The New York State Banking Department has authorized state-chartered banks "to enter into loans in emergency situations and for limited periods of time that exceed regular lending limits."

The state regulator announced Friday that it used its "Wild Card Authority" to address current liquidity conditions.

In March the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency adopted a rule that allowed temporary exemptions for national banks to exceed lending limits.

New York State Superintendent of Banks Richard H. Neiman said in a press release, "These are serious times, and we have a responsibility to be responsive to changing market conditions and to ensure that we have the ability to enable New York State-chartered banks to help ease the credit and liquidity crunch that the financial markets are experiencing."

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