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Inside Washington (06/08/2012)
  • WASHINGTON (6/11/12)--The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday approved a final rule to implement changes to the market risk capital rule based on an international agreement known as Basel III. The new rule requires banks with significant trading activities to adjust their capital requirements to better account for the market risks of those activities (American Banker June 8). Banks will be required to maintain top-quality capital equivalent to 7% of their risk-bearing assets. The final rule applies to bank holding companies and state-chartered banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System. The new rules will become effective Jan. 1, but banks will not be required to be in full compliance until 2019 …
  • WASHINGTON (6/11/12)--Although the Federal Reserve is limited in its ability to ease Europe's economic difficulties, the central bank remains prepared to withstand any ill effects from overseas that may touch the U.S., Federal Reserve Chairman Benjamin Bernanke said Thursday. "As always, the Federal Reserve remains prepared to take action as needed to protect the U.S. financial system and economy in the event that financial stresses escalate," Bernanke told a congressional committee Thursday. Concerns about sovereign debt and the health of banks in many European countries have has acted as a drag on U.S exports, weighing on business and consumer confidence, Bernanke said. Lawmakers can help improve the U.S. economy by adopting fiscal policy that results in a stable or declining ratio of federal debt to gross domestic product, Bernanke said …
  • WASHINGTON (6/11/12)--West Virginia Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va.) has asked the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) to assess the cost of a program that allows banks to offer its customers unlimited deposit insurance on noninterest-bearing transaction accounts. Lawmakers must decide whether to extend the four-year-old Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) program when it expires Dec. 31 (American Banker June 8). FDIC initiated TAG as a voluntary program in 2008 during the financial crisis to address concerns that a large number of account holders might withdraw their uninsured account balances from financial institutions due to economic uncertainties. In 2010, Congress extended the program through 2012 and required participation from all banks.  Generally, small banks support a further extension of the program, while large banks are against it …

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