[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 80 (Wednesday, April 25, 2018)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 18160-18188]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-08006]



[[Page 18159]]

Vol. 83

Wednesday,

No. 80

April 25, 2018

Part III





 Federal Reserve System





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12 CFR Parts 217, 225, and 252





 Amendments to the Regulatory Capital, Capital Plan, and Stress Test 
Rules; Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 83 , No. 80 / Wednesday, April 25, 2018 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 18160]]


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FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM

12 CFR Parts 217, 225, and 252

[Regulations Q, Y, and YY; Docket No. R-1603]
RIN 7100-AF 02


Amendments to the Regulatory Capital, Capital Plan, and Stress 
Test Rules

AGENCY: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board).

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking with request for comment.

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SUMMARY: The Board is inviting comment on a notice of proposed 
rulemaking (proposal) that would integrate the Board's regulatory 
capital rule (capital rule) and the Board's Comprehensive Capital 
Analysis and Review (CCAR) and stress test rules in order to simplify 
the capital regime applicable to firms subject to the capital plan 
rule. The proposal would amend the Board's capital plan rule, capital 
rule, and stress testing rules, and make amendments to the Stress 
Testing Policy Statement that was proposed for public comment on 
December 15, 2017. Under the proposal, the Board's supervisory stress 
test would be used to establish the size of a stress capital buffer 
requirement and a stress leverage buffer requirement. The proposal 
would apply to bank holding companies with $50 billion or more in total 
consolidated assets and U.S. intermediate holding companies of foreign 
banking organizations established pursuant to Regulation YY. The 
proposal would not apply to any community bank, any bank holding 
company with total consolidated assets of less than $50 billion, or to 
any state member bank or savings and loan holding company. The proposal 
would be effective on December 31, 2018. Under the proposal, a firm's 
first stress capital buffer and stress leverage buffer requirements 
would generally be effective on October 1, 2019.

DATES: Comments must be received by June 25, 2018.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by [Docket No. R-1603 
and RIN 7100-AF 02] by any of the following methods:
     Agency Website: http://www.federalreserve.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments at http://www.federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/foia/ProposedRegs.aspx.
     Email: [email protected]. Include the 
docket number and RIN number in the subject line of the message.
     Fax: (202) 452-3819 or (202) 452-3102.
     Mail: Address to Ann E. Misback, Secretary, Board of 
Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution 
Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20551.
    All public comments will be made available on the Board's website 
at http://www.federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/foia/ProposedRegs.aspx as 
submitted, unless modified for technical reasons or to remove sensitive 
PII at the commenter's request. Public comments may also be viewed 
electronically or in paper form in Room 3515, 1801 K Street NW (between 
18th and 19th Streets NW), Washington, DC 20006 between 9:00 a.m. and 
5:00 p.m. on weekdays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lisa Ryu, Associate Director, (202) 
263-4833, Constance Horsley, Deputy Associate Director, (202) 452-5239, 
(202) 475-6316, Juan Climent, Manager (202) 872-7526, Christine Graham, 
Senior Supervisory Financial Analyst, (202) 452-3005, Page Conkling, 
Senior Supervisory Financial Analyst, (202) 912-4647, Joseph Cox, 
Senior Supervisory Financial Analyst, (202) 452-3216, or Hillel Kipnis, 
Senior Financial Analyst, (202) 452-2924, Division of Banking 
Supervision and Regulation; Benjamin W. McDonough, Assistant General 
Counsel, (202) 452-2036, Julie Anthony, Counsel, (202) 475-6682, Mark 
Buresh, Senior Attorney, (202) 452-5270, Asad Kudiya, Senior Attorney, 
(202) 475-6358, or Mary Watkins, Attorney, (202) 452-3722, Legal 
Division, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street 
and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20551. Users of 
Telecommunication Device for Deaf (TDD) only, call (202) 263-4869.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Background and Summary of the Proposal
    A. Description of the Capital Plan and Capital Rules
    B. Review of Capital Planning and Stress Testing Programs
    C. Actions Following the CCAR Review
    D. Summary of Proposal
II. Proposed Stress Buffer Requirements
    A. Introduction to the Stress Buffer Requirements
    B. Assumptions and Methodologies Used in Determining the 
Proposed Stress Buffer Requirements
    C. Effective Dates for Proposed Stress Buffer Requirements
    D. Impact of the Proposed Stress Buffer Requirements
III. Proposed Changes to the Capital Plan Rule
    A. Removal of Quantitative Objection
    B. Requirements for a Firm's Planned Capital Distributions
    C. Summary of the Proposed Timeline for Reviewing Capital Plans 
and Calculating the Stress Buffer Requirements
    D. Requests for Reconsideration
    E. Capital Plan Resubmission and Circumstances Warranting 
Recalculation of the Stress Buffer Requirements
IV. Proposed Changes to the Capital Rule and Explanation of the 
Mechanics of the Distribution Limitations of the Stress Buffer 
Requirements
    A. Proposed Changes to the Capital Rule
    B. Mechanics of the Distribution Limitations of the Stress 
Buffer Requirements
V. Proposed Changes to the Stress Test Rules
VI. Proposed Changes to Regulatory Reports
VII. Administrative Law Matters
    A. Paperwork Reduction Act
    B. Regulatory Flexibility Act
    C. Solicitation of Comments of Use of Plain Language

