WASHINGTON - Industry representatives are asking government regulators to extend by six months the deadline for comment on proposed capital requirements for the Federal Home Loan Bank System.

"Because many questions dealing with development of a new capital structure remain unanswered, this is causing severe difficulties in our members' ability to determine the impact of the new capital structure on their Federal Home Loan banks and … on their own institutions," Diane M. Casey, president of America's Community Bankers, wrote in a letter to William C. Apgar, acting Federal Housing Finance Board chairman.

The Finance Board proposed the rules May 22; comments are due Oct. 11. Banks care about the rules because they own the stock that makes up the 12 Home Loan banks' capital, and the proposal could change the value and liquidity of these investments. A delay is unlikely, a Finance Board spokeswoman said Wednesday, because the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 requires the agency to issue the rules by Nov. 12.

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