Federal Regulators Provide (Some) Regulatory Relief for Small Banks
The three federal bank regulators – the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Reserve (the Fed), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) – issued a final rule that will streamline call reports for banks with assets less than $5 billion.
Previously, banks with assets less than $1 billion were able to use the FFIEC 051 Call Report – the agencies’ most streamlined call report – during the first and third quarters of each year as long as they were not involved in complex or international activities. The final rule raises the eligibility requirement to $5 billion.
In a press release announcing the final rule, the federal agencies stated that they were “committed to actively exploring additional revisions to Call Reports that would further reduce reporting requirement burdens.” The agencies also made clear that the rule change was mandated by the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which was signed into law last year.
According to Rebeca Romero Rainey, chief executive of the Independent Community Bankers of America, the proposal provides very little regulatory relief for small, community banks. “This offers little meaningful relief from unnecessary reporting burdens for institutions that are still required to file the full call report at midyear and year-end,” said Rainey. “The regulators themselves have admitted as much, projecting that their plan would reduce reporting burdens by just 1.18 hours for institutions with assets of less than $1 billion.”