I. Background and Summary of the Proposal

A. Description of the Capital Plan and Capital Rules

    The resiliency of large financial institutions is critical to the 
stability of the financial sector. As shown in the 2007-2008 financial 
crisis, problems at large financial institutions can lead to 
significant market disruption, spread rapidly throughout the financial 
system, and cause a credit crunch, worsening economic downturns. To be 
resilient, a financial institution must maintain sufficient levels of 
capital to support the risks associated with its exposures and 
activities. In the years leading up to the financial crisis, neither 
the regulatory capital regime nor financial institutions' own models 
sufficiently captured the actual risk exposures of financial 
institutions, resulting in a level of capital that was inadequate to 
cover losses as conditions deteriorated, putting the economic activity 
at risk.
    The risks to the ability of the financial system to support 
economic growth were exacerbated by actions taken by firms during the 
crisis. Rather than conserve loss-absorbing resources, many firms 
continued to distribute capital to shareholders in an attempt to 
reassure the market of their health and resiliency. Further, the lack 
of transparency into firms' actual risk profiles during the crisis 
increased uncertainty, left counterparties unable to distinguish 
between healthy and unhealthy banks, and prompted a large and sudden 
reaction from the markets as the full scale of risks was revealed. The 
systematic loss of confidence in the banking sector that ensued led to 
sharply tighter credit conditions for businesses and households and 
caused extreme strains in crucial markets; the economic consequences 
prompted

[[Page 18161]]

