WASHINGTON - Federal regulators on Tuesday unveiled a highly anticipated proposal that would simplify capital requirements for small banks, and they assured executives that most of their institutions would qualify.

"This proposal would affect nine out of every 10 banks in the country and reduce the regulatory burden for those institutions without compromising safety and soundness," Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Donna Tanoue said before the agency's board approved it. This plan "contains ideas whose time has come."

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