Federal Reserve Eases Application of TLAC Buffer

Today, March 23, 2020, the Federal Reserve issued an interim final rule that revises the definition of “eligible retained income” for purposes of the total loss-absorbing capacity (“TLAC”) buffer requirements that apply to global systemically important banking organizations (“G-SIBs”).  The rule amends the “eligible retained income” definition in the same manner as the federal banking agencies’ interim final rule of March 17, 2020, which, as we summarized previously, revised that definition for purposes of the regulatory capital rules that apply to all U.S. banking organizations.

Continue Reading

Federal Reserve to Accept U.S. Municipal Short-Term Debt as Eligible Collateral Under Expanded MMLF Program

Today, March 20, 2020, the Federal Reserve announced that it has amended the terms of its recently announced Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (“MMLF”) so as to accept certain U.S. municipal short-term debt as eligible collateral and allow additional types of funds to sell eligible collateral to participating borrowers.  The expansion is intended to support the flow of credit to the economy by taking steps to enhance the liquidity and functioning of crucial state and municipal money markets. Continue Reading

FDIC Chairman Asks FASB to Respond to COVID-19 Crisis, Including by Delaying CECL

Today, March 19, 2020, FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams sent a letter to the Financial Accounting Standard Board (“FASB”), the body that is responsible for establishing U.S. generally accepted accounting practices (“U.S. GAAP”).  The Chairman’s letter requests that FASB take three specific actions to ease the impact of certain U.S. GAAP standards in light of the economic conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Specifically, the letter requests that FASB (i) announce that loan modifications offered to borrowers affected by COVID-19 will not be classified as troubled debt restructuring (“TDR”), (ii) provide that banks that are already subject to the current expected credit loss methodology (“CECL”) may postpone CECL implementation, and (ii) delay the ongoing phase-in of CECL.

The three requests are described in more detail below.

Continue Reading

FDIC Warns of Increase in Fraudulent Activity Amidst COVID-19 Anxiety

On March 18, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) warned that amidst the fear and confusion surrounding COVID-19, there has been increased fraudulent activity by imposters pretending to be FDIC representatives in order to access personal account information. The scams may involve a range of communication channels including emails, phone calls, letters, text messages, faxes, and social media.

Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Establishes Money Market Mutual Fund Facility to Support Liquidity of Key Financial Assets

Yesterday, on March 18, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Board”) announced the creation of a Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (“MMLF”) to provide liquidity support to money market mutual funds (“MMMFs”) by facilitating their sale of certain assets in order to meet redemption requests.  Under the MMLF, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (“FRBB”) will provide secured, non-recourse advances to financial institutions to finance their purchase of certain higher-quality assets from MMMFs.  In connection with the creation of the MMLF, the Board, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation issued an interim final rule designed to neutralize the effect of transactions with the MMLF on participating financial institutions’ risk-based and leverage capital ratios.  These steps should have the effect of both supporting the liquidity of the underlying assets that serve as eligible collateral under the MMLF and limiting fire-sale losses at MMMFs should they need to liquidate assets to meet redemption requests.

Click here to read Covington’s client alert discussing the MMLF.

FDIC Proposes Rule to Codify Supervisory Framework for Industrial Loan Companies

On March 17, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (the “Proposal”) that would codify the FDIC’s existing supervisory processes and policies that apply to industrial banks and industrial loan companies (collectively, “ILCs”) and their parent companies. The FDIC announced on the following day that the FDIC Board of Directors had approved applications for deposit insurance coverage for two de novo ILCs, Square Financial Services, Inc. and Nelnet Bank.

Click here to read our Five Things to Know about the FDIC’s proposed ILC rule.

CFTC Announces Limited No-Action Relief in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

This week, on March 17, 2020, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) released two announcements (see here and here) regarding a series of no-action letters in response to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.  The CFTC’s announcements come in the wake of high-profile efforts by other financial regulators to quickly address the financial and regulatory effects of the outbreak.  The relief is relevant to all major market participants and eases certain regulatory burdens including daily reporting requirements and the submission of certain annual reports.

Click here to read Covington’s client alert summarizing these developments.

Federal Reserve Reestablishes Primary Dealer Credit Facility to Support Market Functioning and Facilitate Credit Availability

Yesterday, on March 17, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“FRB”) announced the creation of a Primary Dealer Credit Facility (“PDCF”) to provide a liquidity backstop to primary dealers of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (“FRBNY”), which include the nation’s largest broker-dealers.  The PDCF will provide short-term loans to primary dealers in an effort to smooth market functioning and facilitate the availability of credit to businesses and households in light of the economic conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The PDCF will function as a fully secured loan facility for primary dealers, similar to the Federal Reserve’s discount window for depository institutions.

Click here to read Covington’s client alert summarizing these developments.

Federal Reserve Establishes Commercial Paper Funding Facility to Support Flow of Credit to Households and Businesses

Today, on March 17, 2020, the Federal Reserve provided a backstop of commercial paper (“CP”) in the form of a Commercial Paper Funding Facility (“CPFF”) that establishes a special purpose vehicle (“SPV”) to acquire eligible CP directly from eligible issuers.  The CPFF will provide liquidity to CP issuers that may otherwise face issues rolling over their CP in the coming weeks and months as a result of economic disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Click here to read Covington’s client alert summarizing these developments.

In Response to COVID-19, Banking Agencies Issue Interim Final Rule Revising Capital Buffer Requirements to Promote Lending

Today, March 17, 2020, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “FRB”), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”) released an interim final rule that revises the definition of “eligible retained income” in the regulatory capital rules that apply to U.S. banking organizations.  The rule is intended to incentivize banking organizations to more freely use their capital buffers, thereby promoting increased lending activity in light of the global economic turmoil created by COVID-19.  The rule will be effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register.

Continue Reading

LexBlog