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Inside Washington (11/15/2012)
  • WASHINGTON (11/16/12)--Regulators offered assurances that a final rule implementing Basel III capital and liquidity requirements will not harm community banks. At a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Basel III, officials from the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said they are aware of the threat Basel III poses to smaller institutions. Regulators said last week they would indefinitely delay the U.S.' adoption of Basel III as they consider more than 2,000 comment letters they have received since issuing a series of proposals in June. The U.S., along with other member nations, had pledged to begin implementation of Basel III by Jan. 1. "To date, many commenters have raised concerns about the generally higher level of capital requirements for community banks," George French, FDIC deputy director for risk management, said at the hearing. "A number of commenters have requested that the agencies not apply the Basel III or standardized approach for notice of proposed rulemaking to community banks. Some commenters have requested that the agencies withdraw the standardized approach notice of proposed rulemaking" …
  • WASHINGTON (11/16/12)--Community bankers are fighting to extend the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) program beyond its current Dec. 31 expiration date, while at the same time exploring for alternative means of liquidity should the program end (American Banker Nov. 15). TAG, created by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. during the financial crisis, provides unlimited federal backing for noninterest-bearing deposits. Without an extension, community banks could lose accounts with more than $250,000 to bigger banks …
  • WASHINGTON (11/16/12)--The economic and financial market scenarios that will be used in an upcoming round of large financial institution stress tests were released by the Federal Reserve on Thursday. The stress test covers baseline, adverse, and severely adverse scenarios.Economic activity, unemployment, exchange rates, prices, incomes, and interest rates are among the 26 variables addressed in the stress tests …

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