12 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2011 Edition
Title 12 - BANKS AND BANKING
CHAPTER 3 - FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
SUBCHAPTER XVI - CIVIL LIABILITY OF FEDERAL RESERVE AND MEMBER BANKS, SHAREHOLDERS, AND OFFICERS
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

SUBCHAPTER XVI—CIVIL LIABILITY OF FEDERAL RESERVE AND MEMBER BANKS, SHAREHOLDERS, AND OFFICERS

§501. Liability of Federal reserve or member bank for certifying check when amount of deposit was inadequate

It shall be unlawful for any officer, director, agent, or employee of any Federal reserve bank, or any member bank as defined in this chapter, to certify any check drawn upon such Federal reserve bank or member bank unless the person, firm, or corporation drawing the check has on deposit with such Federal reserve bank or member bank, at the time such check is certified, an amount of money not less than the amount specified in such check. Any check so certified by a duly authorized officer, director, agent, or employee shall be a good and valid obligation against such Federal reserve bank or member bank; but the act of any officer, director, agent, or employee of any such Federal reserve bank or member bank in violation of this section shall, in the discretion of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, subject such Federal reserve bank to the penalties imposed by subsection (h) of section 248 of this title, and shall subject such member banks, if a national bank, to the liability and proceedings on the part of the Comptroller of the Currency provided for in section 192 of this title, and shall, in the discretion of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, subject any other member bank to the penalties imposed by subchapter VIII of chapter 3 of this title for the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter.

(R.S. §5208; Sept. 26, 1918, ch. 177, §7, 40 Stat. 972; Feb. 25, 1927, ch. 191, §12, 44 Stat. 1231; Aug. 23, 1935, ch. 614, title II, §203(a), 49 Stat. 704.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original “the act of December 23, 1913, known as the Federal Reserve Act,” and “said act,” respectively, meaning act Dec. 23, 1913, ch. 6, 38 Stat. 251, as amended. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see References in Text note set out under section 226 of this title and Tables.

Subchapter VIII of chapter 3 of this title, referred to in text, was in the original “section nine of said Federal reserve Act”. Section 9 is classified generally to subchapter VIII (§321 et seq.) of chapter 3 of this title.

Codification

R.S. §5208 derived from act Mar. 3, 1869, ch. 135, 15 Stat. 335.

The last sentence of R.S. §5208, as amended, which provided penalties for certification of certain checks, was repealed by section 21 of act June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 862, 865, and the provisions thereof were reenacted as section 1004 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure.

Amendments

1927—Act Feb. 25, 1927, substituted “deposited in the bank of the drawer thereof” after “regularly” in last sentence.

Change of Name

Section 203(a) of act Aug. 23, 1935, changed name of Federal Reserve Board to Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Exception as to Transfer of Functions

Functions vested by any provision of law in Comptroller of the Currency, referred to in this section, not included in transfer of functions to Secretary of the Treasury, see note set out under section 1 of this title.

§501a. Forfeiture of franchise of national banks for failure to comply with provisions of this chapter

Should any national banking association in the United States now organized fail within one year after December 23, 1913, to become a member bank or fail to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter applicable thereto, all of the rights, privileges, and franchises of such association granted to it under the national-bank Act [12 U.S.C. 21 et seq.], or under the provisions of this chapter, shall be thereby forfeited. Any noncompliance with or violation of this chapter shall, however, be determined and adjudged by any court of the United States of competent jurisdiction in a suit brought for that purpose in the district or territory in which such bank is located, under direction of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, by the Comptroller of the Currency in his own name before the association shall be declared dissolved. In cases of such noncompliance or violation, other than the failure to become a member bank under the provisions of this chapter, every director who participated in or assented to the same shall be held liable in his personal or individual capacity for all damages which said bank, its shareholders, or any other person shall have sustained in consequence of such violation.

Such dissolution shall not take away or impair any remedy against such corporation, its stockholders, or officers, for any liability or penalty which shall have been previously incurred.

