Financial Institution Letters
September 27, 2017
Guidance to Help Financial Institutions and Facilitate Recovery in Areas Affected by Hurricane Maria
The FDIC has announced a series of steps intended to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and facilitate recovery in areas affected by Hurricane Maria.
Statement of Applicability to Institutions with Total Assets under $1 Billion: This Financial Institution Letter applies to all FDIC-supervised financial institutions.
- Hurricane Maria caused significant property damage in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
- A federal emergency was declared for selected areas in Puerto Rico and St. Croix on September 21, 2017. Additional designations may be made after damage assessments are completed in the affected areas. A current list of designated areas is available at www.fema.gov.
- The FDIC encourages banks to work constructively with customers experiencing difficulties beyond their control because of damage caused by Hurricane Maria.
- When consistent with safe-and-sound banking practices, these efforts may include waiving fees, increasing ATM cash limits, easing credit card limits, allowing loan customers to defer or skip payments, and delaying the submission of delinquency notices to credit bureaus.
- Extending repayment terms, restructuring existing loans, or easing terms for new loans, if done in a manner consistent with sound banking practices, can contribute to the health of the community and serve the long-term interests of the lending institution.
- The FDIC encourages depository institutions to use non- documentary verification methods permitted by the Customer Identification Program requirement of the Bank Secrecy Act for affected customers who cannot provide standard identification documents.
- Banks may receive favorable Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration for community development loans, investments, and services in support of disaster recovery.
- The FDIC also will consider regulatory relief from certain filing and publishing requirements.
- FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings) in The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
- Chief Executive Officer
- Compliance Officer
- Chief Lending Officer
- Publishing Requirements
- Consumer Laws
- Community Reinvestment Act
- Supervisory Practices Regarding Depository Institutions and Borrowers Affected by Hurricane Maria and Frequently Asked Questions for Bank Customers in Areas Affected by Hurricane Maria
- Deputy Regional Director Gregory P. Bottone at (781) 794-5514 or GBottone@FDIC.gov.
FDIC Financial Institution Letters (FILs) may be accessed from the FDIC's website at https://www.fdic.gov/news/news/financial/2017/index.html.
To receive FILs electronically, please visit https://www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/fil.html.
Paper copies may be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information Center, 3501 Fairfax Drive, E-1002, Arlington, VA 22226 (877-275-3342 or 703-562-2200).