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June 28, 2013

U.S. Regulators Strike Agreement on Capital Rule

The Federal Reserve will vote next week to finalize capital rules for U.S. banks after regulators agreed to resolve a separate issue that had delayed action.

After months of dispute, officials at the Fed, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have agreed to increase one measure of the biggest banks’ ability to operate in times of stress. Banking regulators will soon propose requiring banks to increase the amount of equity they hold against assets, known as the ‘leverage ratio.’

The issue has divided U.S. officials, delaying action on broader international capital rules agreed to by global regulators in 2010 and revised in 2011.

Some officials at the FDIC have been pushing for a much higher leverage ratio than Fed officials believed necessary. The debate has been complicated by the uncertain status of Richard Cordray, who heads the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and is also a member of the FDIC’s five-member board. Mr. Cordray was installed by President Barack Obama in a recess appointment, and recent legal challenges have raised the specter that his appointment, and any votes he casts at the FDIC, could be invalidated.”


Read full Wall Street Journal article here

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