(Dec. 23, 1913, ch. 6, §2 (pars.), 38 Stat. 252; Aug. 23, 1935, ch. 614, title II, §203(a), 49 Stat. 704.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original “this Act”, meaning act Dec. 23, 1913, ch. 6, 38 Stat. 251, known as the Federal Reserve Act. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see References in Text note set out under section 226 of this title and Tables.

The national-bank Act, referred to in text, is act June 3, 1864, ch. 106, 13 Stat. 99, which is classified principally to chapter 2 (§21 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see References in Text note set out under section 38 of this title.

Codification

Section is comprised of the sixth and seventh pars. of section 2 of act Dec. 23, 1913. For classification of other pars. of section 2 of this Act, see Codification note set out under section 222 of this title.

Change of Name

Section 203(a) of act Aug. 23, 1935, changed name of Federal Reserve Board to Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Exception as to Transfer of Functions

Functions vested by any provision of law in Comptroller of the Currency, referred to in this section, not included in transfer of functions to Secretary of the Treasury, see note set out under section 1 of this title.

§502. Liability of shareholders of Federal reserve banks on contracts, etc.

The shareholders of every Federal reserve bank shall be held individually responsible, equally and ratably, and not one for another, for all contracts, debts, and engagements of such bank to the extent of the amount of their subscriptions to such stock at the par value thereof in addition to the amount subscribed, whether such subscriptions have been paid up in whole or in part under the provisions of this chapter.

(Dec. 23, 1913, ch. 6, §2 (par.), 38 Stat. 252.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original “this Act”, meaning act Dec. 23, 1913, ch. 6, 38 Stat. 251, known as the Federal Reserve Act. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see References in Text note set out under section 226 of this title and Tables.

Codification

Section is comprised of the fourth par. of section 2 of act Dec. 23, 1913. For classification of other pars. of section 2 of this Act, see Codification note set out under section 222 of this title.

§503. Liability of directors and officers of member banks

If the directors or officers of any member bank shall knowingly violate or permit any of the agents, officers, or directors of any member bank to violate any of the provisions of sections 375, 375a, 375b, and 376 of this title or regulations of the board made under authority thereof, or any of the provisions of sections 217, 218, 219, 220,1 655, 1005, 1014, 1906, or 1909 of title 18, every director and officer participating in or assenting to such violation shall be held liable in his personal and individual capacity for all damages which the member bank, its shareholders, or any other persons shall have sustained in consequence of such violation.

(Dec. 23, 1913, ch. 6, §22(f), as added Sept. 26, 1918, ch. 177, §5, 40 Stat. 971; amended Sept. 3, 1954, ch. 1263, §28, 68 Stat. 1236.)

References in Text

Sections 217, 218, 219, and 220 of title 18, referred to in text, were renumbered sections 212, 213, 214, and 215 of title 18, respectively, by Pub. L. 87–849, §1(d), Oct. 23, 1962, 76 Stat. 1125. Sections 212 and 213 of title 18, as redesignated, were subsequently repealed by Pub. L. 108–198, §2(a), Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2899.

Codification

In text, “sections 375, 375a, 375b, and 376 of this title” was in the original “this section”, meaning section 22 of act Dec. 23, 1913, which was also classified to sections 593 to 599 of this title. Such sections were repealed by act June 25, 1948, ch. 645, §21, 62 Stat. 862, eff. Sept. 1, 1948, and the provisions thereof were reenacted as sections 217, 218, 219, 220, 655, 1005, 1014, 1906, and 1909 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure. Reference to such repealed sections was omitted from the text in view of act Sept. 3, 1954, which amended the text by incorporating therein the reference to the sections of Title 18. The text of section 375 of this title was struck out by Pub. L. 111–203, title VI, §615(b), July 21, 2010, 124 Stat. 1615.

Amendments

1954—Act Sept. 3, 1954, inserted “or any of the provisions of sections 217, 218, 219, 220, 655, 1005, 1014, 1906, or 1909 of title 18,”.

