c e t h a t is t h o u g h t to b e u n f a i r o r
d e c e p t i v e , o r in v io l a ti o n of e x i s t i n g law o r r e g u l a t i o n , i n c l u d i n g all r e l e v a n t fa c ts;
(ii)

T h e n a m e a n d a d d r e s s of t h e b a n k t h a t is t h e s u b j e c t of t h e co m ­

(iii)

T h e n a m e a n d a d d r e s s of t h e c o m p l a i n a n t .

p lain t; an d

(2) C o n s u m e r c o m p l a i n t s s h o u l d b e m a d e to:
(i)
T h e D i r e c t o r , Office of S a v e r a n d C o n s u m e r A f f a i r s , B o a rd of
G o v e r n o r s of t h e F e d e r a l R e s e r v e S y s t e m , W a s h i n g t o n , D . C . 20551; o r
(ii) T h e F e d e r a l R e s e r v e B a n k of t h e D i s t r i c t in w h i c h t h e b a n k is lo c a te d .
T h e a d d r e s s e s of t h e F e d e r a l R e s e r v e B a n k s a r e a s follows:
F e d e r a l R e s e r v e B a n k of B osto n
30 P e a r l S t r e e t
B o s to n , M a s s a c h u s e t t s 02106

F e d e r a l R e s e r v e B a n k of C h ic a g o
230 S o u th L a S a lle S t r e e t
C h i c a g o , Illin o is 60690

F e d e r a l R e s e r v e B a n k of New Y o r k
33 L i b e r t y S t r e e t
New Y o r k , New Y o r k 10045

F e d e r a l R e s e r v e B a n k of S t . Louis
411 L o c u s t S t r e e t
S t . L o u i s , M is s o u r i 63166

F e d e r a l R e s e r v e B a n k of P h i l a d e l p h i a
925 C h e s t n u t S t r e e t
P h i l a d e l p h i a , P e n n s y l v a n i a 19105

F e d e r a l R e s e r v e B a n k of M in n e a p o lis
250 M a r q u e t t e S t r e e t
M i n n e a p o l i s , M in n e s o ta 55480

F ed eral R e s e rv e B ank of C leveland
1455 E a s t S i x t h S t r e e t
C l e v e l a n d , O hio 44101

F e d e r a l R e s e r v e B a n k of K a n s a s C ity
925 G r a n d A v e n u e
K a n s a s C i t y , M is s o u ri 64198

F e d e r a l R e s e r v e B a n k of R ic h m o n d
100 N o rth N in th S t r e e t
R ic h m o n d , V i r g i n i a 23261

F e d e r a l R e s e r v e B a n k of D allas
400 S o u th A k a r d S t r e e t
D a l l a s , T e x a s 75222

F e d e r a l R e s e r v e B a n k of A tla n ta
104 M a r ie tta S t r e e t , N.W .
A t l a n t a , G e o r g ia 30303

F ed eral R e se rv e Bank of San F ran cisco
400 S a n s o m e S t r e e t
S a n F r a n c i s c o , C a l if o r n ia 94120

- 5 (b) R e s p o n s e to c o m p l a i n t s . W ithin 15 b u s i n e s s d a y s of r e c e i p t of a w r i t t e n
c o m p la i n t b y t h e B o a r d o r a F e d e r a l R e s e r v e B a n k , a s u b s t a n t i v e r e s p o n s e o r a n a c k n o w l ­
e d g m e n t s e t t i n g a r e a s o n a b l e tim e f o r a s u b s t a n t i v e r e s p o n s e w ill b e s e n t to t h e in d i v i d u a l
m a k in g t h e c o m p l a i n t .
(c) R e f e r r a l s to o t h e r a g e n c i e s . C o m p l a in t s r e c e i v e d b y t h e B o a r d o r a F e d e r a l
R e s e r v e B a n k r e g a r d i n g a n a c t o r p r a c t i c e o f a n in s t i t u t i o n o t h e r t h a n a S ta t e m e m b e r b a n k
w ill b e f o r w a r d e d to t h e F e d e r a l a g e n c y h a v i n g j u r i s d i c t i o n o v e r t h a t i n s t i t u t i o n .
By o r d e r o f t h e B o a r d of G o v e r n o r s , S e p t e m b e r 27, 1976.

( s i g n e d ) T h e o d o r e E . A llis o n

T h e o d o r e E . A llis o n
S e c r e t a r y of t h e B o a r d

(SEAL)


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102