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Financial Institution Letter

FDIC Adopts Rule on the Role of Supervisory Guidance


The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Board of Directors has adopted a final rule to clarify and codify the role of supervisory guidance.

A copy of the Final Rule can be found on the FDIC's website.

Statement of Applicability: This Financial Institution Letter (FIL) applies to all FDIC-supervised financial institutions.


  • On November 5, 2020, the FDIC, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and National Credit Union Administration published, in the Federal Register, a joint proposed rule to codify the September 11, 2018 Interagency Statement on the Role of Supervisory Guidance (FIL-49-2018), with clarifying changes, as an appendix to proposed rule text.
  • On January 19, 2021, the FDIC adopted the proposed rule without substantive change.
  • The final rule, codified at 12 CFR Part 302, reiterates the distinction between regulation and supervisory guidance and clarifies the FDIC’s policies and practices to:
    • Limit the use of numerical thresholds in guidance;
    • Instruct examiners not to criticize an institution for a “violation” of supervisory guidance;
    • Reduce the issuance of multiple supervisory guidance on the same topic;
    • Make the role of supervisory guidance clear in communications to examiners and supervised financial institutions; and
    • Encourage supervised institutions to discuss questions about supervisory guidance with their appropriate agency contact.
  • The final rule is effective 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register.
  • FIL-49-2018 is rescinded upon the effective date of the rule.


FDIC-Supervised Institutions

Suggested Routing:

Board of Directors 
Chief Executive Officer 
Compliance Officer

Last Updated: January 19, 2021