Regulators Considering Raising Capital Requirements

U.S. regulators are preparing to force large banks to shore up their financial footing, moves they say will help boost the resilience of the system after a spate of midsize bank failures this year.

The changes, which regulators are on track to propose as early as this month, could raise overall capital requirements by roughly 20% at larger banks on average, people familiar with the plans said. The precise amount will depend on a firm’s business activities, with the biggest increases expected to be reserved for U.S. megabanks with big trading businesses.

Banks that are heavily dependent on fee income—such as that from investment banking or wealth management—could also face large capital increases. Capital is the buffer banks are required to hold to absorb potential losses.

The plan to ratchet up capital is expected to be the first of several steps to beef up rules for Wall Street, a shift from the lighter regulatory approach taken during the Trump administration. The industry says more stringent requirements aren’t needed, could force more banks to merge to stay competitive and could make it harder for Americans to get loans from banks.

Source: Wall Street Journal