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4000 - Advisory Opinions

Assessability of Deferred Credit Portion of Cash Letters Collected Through Federal Reserve by Bankers Bank as Agent for Its Correspondent Banks


June 22, 1992

Walter P. Doyle, Counsel

Thank you for your May 28, 1992 letter requesting our opinion as to the assessability of the deferred credit portion of cash letters collected through the Federal Reserve by *** Bankers Bank ("Bank") as agent for its correspondent banks ("Respondents").

As your letter indicates, the term "deposit" for assessment purposes is defined in 12 U.S.C. 1813(l)(1) to include the "unpaid balance of money or its equivalent received or held by a bank or savings association in the usual course of business and for which it has given or is obligated to give credit, either conditionally or unconditionally, to a commercial . . . account." (Emphasis added.) Please note that the credit given for the cash letter ("money or its equivalent") need not be immediate or unconditional, but may be "conditional" (and subject to deferred availability) and still meet the definition of "deposit".

Your letter states in the last paragraph on page 2 that "the Bank does not give credit for money or its equivalent . . . for such deferred portion of the Respondent's cash letter." Does this mean that the Bank, if it were closed after receipt of the cash letter by the Federal Reserve but before the deferred credit portion thereof was made available, would not have any obligation to the Respondent for the deferred credit portion when it becomes available? Surely, the FDIC as receiver for the Bank would be obligated to pass on to the Respondent the amount of deferred credit made available to the Bank after its closure. Incidentally, your reference to 12 C.F.R. 330.3(i)(1) is inapposite since that provision relates to determining the amount of a deposit for purposes of deposit insurance coverage, not for assessment purposes. The same can be said of the two FDIC Advisory Opinions (Nos. 86--25 and 86--28) that you discuss in your letter.

The bottom line seems to be that if respondent has assigned to Bank a right to receive credit on Respondent's behalf from the Federal Reserve, even though that right is contingent and some portion of the credit may be deferred, the Bank has nevertheless received money or its equivalent from the Respondent and is obligated to give Respondent at least conditional or provisional credit therefor on Bank's books--all of which amounts to a "deposit" under 12 U.S.C. 1813 (l)(1).

If we can be of any further help in this matter, please let us know.

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