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Financial Institution Letters
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Office of Thrift Supervision

Interagency Statement on the Purchase and Risk Management of Life Insurance

Summary

The purchase of BOLI can be an effective way for institutions to manage exposures arising from commitments to provide employee compensation and pre- and post-retirement benefits. Consistent with safe and sound banking practices, institutions must understand the risks associated with this product and implement a risk management process that provides for the identification and control of such risks. A sound pre-purchase analysis, meaningful ongoing monitoring program, reliable accounting process and accurate assessment of risk-based capital requirements are all components of the type of risk management process the agencies expect institutions to employ.

Where an institution has acquired BOLI in an amount that approaches or exceeds agency concentration levels, examiners will more closely scrutinize the components of the risk management process and the institution's associated documentation. Where BOLI has been purchased in an impermissible manner, ineffective controls over BOLI risks exist, or a BOLI exposure poses a safety and soundness concern, the appropriate agency may take supervisory action, including requiring the institution to divest affected policies, irrespective of tax consequences.

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Last Updated 12/06/2004 communications@fdic.gov