public sector intervention by the Congress, U.S. Treasury, Board,\1\ 
and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to avoid further 
deterioration and restore economic activity.
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    \1\ References to the Board in this preamble may also refer to 
the Federal Reserve.
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    At the height of the crisis, the Board turned to stress testing, 
under the Supervisory Capital Assessment Program (SCAP), to determine 
potential losses at the largest firms if the prevailing stress severely 
worsened and to restore confidence in the financial sector.\2\ Building 
on the success of the SCAP, the Board introduced the current stress 
testing regime and CCAR to assess whether the largest firms have 
sufficient capital to continue to lend and absorb potential losses 
under severely adverse conditions, and to ensure that they have sound, 
forward-looking capital planning practices.\3\ The Board publishes the 
results of its stress tests and assessment of firms' capital planning 
practices, which enhances market discipline.
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    \2\ SCAP applied to domestic bank holding companies with $100 
billion or more in total consolidated assets.
    \3\ The changes in this proposal would apply to bank holding 
companies with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more, any 
nonbank financial company supervised by the Board that becomes 
subject to the capital planning requirements pursuant to a rule or 
order of the Board, and to U.S. intermediate holding companies 
established pursuant to the Board's Regulation YY (12 CFR part 252) 
in accordance with the transition provisions under the capital plan 
rule. Currently, no nonbank financial companies supervised by the 
Board are subject to the capital planning requirements. References 
to ``bank holding companies'' or ``firms'' in this preamble should 
be read to include all of these companies, unless otherwise 
specified.
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    The Board adopted the capital plan rule in 2011, which requires 
each bank holding company with $50 billion or more in total 
consolidated assets to submit an annual capital plan to the Board.\4\ 
The Board may limit a firm's capital distributions under the rule if 
the Board finds deficiencies in the firm's capital plan or pro forma 
post-stress level of capital.\5\ As part of CCAR, the Board evaluates 
the ability of each of the largest bank holding companies to maintain 
capital above minimum regulatory capital requirements under expected 
and stressful conditions, assuming that a firm makes all planned 
capital actions (for example, dividends, capital issuances, and 
repurchases of capital instruments) that are in its capital plan 
(supervisory post-stress capital assessment).
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    \4\ See 12 CFR 225.8. A firm's capital plan must include (i) an 
assessment of the expected uses and sources of capital over the 
planning horizon; (ii) a detailed description of the firm's 
processes for assessing capital adequacy; (iii) the firm's capital 
policy; and (iv) a discussion of any expected changes to the firm's 
business plan that could materially affect its capital adequacy. A 
firm may be required to include other information and analysis 
relevant to its capital planning processes and internal capital 
adequacy assessment.
    \5\ 12 CFR 225.8(f). As discussed below, a large and noncomplex 
firm is no longer subject to the qualitative assessment in CCAR.
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    Section 165 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer 
Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) requires the Board to adopt enhanced 
capital standards, including supervisory stress tests, company-run 
stress tests, and enhanced risk-based and leverage capital 
requirements, for bank holding companies with total consolidated assets 
of $50 billion or more. The enhanced prudential standards that the 
Board adopts pursuant to section 165 must increase in stringency based 
on the systemic importance of the firm. The Board's supervisory stress 
test conducted pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act evaluates whether firms 
have sufficient capital to continue operations throughout times of 
economic and financial stress using firm-provided data and a common set 
of scenarios, models, and assumptions.\6\ In the company-run stress 
tests, firms use the same scenarios that the Board uses to conduct the 
