Federal Reserve may delay stress test rules: Fed

WASHINGTON Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:10pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. banking regulators are considering delaying until September 2013 the requirement that medium-sized banks conduct annual stress tests, the agencies said on Monday.

The delay would apply to internal stress tests for banks with between $10 billion and $50 billion in total assets.

The tests, mandated by the 2010 Dodd Frank law, are currently slated to go into effect when the stress test rules are finalized.

But the Federal Reserve said it had received comments that raised concerns over whether banks would have the "resources, readiness, and ability to conduct stress tests given the likely short period between publication of a final rule and the start of stress testing."

"The delay under consideration would help ensure that these companies have sufficient time to develop high-quality stress testing programs," the central bank said in a statement.

The Fed's stress test rule was proposed in December 2011.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) proposed their internal testing rules in January.

In its statement on Monday, the OCC added that it was considering requiring banks with more than $50 billion in assets to begin conducting the tests this year.

The Dodd-Frank law also requires the Fed to conduct stress tests itself on the largest banks.

(Reporting By Alexandra Alper; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Bernard Orr)

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