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S​ecretary's Letters -
Bank & Trust Companies

Secretary’s Letters are not intended as and do not constitute legal advice.  Please keep in mind that these letters contain generalizations regarding the applicable law discussed herein and are therefore not inclusive of all of the law’s provisions, conditions, exceptions, and details.  It is critically important for you to read the applicable law and seek guidance from your legal counsel regarding the effects of the law on your business operations. NOTE: most links on this page are to PDF documents.

Secretary's Letter on Cybersecurity (PDF)
The Department continues to work collaboratively with federal regulators, other states financial regulators, and other Commonwealth agencies to address cybersecurity challenges.

2016 Bank Holidays (PDF)

Cybersecurity Efforts and Resources (PDF)
A letter from the Secretary of Banking and Securities to all state-chartered and licensed entities announcing the formation of a Cybersecurity Task Force, describing Commonwealth cybersecurity efforts, and encouraging the development of cybersecurity attack prevention and mitigation plans using available and recommended resources. 

Deputy Secretary’s letter to Chief Executive Officers of all Pennsylvania State-Chartered Banks, Bank and Trust Companies, and Savings Banks regarding the AOCI opt-out election on the institution’s March 31, 2015 Call Report.

2015 Bank Holidays (PDF)

Banks, Bank and Trust Companies and Savings Banks Assessment (PDF)
A letter from the Secretary of Banking and Securities announcing the Department’s regulation regarding the semiannual assessments on banks, bank and trust companies and savings banks that will replace the existing assessment schedule.
Consumer Equity Protection Act (the CEPA), changes in federal law  (PDF)
Deputy Secretary’s Letter announces changes to coverage of the Consumer Equity Protection Act as a result of changes in federal law.
2014 Bank Holidays (PDF)
Banking Law Modernization Package  (PDF)
A letter from the Secretary of Banking and Securities regarding passage of Act 170, Act 171 and Act 172 of 2012, which update and modernize three banking statutes.
2013 Bank Holidays (PDF)
Changes in the Manner Entities May Institute Mortgage Foreclosures (PDF)
A letter from the Secretary of Banking and Executive Director of the PA Housing Finance Agency regarding the transition from the Act 91 Notice to the Act 6 Notice.
Small Business Lending Fund (PDF)
Deputy Secretary’s letter addresses issues regarding and provides guidance on the Small Business Lending Fund, established by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
SAFE Act Legislation (PDF)
The letter provides information regarding Act 31 of 2009, House Bill 1654 (P.N. 2448), which amends Pennsylvania’s existing mortgage industry licensing law, 7 Pa.C.S. Chapter 61, in order to implement the federal Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (the “SAFE Act”), 12 U.S.C. § 5101 et seq.
Potential Budget Impasse (PDF)
Secretary's letter asking banking institutions to show flexibility and understanding toward state employees whose incomes may be temporarily disrupted as the result of a potential budget impasse.
Confidentiality Provisions of the Department of Banking Code (PDF)
Discusses confidentiality provisions of the Department of Banking Code related to examination reports and enforcement proceedings.
Capital Purchase Program Participation (PDF)
Secretary's Letter addresses questions regarding the ability of state-chartered banks, bank and trust companies and stock savings banks to participate in the United States Treasury's Capital Purchase Program in light of certain requirements contained in the Banking Code of 1965. 
Capital Purchase Program and Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (PDF)
Secretary's Letter regarding recently announced programs by the U.S. Treasury and FDIC to enhance the strength of financial institutions, foster market liquidity and promote market stability. 
Mortgage Reform Laws  (PDF)
Provides detailed explanation of three bills signed into law by Governor Edward G. Rendell on July 8, 2008: Act 56 of 2008, House Bill 2179 (P.N. 4020), the new consolidated mortgage licensing bill (the “Mortgage Act”), Act 57 of 2008, Senate Bill 483 (P.N. 2163), which amends the Loan Interest and Protection Law (the “LIPL”), and Act 58 of 2008, Senate Bill 484 (P.N. 2251), which amends the Department of Banking Code (the “DOB Code”).
Heating Oil Dealers (PDF)
Secretary's Letter asking financial institutions to work to meet the credit needs of Pennsylvania heating oil dealers during the 2007-2008 winter season.
