To: All Member Banks and Others Concerned in the Third Federal Reserve District

Attention: Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer



The Board is publishing a final rule amending Regulation B, pursuant to the Board's policy of periodically reviewing and updating its regulations. Regulation B implements the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Among other things, the final rule retains the general prohibition against inquiring about, or noting, applicant characteristics for nonmortgage credit transactions, and creates an exception when such data are collected for the purpose of conducting a self-test. The final rule also requires creditors to retain certain records related to prescreened solicitations for 25 months, to enable federal financial enforcement agencies to assess whether or how national origin, race, age, or other prohibited bases of discrimination under the ECOA are taken into account in prescreened solicitations. The official staff commentary has also been amended; consideration of several previously proposed amendments has been deferred to allow for supplemental comment.

A copy of the final rule is attached (727 KB, 143 pages). It was printed in the Federal Register for March 18, 2003.

Dates: Effective April 15, 2003; however, to allow time for any necessary operational changes, the mandatory compliance date is April 15, 2004.

For Further Information: John C. Wood, Counsel; Kathleen C. Ryan or David A. Stein, Senior Attorneys; or Minh-Duc T. Le, Attorney; Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, B oard of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, at (202) 452-3667 or 452-2412; for users of Telecommunications Device for the Deaf ("TDD") only, contact (202) 263-4869.