Thursday, May 17, 2012
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The Financial Stability Oversight Council has adopted a final rule that went into effect on May 11, 2012 describing the framework that the Council intends to use to determine whether a non-bank financial company is systemically important to the US financial system and whose failure could pose a threat to the U.S. financial stability.  The consequences of being designated a systemically important company is that the Federal Reserve is given the authority to impose risk based capital requirements, leverage limits, liquidity requirements, resolution plans, concentration limits, a contingent capital requirement; enhanced public disclosures; short-term debt limits; and overall risk management requirements.

The Council adopted a three-stage process for making its determination. The first stage is designed to narrow the universe of non-bank financial companies by establishing certain size or other quantitative thresholds. The second stage applies the analytic framework (i) size, (ii) interconnectedness, (iii) substitutability, (iv) leverage, (v) liquidity risk and maturity mismatch, and (vi) existing regulatory scrutiny to determine whether company could pose a risk to U.S. financial stability. The third stage will utilize qualitative and quantitative information obtained directly from the companies through the Office of Financial Research.