Federal banking regulators on Tuesday extended the time between examinations for well-managed, well-capitalized foreign banks and branches with less than $250 million of assets.

Effective immediately, these banks will be evaluated every 18 months instead of every 12 months.

The agencies said a 1996 law requires the U.S. operations of foreign banks to be examined as frequently as state and national banks. Because the agencies in April adopted an 18-month exam cycle for well-managed domestic banks, they had to do the same for similarly managed foreign banks.

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