Many lenders use the Treasury Index, specifically the weekly and monthly averages, as an index for adjustable rate mortgages. The applicable index plus the internal margin set by the lender determines the interest rate that will be charged on an adjustable rate mortgage. Lenders have historically retrieved the Treasury Index weekly and monthly averages from the H.15 report (the Selected Interest Rates report published by the FRB). As of October 11, 2016, the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) discontinued publication of weekly and monthly interest rate averages directly on the H.15.
On September 26, 2016, the FRB announced the removal of the weekly and monthly averages from the H.15 along with instructions on how to access the weekly and monthly averages elsewhere; however, it was a quiet change that went unnoticed by some in the financial industry. Lenders that use one of the Treasury weekly or monthly averages as the index for adjustable rate mortgages, but were unaware of the change to the H.15 report were understandably confused by the omission, questioned the availability of the Treasury weekly and monthly averages going forward, and considered selecting a different index.
Fortunately, as indicated in the September 26 announcement, the weekly and monthly averages continue to be available through the FRB’s Data Download Program (DDP). Although accessing the weekly and monthly averages through the DDP requires a few extra clicks of the mouse, once lenders learn where information is located and how to access it, finding the information is not difficult. To access the FRB’s Data Download Program click here.