Federal Reserve proposes new asset requirements for big banks

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve on Thursday proposed that big banks keep enough cash, government bonds and other high-quality assets on hand to survive during a severe downturn on par with the 2008 financial crisis.

The proposal subjects U.S. banks for the first time to so-called "liquidity" requirements. Liquidity is the ability to access cash quickly.

The largest banks — those with more than $250 billion in assets — would be required to hold enough cash and securities to fund their operations for 30 days during a time of market stress. Smaller banks — those with more than $50 billion and less than $250 billion — would have to keep enough to cover 21 days.

Fed officials said the rules are stronger than new international standards for banks. The public has 90 days to comment on them. After that, they would be phased in starting in January 2015.

"Liquidity is essential to a bank's viability and central to the smooth functioning of the financial system," Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said. He said the new regime "would foster a more resilient and safer financial system in conjunction with other reforms."

The requirements were mandated by Congress after the financial crisis. They are part of new regulations that are intended to prevent another collapse severe enough to require taxpayer-funded bailouts and threaten the broader financial system.

Hundreds of U.S. banks received federal bailouts during the crisis. Among them were the largest financial firms, including JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.


Reader Reaction
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form. New comments are only accepted for two weeks from the date of publication.
COUPON OF THE WEEK