WASHINGTON - Banks and thrifts can expect a number of changes in capital rules as the new year unfolds.
Mortgage lenders, for example, will be watching the capital requirements for servicing rights.
Regulators, responding to the Financial Accounting Standards Board, are likely to allow banks to count originated servicing rights as assets, just like purchased rights. But it remains unclear what capital requirements regulators will set for the originated rights.
Marti Sworobuk, a lobbyist on financial management and accounting issues for the Savings and Community Bankers of America, said the thrift trade group is asking regulators to allow originated rights to count fully towards institutions' capital levels.
Institutions may count only half the value of purchased mortgage servicing rights as capital, she said.
Also in 1995, two Treasury Department agencies will square their method of calculating limits on loans to a single borrower.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is near finalizing a rule that will link lending limits to risk-based capital, rather than a separate capital measurement.
Office of Thrift Supervision is expected to follow suit.
The banking industry is adjusting now to accounting rule changes required last year by FASB on how to measure the impaired portion of a problem loan. FASB forced institutions to change the method they use to calculate appropriate levels of loan loss reserves.
But bank regulators have a different set of rules for measuring reserves, which seem to conflict with the new FASB rules. Generally, regulators require institutions to hold more reserves than both FASB and the Securities and Exchange Commission require.
"Once you end up over-reserving, you end up with the SEC considering that you are understating earnings," Ms. Sworobuk said.
Also coming up: FASB will issue a proposal on the accounting treatment that should apply when banks securitize a variety of assets - from credit card receivables to mortgages.