supervisory stress tests.
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    \6\ The supervisory post-stress capital assessment in CCAR is 
based on the supervisory stress test conducted pursuant to the Dodd-
Frank Act.
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    Similar to the Board's capital planning and stress testing rules, 
the Board's capital rule also addresses weaknesses observed during the 
2007-2008 financial crisis. In 2013, the Board adopted a final rule 
that revised the Board's risk-based and leverage capital requirements 
for firms.\7\ The revisions to the Board's capital rule strengthened 
the quality and quantity of capital held by firms by implementing, 
among other changes, a new minimum common equity tier 1 (CET1) capital 
requirement, a higher minimum tier 1 capital requirement, and capital 
buffer requirements above the minimum requirements. A firm must 
maintain risk-based capital ratios in excess of the minimum plus buffer 
requirements in order to avoid limitations on capital distributions and 
certain discretionary bonus payments.\8\ In addition, the Board adopted 
a supplementary leverage ratio that measures capital against on- and 
off-balance sheet exposures for firms with total consolidated assets 
greater than or equal to $250 billion or total consolidated on-balance 
sheet foreign exposures of at least $10 billion, or that otherwise meet 
the conditions set forth in 12 CFR 217.100(b).\9\
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    \7\ 78 FR 62018 (October 11, 2013), adopted as 12 CFR part 217 
(Regulation Q) and subsequently amended.
    \8\ The limitations apply to discretionary bonus payments made 
to executive officers of a banking organization.
    \9\ 12 CFR part 217.
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    In July 2015, the Board adopted the GSIB surcharge rule as part of 
its implementation of section 165 of the Dodd-Frank Act.\10\ The GSIB 
surcharge rule establishes the criteria for identifying a GSIB and the 
methods that those firms must use to calculate a risk-based capital 
surcharge, which is calibrated to each firm's overall systemic risk and 
which expands the capital conservation buffer requirement for these 
firms.\11\
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    \10\ 12 CFR part 217, subpart H; 80 FR 49082 (August 14, 2015).
    \11\ In addition, a GSIB must maintain a supplementary leverage 
ratio in excess of 5 percent in order to avoid limitations on 
capital distributions and discretionary bonus payments. 79 FR 24528 
(May 1, 2014) (revised 80 FR 49082 (August 14, 2015)).
    The Board expects to release a proposal that would recalibrate 
the enhanced supplementary leverage ratio standards for GSIBs and 
their state member bank insured depository institution subsidiaries. 
The proposal would set the enhanced supplementary leverage ratio 
standards to 3 percent plus one half of the GSIB surcharge 
applicable to the bank holding company. That proposal would amend 
the Board's capital rule, as well as make conforming changes to the 
Board's total loss-absorbing capacity rule.
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    Strengthening the regulatory capital regime, including the 
introduction of capital planning and stress testing requirements, has 
been an important supervisory response to the financial crisis. Stress 
testing makes the capital regime more forward-looking, risk-sensitive, 
and firm-specific. As a result of this program and the enhancements 
made to the Board's regulatory capital regime, large U.S. bank holding 
companies are much more resilient to stress than in the past. Common 
equity capital levels among the nation's largest bank holding companies 
have risen by over $720 billion since 2009, making U.S. firms among the 
strongest in the world.\12\
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    \12\ Staff calculations based on the Consolidated Financial 
Statements for Holding Companies.
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B. Review of Capital Planning and Stress Testing Programs

    The Board periodically reevaluates its programs to ensure that they 
remain effective and that unintended consequences are minimized. 
Accordingly, the Board has reviewed the CCAR program to assess its 
effectiveness and to identify any areas that should be refined (CCAR 
review). The CCAR review included an internal assessment as well as a 
series of feedback meetings with outside parties. The participants in 
such meetings included senior management from firms currently subject 
to the capital plan rule, debt and equity market analysts,

