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U.S. Fed plans to boost oversight of foreign banks

Dec 17 2012 Emily Stephenson, Reuters

The U.S. Federal Reserve on Friday proposed to tighten the leash on foreign banks to protect taxpayers from having to bail them out, in what banks said could lead to a pullback from U.S. markets. The rules will likely make it more expensive for foreign banks to operate in America, and attorneys who work with foreign banks said that they needed to rethink whether they can maintain their current operations. The plan would force foreign banks to group all their subsidiaries under a holding company, subject to the same capital standards as U.S. holding companies. The biggest banks will also need to hold liquidity buffers. "The proposal would not disadvantage foreign banking organizations relative to domestic U.S. banking firms, but rather it seeks to maintain a level playing field," Fed Governor Jeremy Stein said at a board meeting. Banks with fewer than $10 billion in U.S. assets would not need to comply with the new rules, the Fed said. The proposal was previewed in some detail

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