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19.03.2021, 13:28

Fed: capital relief introduced at start of pandemic will expire at end of March

Financial Times reports that the Federal Reserve has announced that it will let looser capital rules for banks introduced at the start of the pandemic expire at the end of March.

Capital rules were eased last year in a temporary change to the supplementary leverage ratio (SLR), and have been the focus of an intense political battle in recent weeks.

While Democrats in Congress had argued that the relief from capital rules should be terminated at the end of this month, many Republicans sided with the banks to argue for an extension.

The Fed said on Friday that the change to the SLR would expire as scheduled on March 31. However, the central bank said it would explore a more permanent overhaul to the rules.

The SLR requires large banks to have capital equal to at least 3 per cent of their assets, or 5 per cent for the largest systemically important institutions. Under the April 2020 rule change, lenders were allowed to temporarily exclude holdings of US Treasuries and cash kept in reserve at the central bank from their assets when calculating the ratio.

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