Public Comment
Proposed Amendments to Registrant Eligibility Policies for .BANK and .INSURANCE

Open Date

Jul 25, 2019

Close Date

Aug 24, 2019

Report Date

Aug 30, 2019

TLD

.BANK and .INSURANCE

Overview

Purpose: fTLD Registry Services (fTLD) is seeking comments on Registrant Eligibility Policy Amendments for .BANK and .INSURANCE. The purpose of these Amendments is to clarify and provide transparency and predictability to those seeking to register .BANK or .INSURANCE domain names. These Amendments are the result of consultations with fTLD’s Advisory Council (the “Council”) and its Board of Directors (the “Board”)

Current Status: Following approval at the Board meeting held on 16 July 2019, fTLD is seeking public comments on the Amendments to the .BANK and .INSURANCE Registrant Eligibility Policies in accordance with its Policy Development Process Policy accessible here. The updated Definitions (for Policies) is provided for reference purposes only.

Next Steps: fTLD and the Council, as appropriate, will consider and/or address comments received in the summary and analysis of comments document (the “Report”). Following the close of the comment period, fTLD will post the Report. fTLD will determine the appropriate resolution of the comments received and consult with the Council, as appropriate, and if no further changes are needed, fTLD will move toward implementation of the Policies in accordance with its Policy Development Process Policy.

Background

fTLD has received interest from a broad range of prospective Service Providers seeking to register domain names in .BANK and .INSURANCE. During the past several months fTLD engaged its Council, Operating Manager and Board to consider options for modifying the .BANK and .INSURANCE Registrant Eligibility Policies and their Implementation Guidelines with the goal of providing predictability of eligibility and to facilitate fTLD’s verification process to confirm qualified Registrants. fTLD’s Board specifically discussed Service Provider eligibility at its meeting on 11 April 2019, and fTLD’s Council further discussed this in meetings held in April and June. The Council recommended Amendments to the .BANK and .INSURANCE Registrant Eligibility Policies to provide clarity and ensure the trust and integrity of .BANK and .INSURANCE is maintained for qualified Registrants and not organizations solely seeking to enhance their legitimacy to market to regulated entities. fTLD’s Board approved the Amendments to the Policies on 16 July 2019.

Description and Explanation of Amendments

The main changes to the .BANK Registrant Eligibility Policy include:

  • addition of the word “retail” and “relevant” which adds clarity to how the Policy has been implemented since the launch in 2015 (e.g., investment and other non-retail banks are not eligible);
  • addition of a defined term “Government Regulatory Authority” (which is added to the Definitions for Policies) to clarify what is meant by “relevant” and “retail”;
  • removal of the Service Provider category 3.6;
  • addition of the Board approval category 3.7 (to ensure fTLD has a mechanism for the Board’s authority to deem an organization or category of organizations eligible given the likelihood for the banking sector to continue to evolve); and
  • addition of supervised parent/holding companies to the Policy itself.[1]

The main changes to the Implementation Guidelines to the .BANK Registrant Eligibility Policy:

  • provides a grandfathering provision for the organizations that have been approved under category 3.6 (i.e., as a Service Provider) to address their ongoing eligibility;
  • describes the use restrictions for Service Provider Registrants eligible under Section 3.7 of this Policy: use of the domain name by Service Provider Registrant must predominantly support Regulated Entities and may not be used as the primary, consumer-facing domain of the Service Provider Registrant or in any marketing or promotional capacity; and
  • for clarity, adds a non-exhaustive list of organizations not eligible under Section 3.7 of the Policy.

The main changes to the .INSURANCE Registrant Eligibility Policy include:

  • addition of the word “relevant” which adds clarity;
  • addition of a defined term “Government Regulatory Authority” (which is added to the Definitions for Policies) to clarify what is meant by “relevant”;
  • removal of the Service Provider category 3.5;
  • addition of a Board approval category 3.6 (to ensure fTLD has a mechanism for the Board’s authority to deem an organization or category of organizations eligible given the likelihood for the insurance sector to continue to evolve); and
  • addition of supervised parent/holding companies to the Policy itself.[1]

The main changes to the Implementation Guidelines to the .INSURANCE Registrant Eligibility Policy:

  • provides a grandfathering provision for the organizations that have been approved under category 3.5 (i.e., as a Service Provider) to address their ongoing eligibility; and
  • describes the use restrictions for Service Provider Registrants eligible under Section 3.6 of this Policy: use of the domain name by Service Provider Registrant must predominantly support Regulated Entities and may not be used as the primary, consumer-facing domain of the Service Provider Registrant or in any marketing or promotional capacity.

Report

[to be posted within five (5) business days after the close of the Public Comment period]

[1] To provide further transparency and predictability for Registrants, consistent with the announcement of the addition of the regulated/supervised holding or parent companies as a new class of registrants, eligible for automatic approval made on August 22, 2016, fTLD will formally add them to the .BANK and .INSURANCE Registrant Eligibility Policies.