Main - 706.485.9941 ~ Lake Oconee - 706.485.9858

FARMERS & MERCHANTS BANK
Funds Availability Disclosure and Hold Procedures

The Funds Availability Act, as implemented through Regulation CC, requires financial institutions to make funds deposited to transaction (checking) accounts available for their customers’ use within a prescribed time table. Farmers & Merchants Bank (“the Bank”) will provide a copy of its funds availability policy before a customer opens a new account and at any time a customer requests a copy.  In addition, information will be available at the counter.  If any changes are made, disclosure of the new policy statement will be made one month before its implementation.

In response to the Regulation, the Bank will make most deposits available to its customers on the first business day after the day the Bank receives the deposit. Under certain circumstances, the Bank may place a hold on funds deposited by check.  Once the deposit is available, the customer can withdraw the funds in cash and may use the funds to pay checks that have been written.  Even after funds are made available, the customer is still responsible for checks that have been deposited that are returned to the Bank unpaid for any other problems regarding the deposit.

For Regulation CC compliance, a business day is any Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday which does not fall on a national holiday. Deposits made after 5 p.m. are considered to be deposited on the next business day.  When a customer uses a night depository, his/her deposits are counted on the day the depository is opened.  Therefore, if a deposit is placed in the depository on Saturday night, the deposit is considered to be received on Monday morning.

The Regulation does NOT affect the Bank’s current policies for refusing deposits and sending items for collection. Those options should be employed when the Bank feels they are necessary.

General Availability
The Bank must inform new account customers that deposited funds are generally available on the first business day after the day of deposit. Electronic direct deposits will be available on the day the Bank receives the deposit.

Required Disclosures when Opening Accounts
Before opening a new account, the Bank must give the customer a copy of the Funds Availability Disclosure.

Case-by-Case Holds
In some cases, the Bank will not make all of the funds that are deposited by check available to the customer on the first business day after the day of the deposit.
The Bank must provide next day availability of the first $200 of the deposits whenever a case-by-case hold is placed. A notice must also be provided to the customer at the time of the deposit.

 Exception Holds
Under certain conditions, the Bank may place a hold on funds deposited by check. The Bank will only delay the availability of funds when there is a valid reason.  By law, the following are considered valid reasons to hold.

Redeposited Checks

  • Repeated Overdrafts
  • Large Deposits
  • Emergencies
  • New Accounts
  • Doubtful Collectibility

 

Whenever the Bank invokes one of the exceptions (excluding new accounts) to the availability schedules, it must notify the customer in writing. The notice must include:

The customer’s name and account number

  • The date of the deposit
  • The amount of the deposit that will be delayed
  • The reason the exception was invoked
  • The day the funds will be available for withdrawal (unless unknown, as in an emergency situation)

Generally, Local checks may be held no longer than the 5th business day after the day of deposit.

Placing Holds when Customer Present
When placing a hold on funds deposited in person, a Notice of Hold form must be completed and the original copy given to the customer at the time the deposit is made.

            Procedures

(1)        Obtain approval to place the hold from a Supervisor.

(2)        Inform the customer that the availability of certain funds will be delayed.

(3)        Complete a Notice of Hold form.

(4)        Have the Supervisor initial the Notice of Hold.

(5)        Have the customer sign and date the Notice of Hold.

(6)        Photocopy the Notice of Hold, deposit slips, and checks.

(7)        Retain a copy of the hold screen.

(8)        Give the original Notice of Hold to the customer.

(9)        Retain all copies for two years.

Placing Holds when Customer not Present

A Notice of Hold form must be completed when a hold is placed on a check deposited by mail, night depository, or placed after the time of deposit. The original Notice of Hold must be sent to the customer no later than the business day following the banking day of deposit.  If, however, the Bank discovers a reason to delay the funds subsequent to the time the notice should have been given, the Bank must notify the customer of the hold as soon as possible, but not later than the business day after the facts become known.

            Procedures

(1)        Obtain approval to place the hold from a Supervisor.

(2)        Complete a Notice of Hold form.

(3)        Have the Supervisor initial the Notice of Hold.

(4)        Photocopy the Notice of Hold, deposit slips, and checks.

(5)        Mail the original Notice of Hold to the customer on the day of deposit.

(6)        Retain all copies for two years.

 

When to Refund Overdraft and Return Fees
If a customer is not notified of a hold at the time of deposit and the hold causes overdraft and returned check fees, the fees must be refunded if the item is later paid.

The customer is not entitled to a refund of any fees if the item is not paid.

Re-deposited Check Holds
The Bank may place a hold on funds or offer to send the check for collection when a customer wants to redeposit a check that is returned unpaid. This exception applies to local and non-local checks.

Exceptions:

  • A hold cannot be placed if the check is returned due to a missing endorsement and the branch can obtain the necessary endorsement.
  • A hold cannot be placed if the check is returned because it was postdated and the date is now valid.

Repeated Overdrafts Holds
The Bank may place a hold on check when the customer’s account is frequently overdrawn. An account is considered frequently overdrawn if any of the following has occurred within the preceding six months.

