Tuesday, June 23, 2015

If the US stops distorting the allocation of bank credit to the real economy… does Europe dare to be left behind?

For 6.000 (out of 6.400) traditional US banks those that hold, effectively, zero trading assets or liabilities; no derivative positions other than interest rate swaps and foreign exchange derivatives; and whose total notional value of all their derivatives exposures - including cleared and non-cleared derivatives - is less than $3 billion...

Thomas M. Hoenig, the Vice Chairman of the FDIC is proposing the following:

“A bank should have a ratio of GAAP equity-to-assets of at least 10 percent. The substantial majority of [US] community banks already have equity-to-asset ratios of 10 percent or higher, and the number is in reach for those that do not.”

“Exempting traditional banks from all Basel capital standards and associated capital amount calculations and risk-weighted asset calculations.”

If approved, that would effectively mean the US begins to distance itself from the pillar of Basel Committees bank regulations, the credit-risk-weighted capital requirements.

Since those capital requirements odiously discriminate against the fair access to bank credit of borrowers deemed “risky”; and thereby distorts bank credit allocation, that would mean that most US banks would be able to return to real lending to the real economy.

Does Europe dare to be left behind in such development?

PS. Its about time the US suspended such regulatory discrimination, which should never have been allowed, according to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (Regulation B)