[[Page 18162]]

representatives from public interest groups, and academics in the 
fields of economics and finance. The Board also examined the 
interaction between the capital rule and its capital planning and 
stress testing rules.
    Some participants in the CCAR review expressed support for 
increasing post-stress capital requirements by the amount of the GSIB 
surcharge and countercyclical capital buffer amount, arguing that such 
buffer requirements are intended to further macroprudential and 
countercyclical objectives in a manner that is not currently addressed 
directly in the supervisory post-stress capital assessment. On the 
other hand, some participants argued it would not be appropriate to 
increase post-stress minimum requirements by the GSIB surcharge because 
it would treat the GSIB surcharge as a minimum capital requirement 
rather than as a buffer as intended in the capital rule and because the 
supervisory post-stress capital assessment already includes scenario 
components that, historically, were only applicable to GSIBs.\13\
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    \13\ The supervisory stress test includes a trading and 
counterparty component (the global market shock) and large 
counterparty default scenario component. Historically, the global 
market shock has included six U.S. GSIBs with significant trading 
activity. However, in December 2017, additional firms were 
identified as having ``significant trading activity,'' and beginning 
in 2019, will be subject to the global market shock. The large 
counterparty default scenario component has been applied to the 
firms with the largest derivatives exposures and securities 
financing transaction activities, which to date, has included the 
eight U.S. GSIBs.
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    Participants in the CCAR review also raised concerns about the 
interactions between the capital rule and the supervisory post-stress 
capital assessment. The supervisory post-stress capital assessment 
includes an assumption that a firm makes all planned capital 
distributions, reflecting the historical experience from the financial 
crisis in which the largest banking organizations continued to 
repurchase shares and pay dividends to shareholders well after the 
financial system came under severe stress.\14\ Some participants in the 
CCAR review argued that the Board should not assume in the supervisory 
post-stress capital assessment that a firm continues to make all of its 
planned capital distributions if the capital distributions would not be 
permitted under the capital rule.
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    \14\ Beverly Hirtle, ``Bank Holding Company Dividends and 
Repurchases during the Financial Crisis,'' FRBNY Staff Report, 
(April 2016), www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/staff_reports/sr666.pdf and Viral V. Acharya, Irvind Gujral, 
Nirupama Kulkarni, Hyun Song Shin, ``Dividends and Bank Capital in 
the Financial Crisis of 2007-2009,'' (March 2011) NBER Working Paper 
No. 16896, www.nber.org/papers/w16896.
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    Some participants in the CCAR review viewed other assumptions in 
the supervisory post-stress capital assessment as unrealistic and 
overly conservative. Since the 2014 CCAR cycle, in projecting a firm's 
balance sheet, the supervisory stress test has included the assumption 
that credit supply does not contract. This assumption furthered the 
Board's macroprudential objectives by evaluating whether firms could 
pass the supervisory post-stress capital assessment while continuing to 
lend and support the real economy. In implementing this assumption, the 
Board used a model calibrated to historical data that tended to project 
that a firm's balance sheet and risk-weighted assets would grow over 
the planning horizon, even in the severely adverse scenario.\15\ Some 
participants in the CCAR review argued that this assumption is overly 
conservative, and suggested that the Board modify this growth 
assumption to account for certain portfolios where it is unrealistic 
(such as legacy portfolios).
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    \15\ See the Board's letter regarding the Federal Reserve's 
independent balance sheet and risk-weighted asset projections 
(December 16, 2013) available at www.federalreserve.gov/bankinforeg/independent-projections-letter-20131216.pdf. This letter includes 
information on historical experiences of banking assets in past 
recessions.
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    The Board received other feedback from participants in the CCAR 
review regarding changes to its processes associated with CCAR. For 
example, participants recommended further enhancing the transparency of 
the supervisory post-stress capital assessment and eliminating the 
heightened supervisory scrutiny of a capital plan that includes a 
dividend payout ratio of more than 30 percent.

C. Actions Following the CCAR Review

    The Board has identified several areas where the capital plan rule 
and CCAR could be further refined or improved, including by reducing 
burden for non-GSIBs subject to CCAR; addressing the role of the GSIB 
surcharge in the supervisory post-stress capital assessment; addressing 
inconsistencies between the assumptions in the supervisory stress test 
and the distribution limitations in the capital rule; eliminating one 
or more post-stress capital ratio minimums in CCAR; and simplifying 
certain supervisory stress test assumptions.
    In January 2017, the Board adopted a rule to reduce the burden 
associated with the qualitative aspects of CCAR for less complex firms. 
Under that rule, firms that are not identified as GSIBs and that have 
average total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more but less than 
$250 billion and total nonbank assets of less than $75 billion (large 
and noncomplex firms) are no longer subject to the provisions of the 
capital plan rule whereby the Board may object to a firm's capital plan 
on the basis of qualitative deficiencies in the firm's capital planning 
process.\16\
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    \16\ The capital planning processes for these large and 
noncomplex firms would be evaluated through the regular supervisory 
process. See 81 FR 9308 (February 3, 2017).
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    Additionally, in December 2017, the Board released a package of 
proposals that would increase the transparency of the supervisory 
stress test.\17\ The package included three proposals for public 
comment: (1) Enhanced model disclosure that would provide additional 
detail about the supervisory stress test models and how they function; 
(2) a Stress Testing Policy Statement that would provide the key 
principles and policies that govern the Board's approach to model 
development, implementation, use, and validation in the supervisory 
stress test; and (3) an amendment to the Board's Policy Statement on 
the Scenario Design Framework for Stress Testing (Scenario Design 
Policy Statement) that would make the scenario development process more 
countercyclical.
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    \17\ See 82 FR 59529 (December 15, 2017).
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D. Summary of Proposal

