Banks, thrifts, and bank holding companies will be allowed to adjust third-quarter capital calculations to account for a new rule governing the tax treatment of holdings in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac preferred shares, federal regulators said Friday.

The shares have lost much of their value since the government took over Fannie and Freddie last month, forced shareholders to take impairment charges. Last week the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department said banks and thrifts could treat the losses as ordinary, essentially narrowing the losses.

Since the tax adjustment will affect capital levels, the federal banking agencies are letting banks and thrifts adjust capital calculations as if the tax rule had been in place Sept. 30. Those that have already filed regulatory reports for the quarter will be able to submit amended reports.

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