WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve Board said Friday it will give stakeholders more time to comment on a proposal that would overhaul the way the U.S. central bank supervises foreign banks operating in the U.S.
The original deadline had been March 31, but the Board said it "extended the comment period to allow interested persons more time to analyze the issues and prepare their comments," in a press release.
The Fed released its plan in late November, which represents a shift in the way the central bank plans to oversee foreign bank operations by imposing the same set of requirements that U.S. bank holding companies face.
The shift in supervisory approach has long been expected since the financial crisis revealed significant flaws in the current regulatory process. Many had been expecting such changes given the failure of Lehman Brothers, which had a substantial broker-dealer subsidiary in the U.K., and severe distress at certain foreign banks with operations in the U.S.
Congress required regulators under the Dodd-Frank Act to reform the way they supervise foreign bank operations with $50 billion or more of globally consolidated assets and a presence in the U.S. A provision in the reform law by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, also calls for large foreign banks to restructure their U.S. operations.
In its approach, the Fed avoided choosing either of two extremes — a full subsidiarization where all branches and entities are placed below the holding company and maintaining the status quo — instead seeking a way to allow foreign banks' branches and agencies to stand alone.
The scope of the Fed's plan will affect a total of 107 foreign banks operating in the U.S. However, the Fed opted to take a tailored approach with its plan, divvying up the banks into two buckets with some having to face the toughest set of requirements.
Banks that are likely to be affected by the proposed regulation include Barclays, Deutsche Bank, and HSBC.
If the proposal is finalized, more than two dozen foreign banks with more than $50 billion of globally consolidated assets would be required to place their operations under a first-tier U.S. intermediary holding company. The firm's U.S. branches and agencies will not have to be part of the holding company, but would still be subject to separate measures, including liquidity requirements.
Under the Fed's proposal, the largest foreign firms will have to meet similar capital and liquidity requirements that U.S. bank holding companies with more than $50 billion of assets face under Dodd-Frank. Foreign banks will also be expected to meet liquidity risk management standards, single-counterparty credit limits, and stress testing requirements.
The other 84 firms will face a "reduced set of requirements" because they don't meet the size threshold. Institutions will be given until July 1, 2015, to implement the new set of rules.
The new comment deadline is April 30.