Banking


The SEC issued an order extending until September 30, 2005, the date by which banks must comply with certain broker registration requirements of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which repealed a provision of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that had allowed such institutions to engage in securities activities without registering as brokers or dealers ( www.sec.gov/rules/exorders/34-51328.htm ). Meanwhile the commission will amend interim rules it adopted to aid full compliance with the narrower requirements.

The Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the National Credit Union Administration and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued final joint guidance to help insured depository institutions address concerns federal and state bank regulators, consumers, financial institutions and their trade representatives have raised about overdraft protection programs ( www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/press/ ). The guidance focuses on how the institutions should address safety and soundness considerations, manage legal risks and apply best practices in administering such programs and offering them to consumers.

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A counterintuitive strategy can save taxes by including otherwise excludable scholarships in gross income.