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OCC Bulletin 1995-20
April 14, 1995
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Chief Executive Officers and Bank Counsels of all National Banks, Department and Division Heads, and all Examining Personnel
The guidance attached to this bulletin continues to apply to federal savings associations.
This bulletin reminds national banks of their obligations under the anti-tying provisions of 12 U.S.C. 1972(1) and advises them to implement appropriate systems and controls that promote compliance with these provisions. Congress enacted the anti-tying provisions to keep banks from using bank credit and other services to coerce customers and reduce competition.
The anti-tying provisions of 12 U.S.C. 1972(1) generally prohibit banks from extending credit, leasing or selling property, furnishing services, or varying prices on the condition that the customer:
The anti-tying provisions provide exceptions to the prohibitions. These exceptions permit a bank to extend credit, lease or sell property, furnish services, or vary prices on the condition that the customer:
The provisions also provide that the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System ("Board") may by regulation or order permit exceptions to the anti-tying prohibitions. The Board has issued 12 CFR 225.7, which includes the following exceptions:
The exceptions in 12 CFR 225.7 apply only if all products involved in the tying arrangement are separately available for purchase. For purposes of the regulation, "traditional bank product" means a loan, discount, deposit, or trust service.
National banks, operating subsidiaries of national banks, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks must comply with the anti-tying provisions. Tying arrangements may violate other laws, including the federal antitrust laws, in addition to the anti-tying provisions.
The following are examples of arrangements that would be allowed under the anti-tying provisions.
The following are examples of tying arrangements that are prohibited by the anti-tying provisions, unless exempted by the Board.
National banks should adopt and implement systems and controls to provide for adequate training of employees and to promote compliance with the anti-tying provisions.
Suggested systems and controls include, but are not limited to, provisions for:
Suggested audit and compliance programs include, but are not limited to, provisions for:
The U.S. Department of Justice and the OCC may initiate actions to remedy violations of the anti-tying provisions by national banks. In addition, customers or competitors, who suffer injury to their businesses or property due to violations, may (1) pursue a civil suit for treble damages for those injuries and attorneys fees and (2) sue for injunctive relief against threatened loss or damages resulting from violations of the anti-tying provisions.
For further information, contact the Office of the Chief National Bank Examiner, (202) 649-6670, or the Securities and Corporate Practices Division, (202) 649-5510.
Jimmy F. Barton
Chief National Bank Examiner