The text of the restriction on withdrawals from savings accounts, found in 204.2(d)(2):
The term “savings deposit” also means: A deposit or account, such as an account commonly known as a passbook savings account, a statement savings account, or as a money market deposit account (MMDA), that otherwise meets the requirements of §204.2(d)(1) and from which, under the terms of the deposit contract or by practice of the depository institution, the depositor is permitted or authorized to make no more than six transfers and withdrawals, or a combination of such transfers and withdrawals, per calendar month or statement cycle (or similar period) of at least four weeks, to another account (including a transaction account) of the depositor at the same institution or to a third party by means of a preauthorized or automatic transfer, or telephonic (including data transmission) agreement, order or instruction, or by check, draft, debit card, or similar order made by the depositor and payable to third parties.
If I'm parsing the sentence correctly, three groups of transfers and withdrawals are counted:
- to another account of the depositor at the same institution
- to a third party by means of a preauthorized or automatic transfer, or telephonic (including data transmission) agreement, order or instruction
- by check, draft, debit card, or similar order made by the depositor and payable to third parties
It appears that a transfer to an account in the same name at a different bank (or credit union, or brokerage) is in none of these groups. It's not in group 1, because it is not to the same institution. An ACH transfer would fall into group 2, but it is not to a third-party. And a check would fall into group 3, but a check written to self is not to a third party.
Now, I expect that the account agreement with the bank counts all withdrawals and outbounds transfers, so they don't have to bother figuring out which are third-party and which are not (would require keeping track of owners of linked accounts). So in practice it probably doesn't matter. But does the Federal Reserve regulation require counting transfers to external accounts held by the same depositor, or is that just the bank's own rule?
The only way I could see these being counted in the regulation is if the external institution is counted as the payee, and not the accountholder.