WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve announced Tuesday that it would allow banks with less than $50 billion in assets to request off-site examination of loan files, a move intended to reduce the regulatory burden for smaller institutions.

"State member banks and U.S. branches and agencies for foreign banking organizations with less than $50 billion in total assets can opt to allow Federal Reserve examiners to review loan files off-site, during both full-scope or target examinations, so long as loan documents can be sent securely and with the required information," the release said.

The Fed has long touted its efforts to reduce the effects of its regulatory requirements on smaller banks, which were not major players in the 2008 financial crisis and whose systemic risk is negligible. Opponents to the Dodd-Frank Act and related rules have routinely pointed to the unintended effects of that law's reforms on the regulatory burden of small and midsized banks as evidence of the law's overreach.

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