On certain filings, an important aspect of the applications process is the opportunity for the public to comment in writing on any or all of the factors the Federal Reserve must consider in evaluating a filing. Comments received from the public, which may express support for or opposition to the filing, are reviewed by Federal Reserve System staff, sent to the filer, and included as part of the public record that the Federal Reserve System carefully examines when evaluating a filing.
Public notice of the opportunity to comment on a filing initially is provided by the filer through relevant newspapers and/or the Federal Register. These notices identify the relevant parties and briefly describe the proposal, identify the Reserve Bank that is processing the proposal and provide information regarding where comments may be submitted, and provide the last day of the comment period. See the Guide to Newspaper and Federal Register notice. The Federal Reserve System also maintains a list on its website (H.2A) of applications and notices that have been filed or will be filed shortly that are subject to public comment. As with the newspaper and Federal Register notices, the H.2A briefly describes the proposal, identifies the Reserve Bank that is processing the proposal, and lists the date for the expiration of any applicable comment periods. Please contact your local Reserve Bank for contact information.
Only public comments that are timely and substantive are required to be considered in the evaluation of a filing. To qualify, a comment must (i) be in writing, either by email or hard copy, (ii) be submitted to the designated physical or email address at the Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank listed in the newspaper or Federal Register notice, (iii) be submitted during the public comment period, and (iv) be substantive. To be considered substantive, a comment must oppose approval of the filing, be relevant to at least one of the statutory factors that the Federal Reserve is authorized to consider in connection with the filing, and supported by verifiable facts or data. Comments supporting approval are not considered substantive.
For further guidance on how the Federal Reserve considers public comments in the applications process, please see SR Letter 97-10: Guidance on Protested Proposals.