    The capital rule and capital plan rule each place separate 
limitations on firms' capital distributions to address the fact that 
many firms made significant distributions of capital in the lead up to 
and during the crisis without fully considering the effects that a 
prolonged economic downturn could have on their capital adequacy. Under 
the capital rule, a firm is subject to one or more buffer requirements 
above its minimum capital requirements and becomes subject to 
increasingly strict limitations on the distributions and bonus payments 
as its capital ratios decline below the buffer requirements toward the 
minimum capital requirements. Under the capital plan rule, a firm is 
required to follow the capital distributions included in its capital 
plan and, except in limited circumstances, seek the Board's approval 
before making additional capital distributions.\18\
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    \18\ The Board may object to the capital plan of a firm that 
does not demonstrate an ability to maintain capital levels above 
minimum regulatory capital requirements on a pro forma basis under 
expected and stressful conditions. A firm receiving such an 
objection can make only those capital distributions permitted by the 
Board. In assessing a firm's capital plan under the capital plan 
rule, the Federal Reserve assumes that the firm makes all planned 
capital actions (e.g. dividends and issuances and repurchases of 
capital instruments) even in the severely adverse scenario.

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    The proposal would use the results of the annual supervisory stress 
test to size specific buffer requirements above minimum capital 
requirements that restrict capital distributions under the capital rule 
and establish a single approach to capital distribution limitations, 
effectively integrating the capital rule and the capital plan rule. 
Integrating the two capital regimes would simplify the Board's overall 
approach to capital regulation. The proposal would replace the static 
2.5 percent of risk-weighted assets portion of the capital conservation 
buffer requirement under the standardized approach with a stress 
capital buffer requirement, which is forward-looking, risk-sensitive, 
and firm-specific. The proposal would also establish a stress leverage 
buffer requirement in addition to the minimum 4 percent tier 1 leverage 
ratio requirement.\19\
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    \19\ The leverage ratio is the ratio of a firm's tier 1 capital 
to its average total consolidated assests.
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    A firm would be required to maintain capital ratios above its 
minimum plus its buffer requirements in order to avoid restrictions on 
its capital distributions and discretionary bonus payments. A firm 
would be bound by the most stringent distribution limitations, if any, 
as determined by the firm's standardized approach capital conservation 
buffer requirement (as defined below), the firm's stress leverage 
buffer requirement and, if applicable, the firm's advanced approaches 
capital conservation buffer requirement and enhanced supplementary 
leverage ratio standard. The stress capital buffer and stress leverage 
buffer requirements (together, the stress buffer requirements) are 
described in greater detail in section II.
    As noted, participants in the CCAR review observed an inconsistency 
between the distribution limitations of the capital rule and the 
distribution assumptions used in the supervisory post-stress capital 
assessment. To address this inconsistency, certain assumptions used in 
the supervisory stress test would be modified as part of the proposal. 
Specifically, in calculating the stress buffer requirements, the 
proposal would remove the current assumption that a firm would make all 
planned capital distributions over the planning horizon, including any 
planned common stock dividends and repurchases of common stock. 
Instead, the stress buffer requirements would include only four 
quarters of planned common stock dividends in order to preserve the 
current incentives for a firm to engage in disciplined, forward-looking 
dividend planning. The stress buffer requirements would include 
dividends--but not repurchases--based on the experience in the recent 
financial crisis, when large bank holding companies began to reduce 
share repurchases early in the crisis but continued to pay dividends at 
nearly the pre-crisis rate through 2008.\20\
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    \20\ Hirtle, Beverly, ``Bank Holding Company Dividends and 
Repurchases during the Financial Crisis,'' FRBNY Staff Report, 
(April 2016), www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/staff_reports/sr666.pdf. And Viral V. Acharya, Irvind Gujral, 
Nirupama Kulkarni, Hyun Song Shin, ``Dividends and Bank Capital in 
the Financial Crisis of 2007-2009,'' (March 2011) NBER Working Paper 
No. 16896, http://www.nber.org/papers/w16896.
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    In addition, the Board would also adjust the methodology used in 
the supervisory stress test to assume that the firm takes actions to 
maintain a constant level of assets, including loans, trading assets, 
and securities over the planning horizon. As a related matter, the 
Board would assume that a firm's risk-weighted assets and leverage 
ratio denominator generally remain unchanged over the planning 
horizon.\21\
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    \21\ The leverage ratio denominator is equal to the difference 
between projected total consolidated assets and amounts projected to 
be deducted from tier 1 capital under 12 CFR 217.22(a), (c), and 
(d).
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    The Board would further modify certain elements of CCAR to reflect 
the introduction of the proposed stress buffer requirements. 
Specifically, the proposal would remove the quantitative objection in 
CCAR and instead rely on the capital rule's automatic restrictions on 
capital distributions that are triggered if a firm breaches its buffer 
requirements. For firms subject to supervision by the Board's Large 
Institution Supervision Coordination Committee (LISCC firms) and other 
large and complex firms,\22\ the Board would retain the CCAR 
qualitative supervisory review and the ability to object to a firm's 
capital plan on qualitative grounds based on the adequacy of the firm's 
capital planning processes (qualitative objection).\23\ The Board would 
also eliminate the 30 percent dividend payout ratio as a criterion for 
heightened scrutiny of a firm's capital plan. Incorporating four 
quarters of planned common stock dividends in the stress buffer 
requirements would provide sufficient incentive for prudent dividend 
payouts.
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    \22\ A list of the current LISCC portfolio firms is available at 
www.federalreserve.gov/bankinforeg/large-institution-supervision.htm. Those LISCC firms that are currently subject to the 
capital plan rule are: Bank of America Corporation; The Bank of New 
York Mellon Corporation; Barclays PLC; Citigroup Inc.; Credit Suisse 
Group AG; Deutsche Bank AG; The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.; JP Morgan 
Chase & Co.; Morgan Stanley; State Street Corporation; UBS AG; and 
Wells Fargo & Company. Large and complex firms include any bank 
holding company that has average total consolidated assets of at 
least $250 billion or average total nonbank assets of at least $75 
billion.
    \23\ See 82 FR 9308 (February 3, 2017).
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    The proposal would continue to require a firm to describe its 
planned capital distributions in its capital plan and not exceed those 
planned capital distributions. Further, as described in section III.B 
of this preamble, a firm's planned capital distributions would need to 
be consistent with the effective capital distribution limitations that 
would apply under the firm's own baseline financial projections (BHC 
baseline scenario).
    As discussed in detail in section II.D of this preamble, the Board 
estimates that non-GSIBs subject to CCAR would generally need to hold 
less capital under the proposal, as compared with the current 
supervisory post-stress capital assessment in CCAR, which is the 
binding constraint for most of these firms. In contrast, the Board 
estimates based on the most recent CCAR results the proposal would 
generally maintain or in some cases increase CET1 capital requirements 
for GSIBs. However, the Board's estimates suggest that no firm that 
participated in recent CCAR exercises would need to raise additional 
capital in order to avoid the proposal's limitations on capital 
distributions. The impact of the proposal will vary throughout the 
economic cycle.

