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    FED Updates Relief Measures to Address Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic

    June 15, 2020

    FED revised the term sheet and updated the frequently asked questions (FAQs) on Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF), which will now begin buying a broad and diversified portfolio of corporate bonds to support market liquidity and the availability of credit for large employers. FED also announced that it will be seeking public feedback on a proposal to expand its Main Street Lending Program to provide access to credit for non-profit organizations. As with the existing Main Street Lending Program, which targets small and medium-size businesses, the proposed expansion would offer loans to small and medium-size non-profits that were in sound financial condition before the COVID-19 pandemic. Feedback may be submitted until June 22, 2020. Additionally, FED announced that it will resume examination activities for all banks, after previously announcing a reduced focus on the examination activity in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Updates on SMCCF. As detailed in the revised term sheet and the updated frequently asked questions (FAQs), the SMCCF will purchase corporate bonds to create a corporate bond portfolio that is based on a broad, diversified market index of U.S. corporate bonds. This index is made up of all the bonds in the secondary market that have been issued by U.S. companies that satisfy the facility's minimum rating, maximum maturity, and other criteria. This indexing approach will complement the facility's current purchases of exchange-traded funds. The Primary Market and Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facilities were established with the approval of the Treasury Secretary and with USD 75 billion in equity provided by the Treasury Department under the CARES Act.

    Proposal to Expand Main Street Lending Program. Loan terms under the proposed Main Street non-profit loans, including the interest rate, the deferral of principal and interest payments, and the five-year term, are proposed to be the same as the terms for Main Street business loans. The minimum loan size is USD 250,000 while the maximum loan size is USD 300 million. Principal payments would be fully deferred for the first two years of the loan while interest payments would be deferred for one year. Two loan options would be offered under the proposal. Borrower eligibility requirements for the proposed non-profit facilities would be modified from the for-profit facilities to reflect the operational and accounting practices of the non-profit sector and include:

    • Minimum of 50 and maximum of 15,000 employees
    • Financial thresholds based on operating performance, liquidity, and ability to repay debt
    • An operational history of at least five years
    • A limit, of no more than USD 3 billion, on endowments 

     

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    Comment Due Date: June 22, 2020

    Keywords: Americas, US, Banking, COVID-19, SME, Main Street Lending Program, Corporate Credit Facility, SMCCF, Corporate Bonds, Credit Risk, FED

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