Frequently Asked Questions

The New Discount Window & Payment System Risk Collateral Margins Table, Effective August 3, 2015

Last Updated: 6/29/2015


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  1. The Federal Reserve periodically reviews its collateral margins table and models.  The changes reflect analytical improvements in the methodology and the use of updated market data.  The new collateral margins table will be effective on August 3, 2015.

  2. No.  The Federal Reserve continually conducts reviews and adjusts collateral valuation and margin practices.  The new collateral margins table incorporates improved methodology and updated market data and is not a response to particular financial conditions.

  3. The impact on individual depository institutions will vary depending upon the composition of collateral pledged.  The lag between the announcement and implementation of the new collateral margins will provide depository institutions time to work with their Reserve Banks to pledge additional collateral if needed or desired.

  4. No.  The Federal Reserve is not making any changes to collateral eligibility in connection with the new margins table.  Please refer to the Federal Reserve System's Collateral Guidelines [PDF; 193K] concerning eligibility.
  5. "Minimal risk rated” loans have credit risk levels that are similar to investment grade debt.  “Normal risk rated” loans are considered to have credit risk levels that are similar to below investment grade debt while remaining “pass” credits from a regulatory standpoint.  The minimal/normal risk distinction is available for agriculture, commercial, commercial real estate, construction, and raw land loans.  Depository institutions can contact their Federal Reserve Bank to ensure they receive maximum collateral value for loan types for which the minimal/normal risk distinction can be made.

  6. These terms refer to the way the Federal Reserve Banks receive and maintain information about pledged loans in their Collateral Management System (CMS). Loans that are recorded individually into CMS are considered "individually deposited." Loans are individually deposited if they are pledged through the Automated Loan Deposit (ALD) process.  Generally, all loans should be individually deposited, except for credit card receivables, which continue to be pledged as “group deposited” loans.
  7. Discount window staff at each depository institution’s Federal Reserve Bank will provide this information upon request.

  8. An institution can review its Statement of Collateral Holdings to determine the total value of its collateral as well as the collateral value for individual assets. An institution should contact its Federal Reserve Bank to sign up for electronic delivery of its Statement of Collateral Holdings. Institutions that use Account Management Information (AMI) may also view their collateral value through that application.  Note that prior to August 3, 2015, these sources will reflect values calculated under the margins table in effect at that time.

  9. The Federal Reserve has already begun analyzing all depository institutions’ current discount window borrowings and payment system risk collateral requirements relative to their collateral values under the new collateral margins table.  The Federal Reserve Banks will notify depository institutions whose pledged collateral would not be sufficient in advance of the implementation date.

  10. Additional information is available in the collateral section of this website.  Information is also available from discount window staff at the Federal Reserve Banks.

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