On July 2, 2013, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “FRB”) unanimously approved final rules (the “Final Rules”) establishing a new comprehensive capital framework for U.S. banking organizations  that would implement the Basel III capital framework  as well as certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”). The Final Rules largely adhere to the rules as initially proposed in June 2012 (the “Proposed Rules”),  notwithstanding that the industry objected, sometimes strenuously, to certain aspects of the Proposed Rules. Most of the changes made in response to the industry’s most fundamental concerns were effectively limited to community banks and other smaller banking organizations; the most stringent rules for “advanced approaches banking organizations”—those with $250 billion or more in total consolidated assets or $10 billion or more in foreign exposures—were maintained. For example:
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On November 9, 2012, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve”) issued instructions and guidance for:
- the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review program for 2013 (“CCAR 2013”) applicable to the 19 bank holding companies (“BHCs”) with total assets of $50 billion or more that were previously subject to CCAR and the Supervisory Capital Assessment Program (“SCAP”); and
- the Capital Plan Review program for 2013 (“CapPR 2013”) applicable to an additional 11 BHCs with total assets of $50 billion or more that were not subject to prior CCARs or SCAP, but were subject to CapPR in 2012.
CCAR 2013 and CapPR 2013 are both being conducted under the Federal Reserve’s previously adopted Capital Plan Rule. In addition, elements of CCAR 2013 are being implemented in conjunction with the Federal Reserve’s newly finalized Stress Test Rules adopted pursuant to the separate stress test requirements of sections 165(i)(1) and (2) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”). The following is an outline of certain notable aspects of the CCAR 2013, CapPR 2013 and their respective instructions.
In certain instances, the instructions and guidance for CCAR 2013 and CapPR 2013 contain new provisions, while in others, the new instructions are largely congruous with procedures for previous CCAR and CapPR iterations. Important aspects of CCAR 2013 instructions include:
The Federal banking agencies have recently issued three notices of proposed rulemaking (and applicable related guidance) in connection with the implementation of Section 939A of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”). Section 939A generally requires that all Federal agencies remove from their regulations references to and requirements of reliance on credit ratings and replace them with appropriate alternatives for evaluating creditworthiness.
Market Risk Capital NPR:
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve”) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC” and, together with the Federal Reserve and the OCC, the “agencies”) issued a joint notice of proposed rulemaking (the “Market Risk Capital NPR”) concerning their market risk capital rules applicable to certain U.S. banking organizations with significant trading operations by proposing standards of creditworthiness to be used in place of credit ratings when calculating the specific risk capital requirements for covered debt and securitization positions, including the following: