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Banking regulators begin implementing Dodd-Frank changes

The Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a statement July 6 announcing their first steps in implementing the Dodd-Frank regulatory revision bill signed into law May 24.

The agencies said they would soon launch formal rulemaking on changes to examination cycles and the treatment of municipal obligations as high-quality liquid assets, or HQLA.

The law requires the regulators to increase the total asset threshold, from $1 billion to $3 billion, for well-capitalized insured depository institutions to be eligible for an 18-month examination cycle.

On municipal obligations, the law requires the regulators to treat certain obligations as HQLA, which would have implications for the calculation of the liquidity coverage ratio and other liquidity-related regulations. The regulators are required to make the accounting change no later than 90 days after the law's enactment, and the regulators say rulemaking is coming.

In the meantime, the regulators say they will not take action to require institutions subject to the liquidity regulations to exclude municipal obligations from HQLA if they believe they meet the statutory criteria.

The statement did not include details on when those rules would be released. The regulators added that a "number of other changes" will likely require rulemaking, including reduced reporting requirements for some small banks. The statement says those rules will come at a "later date."