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It Was a Good (Business) Day

Jon Tavares, Senior Compliance Consultant, discusses how the various regulations define business days.

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Jon Tavares – Senior Compliance Consultant

It seems like such a simple concept, but sometimes knowing what counts as a day – or more precisely, a business day – can be difficult.

Let’s start with the easy stuff first. Where a regulation does not specifically define day, you would go with the normally understood meaning. Where a regulation does not specify whether a day is a calendar day or a business day, you would go with the normally understood definition of a day. Be careful, however, some regulations will use “day” or “calendar day” for some deadlines and “business day” for others.

Let’s look at how the various regulations define “business day;” then we’ll discuss the regulations that do not define “business day.”

Regulations E and X define a business day as any day on which the financial institution’s offices are open to the public for carrying on substantially all business functions. Substantially all business functions include both the public and the back-office operations of the institution. For BSA, a business day is a day, as normally communicated to the bank’s depository customers, on which a bank routinely posts a particular transaction to its customer’s account. This is essentially the substantially all business function’s test.

Regulations C and DD take a different approach. They define a business day as any day other than Saturday, Sunday, or any legal public holiday. This definition does not consider whether you are open for substantially all business functions; if it is Saturday, Sunday, or a holiday, it is not a business day even if you are open. Legal public holidays include: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Regulation Z is tricky in that business day has two different definitions depending on the circumstances. For most purposes under Regulation Z, a business day is a day on which the creditor’s offices are open to the public for carrying on substantially all its business functions. But then it has to get complicated and say for the following purposes, it means any calendar day except Saturday, Sunday, or any legal public holiday:

  • Rescission; The imposition of fees in connection with a reverse mortgage;
  • The waiting period after providing reverse mortgage disclosures;
  • The seven-business-day waiting period following the provision of the loan estimate;
  • The mail delivery of a loan estimate, closing disclosure, or private education loan disclosures;
  • The fee restriction before the intent to proceed;
  • The provision of revised loan estimates;
  • The provision of the closing disclosure;
  • The provision of the escrow account cancellation notice, high-cost mortgage disclosures, and reverse mortgage disclosures.

Not to be outdone, Regulation CC had to go and define “business days” as well as “banking day.” Under Regulation CC, a “business day” is any day except Saturday, Sunday, or any legal public holiday. That’s easy enough; we’ve seen that before. But a “banking day” is that part of any business day on which an office of a bank is open to the public for carrying on substantially all its banking functions. Ok, now this is where it is tricky. First, a banking day is not all day, it’s only the part of the business day that you are open. Second, you can be open, but it not be a banking day. I know, I hear you now, “What!?! You’re blowing my mind, Jon!” Because the definition of banking day specifically references a business day and business day excludes Saturday, Sunday, and legal public holidays, you can be open to the public for carrying on substantially all of your banking functions on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal public holiday and those hours will not count as a banking day.

Now let’s look to the regulations that do not define “business day.” Regulations B, O, P, V, and BB all have timing requirements related to business days, but no definition of business day. Fortunately, the good people over at the CFPB were kind enough to include a little guidance in the preamble of the ECOA Appraisal Final Rule. While not official guidance, the preamble states that the three-business-day requirement in § 1002.14 is consistent with the timing of early disclosures in Regulation Z. So, for purposes of Regulation B, a business day is a day on which the creditor’s offices are open to the public for carrying on substantially all its business functions.

For Regulations O, P, V, and BB, there really isn’t any formal or informal guidance. My recommendation is to pick a definition (either the “substantially all business functions” or “everyday but Sunday, or legal public holiday” standard) and stay consistent.

Knowing what a day is and what is not a day should help ensure that it is, as my good buddy Ice Cube would say, a good day.

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Jon Tavares – Senior Compliance Consultant