The FDIC, yesterday afternoon, issued guidance outlining the circumstances under which the Agency would approve an S corporation bank’s request for relief from the dividend restrictions imposed under the Basel III capital conservation buffer. Exceptions will generally be granted to 1- and 2- rated banks which are adequately capitalized and are not subject to a written supervisory directive. While the guidance only applies to capital conservation buffer considerations, it does recognize that there may be other circumstances such as a bank returning to a healthy condition that might present circumstances where a dividend exception could be granted. The Agency noted that it does not expect the concern to be an issue for some time as a result of the three year phase-in through 2019. We are pleased that the FDIC recognizes the unique circumstances under which S corporation banks operate and hope this guidance will result in greater recognition and willingness by the Agencies to consider case by case dividend approvals to pay taxes in a broader set of circumstances, beyond the capital conservation buffer issue. Importantly, the Agency recognizes that the ability to pay dividends is a crucial element of an S corporation bank’s capital access strategy. A more detailed description of the issuance follows.
Agencies Release a Regulatory Capital Estimation Tool for Community Banks
The federal bank regulatory agencies today released an estimation tool to help community banks understand the potential effects of the recently revised regulatory capital framework on their capital ratios. The revised framework implements the Basel III regulatory capital reforms and certain changes required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
OCC and FDIC Propose Rule to Strengthen Liquidity Risk Management
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) proposed a rule on Wednesday to strengthen the liquidity risk management of large banks and savings associations.
The OCC and FDIC’s proposed liquidity rule is substantively the same as the proposal approved by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on October 24, 2013. That proposal, which was developed collaboratively by the three agencies, is applicable to banking organizations with $250 billion or more in total consolidated assets; banking organizations with $10 billion or more in on-balance sheet foreign exposure; systemically important, nonbank financial institutions that do not have substantial insurance subsidiaries or substantial insurance operations; and bank and savings association subsidiaries thereof that have total consolidated assets of $10 billion or more (covered institutions). The proposed rule does not apply to community banks.
Federal Regulators Provide Guidance on Qualified Mortgage Fair Lending Risks
Five federal regulatory agencies today issued a statement to address industry questions about fair lending risks associated with offering only Qualified Mortgages. Creditors have asked for clarity regarding whether the disparate impact doctrine of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and its implementing regulation, Regulation B, allows them to originate only Qualified Mortgages. For the reasons described in the statement, the five agencies do not anticipate that a creditor’s decision to offer only Qualified Mortgages would, absent other factors, elevate a supervised institution’s fair lending risk.
How Many Subchapter S Financial Institutions are there in the United States?
According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), there are currently 2,200 financial institutions or bank holding companies organized as S corporations.