Seeking to provide some regulatory relief to community banks and other small financial institutions, bank regulators are asking Congress to consider several changes to the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform laws. The first phase aims to ensure that each participating bank is sufficiently capitalized to withstand a severely adverse economic scenario, and the USA banking sector as a whole has strengthened considerably over recent years thanks to focused efforts by the banks as well as due to an improved operating environment. "Regulation does not work when it impedes progress, and banks can not fulfill their public goal if they can not support and invest in their customers and communities".
Big banks would suffer $383 billion in loan losses in the most extreme scenario, compared to $385 billion a year ago.
A view shows the Federal Reserve building in Washington August 22, 2012.
While all of the banks involved in this year's stress tests appeared to pass at least theoretically, winners and losers will emerge in the race to return capital to shareholders.
BB&T is among 34 bank holding companies required by the Federal Reserve to do stress-test assessments twice annually. For example, Wells Fargo, a major lender to companies and for commercial real estate, estimated it would lose nearly $20 billion less than the $50.4 billion the Fed projected. In this year's test, for instance, the central bank assumed that the unemployment rate more than doubles to 10%, gross domestic product falls more than 6%, and real estate prices drop by between a quarter and a third, depending on whether it's a personal residence or commercial property. The Treasury Department issued a report last week proposing tests occur less frequently, that highly capitalized banks be exempt from the process and that one of the toughest hurdles be scrapped. The banks that now undergo the exam have also strengthened their balance sheets by adding more than $750 billion in top-notch capital, the Fed said.
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On Thursday morning, an A-team of regulators lined up before the Senate Banking Committee and largely agreed to dial back restrictions imposed on the industry after the financial crisis.
The US Federal Reserve is confident that Wall Street could continue to lend through a deep recession, after its latest tests on the financial health of the country's biggest banks, write Ryan Tracy and Telis Demos for The Wall Street Journal.
Banks coming closest to not meeting the minimum capital ratio were Ally Financial, with a tested level of 6.5 percent; Capital One Financial, with 7.0 percent; Huntington Bancshares, 7.0 percent; KeyCorp, 6.8 percent; and SunTrust Banks, 7.1 percent.
Trump may soon nominate a Fed vice chairman for banking supervision, who will oversee the tests.
It's not clear why the banks are doing better in the Fed's stress test.
Tier 1 common ratio is a measurement of a bank's core equity capital compared with its total risk-weighted assets.