WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve Board expanded the scope of eligible collateral under the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility on Friday to include commerical mortgage-backed securities, exposing the central bank to more risk while seeking to repair a market that collapsed during the middle of 2008.
"The inclusion of CMBS as eligible collateral for Talf loans will prevent defaults on economically viable commercial properties, increase the capacity of current holders of maturing mortgages to make additional loans, and facilitate the sale of distressed properties," the Fed said in a press release.
The central bank will begin accepting CMBS in June. The round of loan requests the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is scheduled to take on Tuesday will accept securities backed by auto, card, student and small- business loans.
The Fed has suggested for several months that it would expand the Talf to include CMBS but, as interest in the program waned, skepticism grew that the change might never happen. Despite the expansion, the Fed is still not accepting residential MBS, which some investors and market participants have been pushing for.
In another win for investors, the Fed said it will extend the maturities of Talf loans to five years from the current three years.
That change will also take affect in June.
The Fed initially will lend up to $100 billion at the longer maturities but indicated that limit is likely to increase later. The central bank has committed up to $1 trillion for the Talf.
Under the program, the Fed lends to investors, which use the money to buy securities backed by consumer loans. The goal is to liquefy the markets for consumer debt by giving investors an incentive to buy the securities.