II. Proposed Stress Buffer Requirements

A. Introduction to the Stress Buffer Requirements

    As a general matter, capital buffer requirements are designed to 
help ensure that a firm maintains an adequate amount of loss-absorbing 
capital to stay above minimum regulatory requirements during stress. 
The capital buffer requirements restrict a firm's ability to distribute 
capital as the firm's actual capital levels approach minimum 
ratios.\24\ These requirements therefore strengthen the ability of 
individual firms and the banking system to continue to function and to 
serve as financial intermediaries in times of stress.
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    \24\ Under the capital rule, a firm's maximum amount of capital 
distributions and certain discretionary bonus payments during the 
current calendar quarter are based on its applicable maximum payout 
ratio multiplied by the firm's eligible retained income. The maximum 
payout ratio declines as a firm's capital ratio approaches the 
minimum requirement. Eligible retained income is defined as net 
income attributable to the institution for the four calendar 
quarters preceding the current calendar quarter, net of any 
distributions and associated tax effects not already reflected in 
net income.

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[[Page 18164]]

    Under the current capital rule, a firm's capital conservation 
buffer requirement is equal to 2.5 percent of risk-weighted assets plus 
any applicable GSIB surcharge and countercyclical capital buffer 
amount. The proposal would replace the 2.5 percent of risk-weighted 
assets with a stress capital buffer requirement, for firms subject to 
the supervisory stress test. A firm's stress capital buffer requirement 
would be tailored to its risk profile and potential vulnerability to 
stress. The firm's capital conservation buffer requirement under the 
standardized approach would be equal to its stress capital buffer and 
any applicable GSIB surcharge plus any applicable countercyclical 
capital buffer amount (standardized approach capital conservation 
buffer requirement).
    Currently, a firm subject to the advanced approaches calculates a 
given risk-based capital ratio under both the standardized and advanced 
approaches, and uses the lower of the two ratios as its operative 
ratio. Under the proposal, a firm would continue to calculate a given 
risk-based capital ratio under both the standardized and advanced 
approaches, and would calculate a different capital conservation buffer 
requirement for each. The capital conservation buffer requirement under 
the advanced approaches would be equal to 2.5 percent of risk-weighted 
assets (rather than the stress capital buffer requirement) plus any 
applicable GSIB surcharge plus any applicable countercyclical capital 
buffer amount (advanced approaches capital conservation buffer 
requirement). To date, the Board has not used or required the use of 
the capital rule's advanced approaches in the supervisory stress test 
due to the significant resources required to implement the advanced 
approaches on a pro forma basis and due to the complexity and 
opaqueness associated with introducing the advanced approaches in 
supervisory stress test projections. In addition, both the supervisory 
stress test and the advanced approaches are calibrated to reflect tail-
risks; thus it could be duplicative to require a firm to meet the 
requirements of the advanced approaches on a post-stress basis.
    For firms subject to the capital plan rule, the proposal would 
introduce a stress leverage buffer requirement in addition to the 4 
percent minimum tier 1 leverage ratio requirement. This stress leverage 
buffer requirement would help to maintain the current complementary 
relationship between the risk-based and leverage capital requirements 
in normal and stressful conditions. In addition, it would continue the 
current practice of evaluating a firm's vulnerability to declines in 
its leverage ratio under stressful conditions.
    The proposal would not, however, extend the stress buffer concept 
to the supplementary leverage ratio. A single stress leverage buffer, 
applicable to all firms, would provide a sufficient backstop and avoid 
adding additional complexity.\25\
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    \25\ GSIBs would continue to be subject to an enhanced 
supplementary leverage ratio standard under the capital rule.
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    A firm would need to maintain capital ratios above all minimum and 
buffer requirements to avoid restrictions on its capital distributions 
and discretionary bonus payments. A firm would be subject to the most 
stringent distribution limitations, if any, as determined by the firm's 
standardized approach capital conservation buffer requirement, the 
firm's stress leverage buffer requirement and, if applicable, the 
firm's advanced approaches capital conservation buffer requirement, and 
the enhanced supplementary leverage ratio standard.
    The Board's supervisory stress test conducted under Regulation YY 
would be used to size each firm's stress buffer requirements. The 
stress buffer requirements would be calculated under the supervisory 
stress test's severely adverse scenario, designed in accordance with 
the Policy Statement on the Scenario Design Framework for Stress 
Testing. As described in appendix A to 12 CFR part 252, severely 
adverse scenarios are designed to be plausible, relevant, and guided in 
large part by historical experience in severe U.S. recessions.\26\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \26\ 12 CFR part 252, appendix A.
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    As in the current supervisory post-stress capital assessment in 
CCAR, under the proposal, the supervisory stress test would continue to 
use a common set of scenarios, models, and assumptions across firms. 
The performance of each model used in the supervisory stress test is 
assessed using a variety of metrics and benchmarks, including benchmark 
model results, where applicable. Each model is validated annually by an 
independent supervisory model validation function. In December 2017, 
the Board issued a Stress Testing Policy Statement for public comment 
describing its approach to supervisory model development, 
implementation, use, and validation.\27\
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    \27\ See 82 FR 59528 (Dec. 15, 2017) as proposed 12 CFR part 
252, appendix B. This proposal re-proposes only section 2.7 of the 
proposed Stress Testing Policy Statement for public comment and 
proposes to add a new section 3.4 relating to a simple approach for 
projecting risk-weighted assets.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Each component of a firm's standardized approach capital 
conservation buffer requirement serves a distinct purpose and is 
calibrated and designed according to that purpose. The stress capital 
buffer requirement would be calibrated based on each firm's 
vulnerability to adverse economic or financial market conditions. As 
such, it would help ensure that the firm holds sufficient capital to 
continue to serve as a financial intermediary during a period of 
financial stress. The GSIB surcharge is designed to mitigate the risk 
posed to financial stability by certain large and systemic financial 
institutions, and is calibrated based on the externalities posed by 
these firms as measured by factors such as size, interconnectedness, 
and complexity. Finally, the countercyclical capital buffer is a 
macroprudential tool intended to strengthen the resiliency of financial 
firms and the financial system, by allowing the Board to raise capital 
standards when credit growth in the economy becomes excessive. Taken 
together, a firm's standardized approach capital conservation buffer 
requirement ensures that the firm has sufficient capital to continue to 
serve as a financial intermediary during stress, internalizes the cost 
that its failure would have on the broader economy, and builds capital 
when there is an elevated risk of above-normal losses.
    In the CCAR review, certain discussion participants disagreed with 
the view that the supervisory post-stress capital assessment and the 
GSIB surcharge serve different purposes because two elements of the 
Board's supervisory post-stress capital assessment, the global market 
shock and the large counterparty default scenario component, apply only 
to GSIBs. However, the global market shock and large counterparty 
default scenario component apply to any firm that has material trading, 
derivatives, and securities financing transaction activities to capture 
direct losses stemming from these activities.\28\ The market shock 
measures the trading mark-to-market losses associated with sudden 
changes in asset prices, and the large counterparty default scenario 
component measures the losses

