|For immediate release|
The Federal Reserve Board today voted to issue for comment proposals that would permit financial institutions and others to use electronic communication to provide federally mandated disclosures to consumers.
Comments must be received by October 29, 1999.
The proposals would authorize the electronic delivery of disclosures required to be given in writing under Regulations B (Equal Credit Opportunity), E (Electronic Fund Transfers), M (Consumer Leasing), Z (Truth in Lending) and DD (Truth in Savings).
With some exceptions, prior to obtaining the consumer's consent, financial institutions and others would have to provide --through a standardized disclosure statement--specific information about electronic disclosures, including what type of disclosures would be provided electronically, and how the consumer can receive and retain the disclosures.
The Board also voted to issue for comment an interim rule for Regulation DD that would permit depository institutions to provide disclosures electronically on periodic statements of account activity.
Electronic disclosures could be delivered to a consumer's e-mail address or made available at another location such as an institution's web site. If an institution opts to make disclosures available at a web site, it must send a notice alerting a consumer when the information has been posted.
Today's proposal represents a modification of proposed rules (and an interim rule under Regulation E) issued in March 1998. In response to comments, the modified proposals are more detailed than the 1998 proposals and provide more specific guidance to institutions that choose electronic communication.
The modified proposal generally would require disclosures be made on paper when a consumer is transacting business in person, as is typical for mortgage loan closings, automobile loans and leases and door-to-door credit sales.
Some disclosures that are generally available to the public, such as bank account fee schedules, could be made available electronically without the consumer's consent.
All other disclosures could be delivered electronically, if the institution provides the disclosure statement about electronic delivery and obtains both the consumer's affirmative consent and the consumer's confirmation that the consumer's computer equipment meets the technical requirements necessary to receive and retain electronic disclosures.
Open meeting memoranda
1999 Banking and consumer regulatory policy