November 28, 2018
Authored by: Robert Klingler
On November 21, 2018, the Federal Reserve, Office of Comptroller of the Currency and the FDIC jointly published a notice of proposed rulemaking (the “NPR”) to provide an alternative capital system for qualifying banking organizations. Specifically, the regulators have proposed a new, alternative, simplified capital regime for qualifying institutions that will deem an institution to be well-capitalized so long as it maintains a leverage ratio of at least 9% and adequately capitalized so long as it maintains a leverage ratio of at least 7.5%.
The NPR seeks to implement the community bank leverage ratio (CBLR) mandated by Section 201 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (“EGRRCPA”). EGRRCPA requires the regulatory agencies to develop a CBLR of not less than 8 percent and not more than 10 percent for qualifying community banking organizations, and provides that organizations that meet such CBLR will deemed well capitalized for all purposes. EGRRCPA further provides that a qualifying community banking organization to be a depository institution or depository institution holding company with total consolidated assets of less than $10 billion.
Summary of the NPR
The NPR establishes five criteria for an depository institution or holding company to be deemed a Qualifying Community Banking Organization:
- Total consolidated assets of less than $10 billion;
- Total off-balance sheet exposures of 25% or less of total consolidated assets;
- Total trading assets and trading liabilities of 5% or less of total consolidated assets;
- MSAs of 25% or less of CBLR tangible equity; and
- Temporary difference DTAs of 25% or less of CBLR tangible equity.
Under the NPR, the numerator of the CBLR would be CBLR tangible equity. CBLR tangible equity would be equal to total equity capital, determined in accordance with Call Report or Form Y-9C instructions, prior to including any minority interests, less (i) accumulated other comprehensive income (AOCI), (ii) all intangible assets (other than MSAs) including goodwill and core deposit intangibles, and (iii) DTA’s arising from net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards.
The CBLR denominator would be average total consolidated assets, calculated in accordance with Call Report or Form Y-9C instructions, less the items deducted from the CBLR numerator, except AOCI. The NPR notes that the calculation is similar to the one used in determining the denominator of the tier 1 leverage ratio.
Under the NPR, a Qualifying Community Banking Organization may elect to use the CBLR framework at any time, so long as it has a CBLR greater than 9% at the time of the election. Under the CBLR framework, the Qualifying Community Banking Organization will be considered well capitalized so long as it has a CBLR greater than 9%. A qualifying depository institution that previously elected to use the CBLR framework but has fallen below 9% will not be required to convert back to the regular capital system. Instead, the following CBLR leves will serve as proxies for the PCA categories:
- Adequately Capitalized – CBLR of 7.5% or greater;
- Undercapitalized – CBLR of less than 7.5%; and
- Significantly Undercapitalized – CBLR of less than 6%.
The framework for Critically Undercapitalized would remain unchanged at a ratio of tangible equity to total assets of 2% or below. Any institution that would be deemed Significantly Undercapitalized under the CBLR framework would be required to promptly provide its appropriate regulators sufficient information to calculate the PCA tangible equity ratio.