New federal rules allow more banks to benefit from longer exam cycle

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WASHINGTON — Banking regulators on Thursday issued interim final rules to enable depository institutions with less than $3 billion in total assets to qualify for an extended examination cycle.

Before the passage of the recent regulatory relief law, only banks with less than $1 billion in assets benefited from an 18-month exam period, rather than a 12-month period.

But the new rules released by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Federal Reserve Board and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency implement a provision of the new law that raised the asset threshold, making more banks eligible. The rules also implement a parallel reform for U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks.

The rules are another step in the agencies' work to apply the bipartisan bill negotiated by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, that President Trump signed into law in May.

The interim final rules apply to banks with assets of less than $3 billion if they are “well-capitalized” and were found in their most recent examinations to be “well-managed."

They must also not be subject to a formal enforcement proceeding by the appropriate regulator and they must not have undergone a change in control during the previous 12-month period in which a full-scope, on-site examination otherwise would have been required.

Comments on the rules will be accepted up to 60 days after they are published in the Federal Register.

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