September 18, 2015 4:35 pm

By, Elva Coffey-Sears

While that seems like a simple question to us it just isn’t that easy in the world of Regulatory Compliance! According to Wikipedia, “a business day is considered every official working day of the week” and “typically, these are the days between and including Monday to Friday and do not include public holidays and weekends.” That’s pretty straightforward – but Compliance Officers BEWARE! The definition of the term “business day” varies by regulation –

· For purposes of Regulations CC and DD, a business day means a calendar day other than Saturday, Sunday or any of the public holidays specified in 5 U.S.C. 6103(a), including New Year’s Day, the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington’s birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

· In Regulation E and RESPA, a business day is defined as any day on which the offices of the institution are open for carrying on substantially all business functions.

· Regulation B, on the other hand, includes several business day time limits, but fails to define the term.

· And Regulation Z includes BOTH definitions! The institution’s business days apply to the provision of early disclosures such as the Loan Estimate and Special Information Booklet, while requirements such as rescission, waiting periods and fee restrictions are subject to the more specific definition that excludes Sundays and public holidays.

Until regulators decide on one standard definition of business day, you can help personnel avoid pitfalls by including the applicable definition of business day in each policy and/or procedure governing their activities. Be sure to include a discussion of the differing definitions in each of your compliance training sessions and reassure staff that the applicable definition is included in the policies and procedures. Finally, make sure they know that they can call you for clarification if they are unsure which definition applies to a specific situation or requirement.