‘Comments due’ date for stress-test proposal moves to mid-March

The federal regulator of national banks has set an adjusted “comments due” date of March 14 to its proposed rule on stress testing for banks and savings associations, a result of the 35-day, partial government shutdown that ended late last month.

In a notice published in the Federal Register today, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said the comments-due date was changed to March, after originally slating a Feb. 19 date.

The proposal by the regulator, made in December, would exempt federally supervised banks and savings associations with less than $250 billion in assets from regulators’ company-run stress test requirements. A similar rule is being considered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC).

Both the FDIC and OCC have stress testing requirements in place under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank), which requires stress testing for institutions with $10 billion or more in assets. The requirements are differentiated in current rules (also under Dodd-Frank) for institutions with $10 billion to $50 billion in assets and those with more than $50 billion, and they involve three stress-testing scenarios.

But the regulatory relief legislation adopted last spring – the 2018 Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (EGGRCPA, S. 2155) – raises the minimum asset threshold for the company-run stress testing requirement from $10 billion to $250 billion; replaces the requirement for banks to conduct stress tests “annually” with the requirement to conduct stress tests “periodically”; and no longer requires the “adverse” stress testing scenario (and thus reduces the number of required stress testing scenarios to two).

Amendments to the Stress Testing Rules for National Banks and Federal Savings Associations

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