and thrift capital ratios below required minimums, the four federal regulatory agencies warned Tuesday.

According to an interagency statement, a small number of institutions might experience an increase in consumer deposits and temporary borrowing by corporate customers as the end of the year approaches. The result, they warned, might be a boost in those banks' asset levels without a corresponding increase in their capital reserves.

Ironically, the institutions most likely to be affected are the largest and best managed because they are where nervous depositors will turn.

If a bank's capital drops below specified ratios, the agencies are required to take prompt corrective action, such as requiring banks to apply for a waiver before accepting brokered deposits. Regulators said they are willing to be flexible if an institution "exercises prudent and responsible measures to manage its balance sheet, maintains a fundamentally sound financial condition, and provides evidence that any drop in capital ratios is temporary." -- Rob Garver

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