The Federal Reserve Board has proposed a "complete overhaul" of how it collects data from banks and thrifts on repurchase agreement transactions.

The Fed estimated the proposed changes would reduce the reporting burden on affected institutions by nearly 17,000 hours annually at a projected savings of $337,800 a year.

Currently, the Fed uses five different reports to gather data on federal funds and repurchase agreement transactions, or repos, for construction of its monetary aggregates and other analytical purposes.

Under the proposed revisions, the Fed would collect a single report containing a single item: repos in denominations of $100,000 or more, in immediately available funds, on U.S. government and agency securities, transacted with specified holders. Repos held by money market mutual funds would be excluded from the data gathering.

Repos are contracts to sell a security, typically a Treasury security, and to repurchase the same asset at a later date. Financial market participants rely on repos to finance their Treasury securities inventories.

The revised reports would be filed weekly, quarterly, or once a year, based on the amount of repo activity involved. Regional Federal Reserve banks would collect the data and send it to the Federal Reserve Board for central processing. The Fed asked for comments by May 30. It plans to implement the revised reporting framework by the end of June.

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