1 See References in Text note below.

§504. Civil money penalty

(a) First tier

Any member bank which, and any institution-affiliated party (within the meaning of section 1813(u) of this title) with respect to such member bank who, violates any provision of section 371c, 371c–1, 375, 375a, 375b, 376, or 503 of this title, or any regulation issued pursuant thereto, shall forfeit and pay a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each day during which such violation continues.

(b) Second tier

Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, any member bank which, and any institution-affiliated party (within the meaning of section 1813(u) of this title) with respect to such member bank who 1

(1)(A) commits any violation described in subsection (a) of this section;

(B) recklessly engages in an unsafe or unsound practice in conducting the affairs of such member bank; or

(C) breaches any fiduciary duty;

(2) which violation, practice, or breach—

(A) is part of a pattern of misconduct;

(B) causes or is likely to cause more than a minimal loss to such member bank; or

(C) results in pecuniary gain or other benefit to such party,


shall forfeit and pay a civil penalty of not more than $25,000 for each day during which such violation, practice, or breach continues.

(c) Third tier

Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b) of this section, any member bank which, and any institution-affiliated party (within the meaning of section 1813(u) of this title) with respect to such member bank who—

(1) knowingly—

(A) commits any violation described in subsection (a) of this section;

(B) engages in any unsafe or unsound practice in conducting the affairs of such credit union; 2 or

(C) breaches any fiduciary duty; and


(2) knowingly or recklessly causes a substantial loss to such credit union 2 or a substantial pecuniary gain or other benefit to such party by reason of such violation, practice, or breach,


shall forfeit and pay a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed the applicable maximum amount determined under subsection (d) of this section for each day during which such violation, practice, or breach continues.

(d) Maximum amounts of penalties for any violation described in subsection (c)

The maximum daily amount of any civil penalty which may be assessed pursuant to subsection (c) of this section for any violation, practice, or breach described in such subsection is—

(1) in the case of any person other than a member bank, an amount to not exceed $1,000,000; and

(2) in the case of a member bank, an amount not to exceed the lesser of—

(A) $1,000,000; or

(B) 1 percent of the total assets of such member bank.

(e) Assessment; etc.

Any penalty imposed under subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section shall be assessed and collected 3 by

(1) in the case of a national bank, by the Comptroller of the Currency; and

(2) in the case of a State member bank, by the Board,


in the manner provided in subparagraphs (E), (F), (G), and (I) of section 1818(i)(2) of this title for penalties imposed (under such section) and any such assessment shall be subject to the provisions of such section.

(f) Hearing

The member bank or other person against whom any penalty is assessed under this section shall be afforded an agency hearing if such member bank or person submits a request for such hearing within 20 days after the issuance of the notice of assessment. Section 1818(h) of this title shall apply to any proceeding under this section.

(g) Disbursement

All penalties collected under authority of this paragraph shall be deposited into the Treasury.

(h) “Violate” defined

For purposes of this section, the term “violate” includes any action (alone or with another or others) for or toward causing, bringing about, participating in, counseling, or aiding or abetting a violation.

(i) Regulations

The Comptroller of the Currency and the Board shall prescribe regulations establishing such procedures as may be necessary to carry out this section.

(m) 4 Notice under this section after separation from service

The resignation, termination of employment or participation, or separation of an institution-affiliated party (within the meaning of section 1813(u) of this title) with respect to a member bank (including a separation caused by the closing of such a bank) shall not affect the jurisdiction and authority of the appropriate Federal banking agency to issue any notice and proceed under this section against any such party, if such notice is served before the end of the 6-year period beginning on the date such party ceased to be such a party with respect to such bank (whether such date occurs before, on, or after August 9, 1989).

(Dec. 23, 1913, ch. 6, §29, as added Pub. L. 95–630, title I, §101, Nov. 10, 1978, 92 Stat. 3641; amended Pub. L. 97–320, title IV, §424(c), (d)(1), (e), Oct. 15, 1982, 96 Stat. 1523; Pub. L. 101–73, title IX, §§905(f), 907(g), Aug. 9, 1989, 103 Stat. 461, 470.)