Annual Audit of Trusts (PDF)
Deputy Secretary’s letter addresses acceptable means by which the required annual audit of trust activities of trust companies, bank and trust companies, and savings banks and savings associations that exercise trust powers may be accomplished, as required by Section 1407 of the Banking Code.
Honoring Pennsylvania’s Holocaust Survivors (PDF)
Acting Secretary Victoria A. Reider sent a letter to chief executive officers of financial institutions across the state urging them to voluntarily waive fees for 456 Pennsylvanians who will receive cash settlements as a result of work by the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance  (PDF)
The Pennsylvania Department of Banking joins with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in urging you to consider ways that your institution might choose to participate in the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
Optional Holiday in Recognition of Veteran's Day (PDF)
Letter announces that Pennsylvania state banking institutions and Pennsylvania national banks are hereby permitted to observe Monday, November 12, 2007, as an optional legal holiday in recognition of Veteran's Day.
Overdraft Protection Programs (PDF)
Secretary's Letter states that overdraft protection programs are permissible for state-chartered depository institutions and provides guidelines for such programs.
Improperly Influenced Appraisals
The Secretary's Letter informs all lenders and brokers under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Department's concerns related to the use of improperly influenced appraisals.  Letter also addresses "builder exception" under the Mortgage Bankers and Brokers and Consumer Equity Protection Act.
Payday Lending Activities (PDF)
The Secretary's Letter discusses state-charted banks engaging in payday lending activities.
Streamlined Call Report  (PDF)
The Secretary's Letter discusses the Streamlined Call Report filing requirements.
Act 55 of 2001-Covered Loan Changes (PDF)
The Secretary's Letter discusses that the Act 55 of 2001 definition of "Covered Loan" changes effective October 1, 2002; and that “Median Family Income” statistical estimates necessary for lenders to calculate (a) repayment ability of potential obligor under Section 512(b), and (b) whether negative amortization terms may be imposed on a potential obligor under Section 511(c), are now stated in the convenient chart attached to the letter.
Pilot Program for Residential Real Estate and Small Business Loans  (PDF)
The Secretary's Letter discusses the Pilot Program for Residential Real Estate and Small Business Loans.
Direct Motor Vehicle Loans (PDF)
This letter is to set forth in writing the Pennsylvania Department of Banking (the "Department") position on issues related to the ability of a Pennsylvania state-chartered bank, bank and trust company, or savings bank ("PA Bank") under Section 322 of the Banking Code of 1965 ("Section 322"). 7 P.S. § 322.
Executive Order Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions (PDF)
Secretary's Letter regarding President Bush's Executive Order Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Persons Who Commit, Threaten to Commit or Support Terrorism.
Act 55 of 2001
Secretary's letter to announce Act 55 of 2001, the Mortgage Bankers and Consumer Equity Protection Act.  A summary of Act 55 is attached to the Secretary's letter.

Act 89 of 2000, the Bank Parity Bill
Governor Ridge signed into law, as Act 89 of 2000, the Bank Parity Bill, HB 2533 of 2000 (P.N. 4073).
Establish and Operate Messenger Service Branches (PDF)
PA State-Chartered Banks, Bank and Trust Companies and Savings Banks May Establish and Operate Messenger Service Branches.
Loans to Directors - Section 1414
Loans to Directors & Section 1414 - March 23, 2000.
General Position on Internet Banking (PDF)
Department's General Position on Internet Banking.
Agents in the Sale of Property, Casualty, Life Insurance (PDF)
The Department of Banking advised that Pennsylvania state-chartered banks, bank and trust companies and savings banks may act as agents in the sale of property and casualty, life, or other types of insurance provided the bank is located in any place the population which does not exceed 5,000 inhabitants.
Sale of Annuities as a Power Incidental  (PDF)
The Department has determined that Pennsylvania state-chartered banks, bank and trust companies, and savings banks may engage in the sale of annuities as a power incidental to the banking business, directly or indirectly through a subsidiary.