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    US Agencies Finalize Changes to Rule on Supplementary Leverage Ratio

    November 19, 2019

    US Agencies (FDIC, FED, and OCC) finalized changes to the capital requirement for banking organizations predominantly engaged in custodial activities, as required by the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection (EGRRCP) Act. The agencies are required under section 402 of the EGRRCP Act to amend the capital rule to exclude from the supplementary leverage ratio certain central bank deposits of banking organizations predominantly engaged in custody, safekeeping, and asset servicing activities. Based on current data, only The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, Northern Trust Corporation, and State Street Corporation, together with their depository institution subsidiaries, would qualify for the rule. The final rule will be effective April 01, 2020.

    The supplementary leverage ratio is one of many tools used by the federal bank regulatory agencies to determine minimum required capital levels and ensure financial stability in the event of stress in the banking system. It applies only to large or complex internationally active banking organizations. In April 2019, the agencies proposed to implement section 402. The agencies collectively received six comment letters on the proposal (from banking organizations and other interested parties). Some respondents were supportive of the proposal while others raised concerns about the potential effect that implementation of section 402 would have on other aspects of the banking sector. The agencies have considered all the comments received on the proposal and are adopting the proposal as a final rule without modification. 

    Section 402 of the EGRRCP Act defines a custodial bank as any depository institution holding company predominantly engaged in custody, safekeeping, and asset-servicing activities, including any insured depository institution subsidiary of such a holding company. As stated in the proposal, a depository institution holding company would be considered predominantly engaged in custody, safekeeping, and asset-servicing activities if the U.S. top-tier depository institution holding company in the organization has a ratio of assets under custody (AUC)-to-total assets of at least 30:1. Such a banking organization would have been termed a “custodial banking organization.” 

    Additionally, as per the proposal, a custodial banking organization would exclude deposits placed at a “qualifying central bank” from the denominator of the supplementary leverage ratio. A qualifying central bank would include a Federal Reserve Bank, ECB, or a central bank of a member country of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) if the member country meets certain criteria. The amount of central bank deposits that could have been excluded from total leverage exposure would have been limited by the amount of deposit liabilities of the custodial banking organization that are linked to fiduciary or custody and safekeeping accounts. 


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    Effective Date: April 01, 2020

    Keywords: Americas, US, Banking, Supplementary Leverage Ratio, EGRRCP Act, Regulatory Capital, Leverage Ratio, Basel III, US Agencies

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