Codification

In subsec. (a), “section 371c, 371c–1, 375, 375a, 375b, 376, or 503 of this title” was in the original “section 22, 23A, or 23B”, meaning section 22, 23A, or 23B of the Federal Reserve Act. Sections 23A and 23B are classified to sections 371c and 371c–1, respectively, of this title. Subsections (d) to (h) of section 22 are classified to sections 375, 375a, 375b, 376, and 503 of this title. The text of section 375 of this title was struck out by Pub. L. 111–203, title VI, §615(b), July 21, 2010, 124 Stat. 1615.

Amendments

1989—Pub. L. 101–73, §907(g), amended section generally, substituting provisions of subsecs. (a) to (i) for former provisions which related to the following: subsec. (a), making loans, extensions of credit, purchases of securities, etc., respecting affiliates, executive officers, etc.; subsec. (b), amount of penalty; subsec. (c), opportunity for hearing; subsec. (d), review by United States court of appeals; subsec. (e), action by Attorney General for failure to pay assessment; subsec. (f), promulgation of regulations; and subsec. (g), penalties covered into Treasury of United States.

Subsec. (m). Pub. L. 101–73, §905(f), added subsec. (m).

1982—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–320, §424(c), (d)(1), inserted proviso giving agency discretionary authority to compromise, etc., any civil money penalty imposed under its authority, and substituted “may be assessed” for “shall be assessed”, respectively.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 97–320, §424(e), substituted “twenty days from the service” for “ten days from the date”.

Effective Date of 1989 Amendment

Amendment by section 907(g) of Pub. L. 101–73 applicable to conduct engaged in after Aug. 9, 1989, except that increased maximum penalties of $5,000 and $25,000 may apply to conduct engaged in before such date if such conduct is not already subject to a notice issued by the appropriate agency and occurred after completion of the last report of the examination of the institution by the appropriate agency occurring before Aug. 9, 1989, see section 907(l) of Pub. L. 101–73, set out as a note under section 93 of this title.

Effective Date

Section effective with respect to violations occurring or continuing after Nov. 10, 1978, see section 109 of Pub. L. 95–630 set out as an Effective Date of 1978 Amendment note under section 93 of this title.

1 So in original. Probably should be followed by a dash.

2 So in original. Probably should be “such member bank”.

3 So in original. Probably should be followed by a dash rather than “by”.

4 So in original. No subsecs. (j) to (l) have been enacted.

§505. Civil money penalty

(1) First tier

Any member bank which, and any institution-affiliated party (within the meaning of section 1813(u) of this title) with respect to such member bank who, violates any provision of this section, or any regulation issued pursuant thereto, shall forfeit and pay a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each day during which such violation continues.

(2) Second tier

Notwithstanding paragraph (1), any member bank which, and any institution-affiliated party (within the meaning of section 1813(u) of this title) with respect to such member bank who—

(A)(i) commits any violation described in paragraph (1);

(ii) recklessly engages in an unsafe or unsound practice in conducting the affairs of such member bank; or

(iii) breaches any fiduciary duty;

(B) which violation, practice, or breach—

(i) is part of a pattern of misconduct;

(ii) causes or is likely to cause more than a minimal loss to such member bank; or

(iii) results in pecuniary gain or other benefit to such party,


shall forfeit and pay a civil penalty of not more than $25,000 for each day during which such violation, practice, or breach continues.

(3) Third tier

Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2), any member bank which, and any institution-affiliated party (within the meaning of section 1813(u) of this title) with respect to such member bank who—

(A) knowingly—

(i) commits any violation described in paragraph (1);

(ii) engages in any unsafe or unsound practice in conducting the affairs of such member bank; or

(iii) breaches any fiduciary duty; and


(B) knowingly or recklessly causes a substantial loss to such member bank or a substantial pecuniary gain or other benefit to such party by reason of such violation, practice, or breach,


shall forfeit and pay a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed the applicable maximum amount determined under paragraph (4) for each day during which such violation, practice, or breach continues.

