News Release 2003-9 | February 25, 2003

Agencies Issue Advisory on Mortgage Banking Activities

Joint Release

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Office of Thrift Supervision

Federal bank and thrift regulatory agencies on Monday jointly issued an advisory letter discussing risks related to mortgage banking activities. The letter highlights concerns and provides guidance regarding mortgage banking activities, primarily in the valuation, accounting, and hedging of mortgage servicing assets.

The guidance, issued under the auspices of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of Thrift Supervision), applies to all banks and thrifts; however, it is primarily applicable to those institutions that are actively involved in mortgage banking activities. While the number of institutions with significant exposure to mortgage banking assets is limited, mortgage banking is a significant and growing business line for many institutions.

The agencies developed the guidance in response to recent examinations and market developments, especially the record volume of refinancings caused by the decline in interest rates. The guidance details the agencies' expectations regarding risk management activities including valuation and modeling processes, hedging activities, management information systems, and internal audit. The guidance also notes that the agencies may require additional capital for institutions that fail to consider the sound practices set forth in this advisory in their risk management programs.

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Federal Reserve Andrew Williams (202) 452-2955
FDIC David Barr (202) 898-699
OCC Kevin Mukri (202) 874-5770
OTS Sam Eskenazi (202) 906-6677

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