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Each depositor insured to at least $250,000 per insured bank

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4000 - Advisory Opinions

Examiner Discretion in Determining What Minimum Security Devices and Procedures Meet the Requirements of 12 C.F.R. § 326.3 Under the Circumstances


July 3, 1991

Walter P. Doyle, Counsel

Thank you for your recent letter inquiring whether *** branches that typically keep only $200 to $1000 on premises in their safes overnight need to have alarm systems and tamper-resistant locks under FDIC's newly revised regulation on minimum security procedures (Part 326), the cost of which you state would be quite high compared to the small benefit to be derived.

Section 326.3(b)(3) of the regulation requires each insured nonmember bank to have "an alarm system or other appropriate device for promptly notifying the nearest responsible law enforcement officers of an attempted or perpetrated robbery or burglary." This regulatory provision does not necessarily require that an alarm system be used for this purpose if some other device is appropriate under the circumstances to notify law enforcement authorities promptly after a robbery or burglary has been detected. Conceivably, such "device" could be no more than a telephone if the examiner having jurisdiction determines that to be "appropriate" in a particular case.

Section 326.3(b)(4) requires "tamper-resistant locks on exterior doors and exterior windows that may be opened." It should be noted that such locks need only be "tamper- resistant," not tamper-proof, and also that such locks needs only be on exterior doors and windows "that may be opened." A considerable degree of examiner discretion is exercisable in determining what is "tamper-resistant," "exterior", and what "may be opened" in any given factual setting.

As you can understand, we are unable to grant general waivers of regulatorily imposed requirements, nor can we exercise the supervisory discretion of an examiner in applying those requirements to specific facts. Nevertheless, it is hoped that the observations contained in this letter may be of some value to you in determining what the regulation requires to be a part of ***'s security program.

Please let us know if we may be of any further assistance.

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