  • The customer’s account balance was negative on any six banking days.
  • The customer’s account balance would have been negative on six banking days if referred items had been paid.
  • The customer’s account balance was negative in an amount of $5,000 or more on any two days.
  • The customer’s account balance would have been negative in an amount of $5,000 or more on any two days if referred items had been paid.

Large Deposit Holds
A hold may be placed when all deposits to a customer’s accounts during one day total more than $5,000. Only the amount in excess of $5,000 can be held.  To apply the rule, the Bank may aggregate deposits made to multiple accounts held by the same customer, even if the customer is not the sole owner of the accounts.  This exception applies to local check deposits.

Emergency Holds
The Bank may place a hold check deposited when the Bank is experiencing an emergency situation. Emergency conditions exist in the following cases:

  • Power or equipment failure
  • Suspension of payments by another bank
  • War
  • Any other emergency conditions beyond the control of the Bank

New Accounts Holds
An account is considered to be a “new account” for the first 30 days it is open. An account is not considered a “new account” if each signer on the account had another established account at the Bank for at least 30 days.

The following are considered new accounts.

  • A customer opens a checking account and has no other checking accounts at the Bank within the 30 days prior to opening the account.
  • A customer opens a second checking account and the existing account has been open for 30 days or less, the second account is also considered a new account.
  • A customer opens a checking account, and the customer’s existing account is not a checking account.
  • A customer opens a checking account and is an authorized signer on a corporate account, but has no personal checking account at the Bank.
  • Two individuals open a joint checking account, and neither, or only one of them, has an existing checking account at the Bank that has been open for 30 days or more, the joint account is considered a new account.

If a transaction account is considered “new” according to the above definition, the following procedures will apply during the first 30 calendar days after the account is opened:

Deposited funds from electronic direct deposits will be available on the day we receive the deposit.  Deposited funds from cash and wire transfers must still be made available the next business day.  A hold may be placed on checks deposited to a new account and will be generally available on or before the fifth business day after the day of deposit.

When depositing funds to a new account, only the amount in excess of $5,000 can be held on the following items and must be available for withdrawal generally no later than the 5th business day.  (If the deposit totals less than $5,000 on these items, a New Account Exception Hold cannot be placed.)

  • Federal, State and Local Government Checks
  • Cashier’s Checks
  • Treasury Checks
  • Bank Drafts
  • U.S. Postal Money Orders
  • Traveler’s Checks
  • Federal Reserve Bank Checks
  • Federal Home Loan Bank Checks

Doubtful Collectability Holds
A hold may be placed on checks for which the Bank has a reasonable cause to doubt collectability. Reasonable cause to doubt collectability cannot be based on the fact that the check is of a particular class or is deposited by a particular class of persons.

Under “Reason to Doubt Collectability”, the Notice of Hold provides ten reasons for doubting the collectability of a check.

If the hold is placed due to confidential information, the branch must record the confidential reason only on the branch copy of the Notice of Hold. The reason should not be disclosed to the customer.

Examples of confidential reasons include knowledge of a bank’s insolvency or the drawer’s insolvency, or suspicion on check kiting activity.

Lobby Signs
The branch must conspicuously post a lobby sign identifying the Bank’s responsibility to comply with Regulation CC and the funds availability policy. The poster should be located near the teller line and all other locations where deposits are accepted.

Training
The Bank is required to inform each employee who performs duties subject to the Funds Availability Act about its requirements. Compliance requirements of Regulation CC and the Bank’s funds availability policy are incorporated into the regular training program that is provided to all employees, particularly tellers.  The Compliance Officer will notify employees when changes occur to Regulation CC and the Funds Availability Act.

The Bank will provide each employee who performs duties subject to the requirements of Regulation CC with a copy of these procedures.

Monitoring Holds
Regulation CC will be included in the annual compliance audit performed by external auditors. The Compliance Officer will be responsible for periodic testing to ensure compliance with Regulation CC.  Strict compliance is mandatory as the Bank may be held liable and incur substantial penalties if it does not comply with the regulation.

Main Branch

Main Branch

Downtown Eatonton

100 S. Madison Avenue
Eatonton, Ga. 31024
(706) 485-9941

Monday & Tuesday:  9am to 5pm
Wednesday:  9am to 1pm
Thursday & Friday:  9am to 5pm
Saturday (Drive-Thru only):  8:30am to 12:30pm
Drive-Thru Opens Daily 8:30am

Lake Oconee Branch

Lake Oconee Branch

Harmony Crossing

1011 Lake Oconee Parkway
Eatonton, Ga. 31024
(706) 485-9858

Monday - Friday:  9am to 5pm
Saturday (Drive-Thru only):  8:30am to 12:30pm
Drive-Thru Opens Daily 8:30am

Electronic Banking

Electronic Banking

Bank on YOUR Schedule...Not Ours!

FMB offers convenient online & mobile services:

  • Online Banking
  • Mobile Banking
  • Text Banking
  • eStatements
  • Bill Pay
  • 24/7 Deposit ATMs

NOTICE:  FMB is not responsible for and has no control over the subject matter, content, information or graphics of the websites that have links here.

SiteLock