(4) Maximum amounts of penalties for any violation described in paragraph (3)

The maximum daily amount of any civil penalty which may be assessed pursuant to paragraph (3) for any violation, practice, or breach described in such paragraph is—

(A) in the case of any person other than a member bank, an amount not to exceed $1,000,000; and

(B) in the case of a member bank, an amount not to exceed the lesser of—

(i) $1,000,000; or

(ii) 1 percent of the total assets of such member bank.

(5) Assessment; etc.

Any penalty imposed under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) may be assessed and collected by the Board in the manner provided in subparagraphs (E), (F), (G), and (I) of section 1818(i)(2) of this title for penalties imposed (under such section) and any such assessment shall be subject to the provisions of such section.

(6) Hearing

The member bank or other person against whom any penalty is assessed under this section shall be afforded an agency hearing if such member bank or person submits a request for such hearing within 20 days after the issuance of the notice of assessment. Section 1818(h) of this title shall apply to any proceeding under this section.

(7) Disbursement

All penalties collected under authority of this section shall be deposited into the Treasury.

(8) “Violate” defined

For purposes of this section, the term “violate” includes any action (alone or with another or others) for or toward causing, bringing about, participating in, counseling, or aiding or abetting a violation.

(9) Regulations

The Board shall prescribe regulations establishing such procedures as may be necessary to carry out this section.

(Dec. 23, 1913, ch. 6, §19(l), formerly §19(j), as added Pub. L. 95–630, title I, §102, Nov. 10, 1978, 92 Stat. 3642; renumbered §19(l), Pub. L. 96–221, title I, §105(f), Mar. 31, 1980, 94 Stat. 140; amended Pub. L. 97–320, title IV, §424(a), (d)(2), (e), Oct. 15, 1982, 96 Stat. 1522, 1523; Pub. L. 101–73, title IX, §907(h), Aug. 9, 1989, 103 Stat. 472.)

References in Text

This section, referred to in pars. (1) and (8), means section 19 of act Dec. 23, 1913, which is classified to sections 142, 371b, 371b–1, 374, 374a, 461, 463 to 466, 505, and 506 of this title.

Amendments

1989—Pub. L. 101–73 amended section generally, revising and restating as pars. (1) to (9) provisions of former pars. (1) to (7) which related to civil penalty respecting depository, reserve, etc., requirements; amount; hearing; review; action by Attorney General; and regulations.

1982—Par. (1). Pub. L. 97–320, §424(a), (d)(2), inserted proviso giving Board discretionary authority to compromise, etc., any civil money penalty imposed under this section, and substituted “may be assessed” for “shall be assessed”.

Par. (4). Pub. L. 97–320, §424(e), substituted “twenty days from the service” for “ten days from the date”.

Effective Date of 1989 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–73 applicable to conduct engaged in after Aug. 9, 1989, except that increased maximum penalties of $5,000 and $25,000 may apply to conduct engaged in before such date if such conduct is not already subject to a notice issued by the appropriate agency and occurred after completion of the last report of the examination of the institution by the appropriate agency occurring before Aug. 9, 1989, see section 907(l) of Pub. L. 101–73, set out as a note under section 93 of this title.

Effective Date

Section effective with respect to violations occurring or continuing after Nov. 10, 1978, see section 109 of Pub. L. 95–630 set out as an Effective Date of 1978 Amendment note under section 93 of this title.

§506. Notice after separation from service

The resignation, termination of employment or participation, or separation of an institution-affiliated party (within the meaning of section 1813(u) of this title) with respect to a member bank (including a separation caused by the closing of such a bank) shall not affect the jurisdiction and authority of the Board to issue any notice and proceed under this section against any such party, if such notice is served before the end of the 6-year period beginning on the date such party ceased to be such a party with respect to such bank (whether such date occurs before, on, or after August 9, 1989).

(Dec. 23, 1913, ch. 6, §19(m), as added Pub. L. 101–73, title IX, §905(g), Aug. 9, 1989, 103 Stat. 461.)

References in Text

This section, referred to in text, means section 19 of act Dec. 23, 1913, which is classified to sections 142, 371b, 371b–1, 374, 374a, 461, 463 to 466, 505, and 506 of this title.