[[Page 18165]]

associated with repricing counterparty exposures based on the market 
shock, and then assumes the default of the counterparty that represents 
the largest net exposure. These components of the current supervisory 
post-stress capital assessment (and future modified supervisory stress 
test) therefore do not capture the potential adverse impact of the 
failure of a GSIB on the financial system as a whole--the risks that 
are the basis for the GSIB surcharge.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ On December 15, 2017, the Board modified the applicability 
criteria for the global market shock to more accurately identify the 
risks and capital needs of firms participating in the supervisory 
stress test. As revised, the global market shock applies to any bank 
holding company or intermediate holding company that (1) has 
aggregate trading assets and liabilities of $50 billion or more, or 
aggregate trading assets and liabilities equal to 10 percent or more 
of total consolidated assets, and (2) is not a large and noncomplex 
firm. In this proposal, the Board proposes to move the applicability 
criteria for the global market shock from the FR Y-14 reporting form 
to Regulation YY.
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    As described below in section II.B of this preamble, the proposed 
stress buffer requirements would incorporate different capital action 
assumptions than are currently used in the supervisory post-stress 
capital assessment in CCAR. Those revised capital action assumptions 
would also be incorporated in the Board's supervisory stress tests and 
the company-run stress tests conducted under Regulation YY, in order to 
harmonize the publicly disclosed supervisory and company-run stress 
test results with the stress buffer requirements.\29\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\ The supervisory and company-run stress tests conducted 
under Regulation YY would not include four quarters of planned 
dividends.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Question 1: What are the advantages and disadvantages of 
incorporating the stress capital buffer and stress leverage buffer 
requirements into the capital rule? How well does the proposal enhance 
regulatory simplicity, transparency, and efficiency for firms subject 
to the capital plan rule? What refinements or additional approaches 
should the Board consider to enhance these goals, and why? Please 
provide data on the impact of any proposed refinements or additional 
proposals.
    Question 2: What are the advantages and disadvantages of including 
or excluding the stress capital buffer requirement from the advanced 
approaches capital conservation buffer requirement when considered in 
combination with other elements of the proposal or alternatives to the 
proposal? What if any, alternatives should the Board consider and why? 
For example, should the Board consider scaling the stress capital 
buffer requirement by the ratio of a firm's standardized total risk-
weighted assets to its advanced approaches total risk-weighted assets 
in cases where the firm's advanced approaches capital ratio 
calculations are lower than its standardized capital ratio 
calculations? What are the advantages or disadvantages of such an 
approach?
    Question 3: What are the advantages or disadvantages of not 
extending the stress buffer concept to the supplementary leverage 
ratio?
    Question 4: Would modifications to the enhanced supplementary 
leverage ratio standards impact the responses to the questions above or 
any other aspect of the proposal, and if so how?
    Question 5: How should the Board contemplate the appropriate level 
of the countercyclical capital buffer in light of the proposal?
Calculation of the Proposed Stress Capital Buffer Requirement
    Under the proposal, the Board would determine a firm's stress 
capital buffer requirement as the difference between the firm's 
starting and lowest projected CET1 capital ratios under the severely 
adverse scenario in the supervisory stress test, calculated under the 
standardized approach, plus the sum of the ratios of the dollar amount 
of the firm's planned common stock dividends to projected risk-weighted 
assets for each of the fourth through seventh quarters of the planning 
horizon. The stress capital buffer requirement would be floored at 2.5 
percent of a firm's risk-weighted assets.
    Under the current capital rule, all banking organizations are 
subject to a capital conservation buffer requirement. The capital 
rule's current static 2.5 percent of risk-weighted assets component of 
the capital conservation buffer requirement was calibrated to reflect 
how firms' capital positions were affected during periods of severe 
stress, including the most recent financial crisis.\30\ Placing a 2.5 
percent of risk-weighted assets floor on the stress capital buffer 
requirement would ensure a minimum level of stringency across firms of 
all sizes and complexity and that a smaller firm would not be subject 
to more a stringent buffer requirement than a firm with total 
consolidated assets of $50 billion or more.
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    \30\ See Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, Calibrating 
regulatory minimum capital requirements and capital buffers: A top-
down approach (October 2010), available at: https://www.bis.org/publ/bcbs180.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Calculation of the Proposed Stress Leverage Buffer Requirement
    The stress leverage buffer requirement would be determined based on 
the same annual supervisory stress test that the Board conducts to 
determine the stress capital buffer requirement. Under the proposal, 
the Board would determine a firm's stress leverage buffer requirement 
as the difference between the firm's starting and lowest projected Tier 
1 leverage ratio under the severely adverse scenario in the supervisory 
stress test plus the sum of the ratios of the dollar amount of the 
firm's planned common stock dividends to projected leverage ratio 
denominator for each of the fourth through seventh quarters of the 
planning horizon. The stress leverage buffer requirement would not have 
a floor, as there is no generally applicable leverage buffer 
requirement today, and would apply to all firms subject to the capital 
plan rule.

B. Assumptions and Methodologies Used in Determining the Proposed 
Stress Buffer Requirements

    For the supervisory stress test used to calculate the stress buffer 
requirements, the Board proposes to revise certain assumptions it 
currently uses in the supervisory post-stress capital assessment in 
CCAR. Currently, in the CCAR post-stress capital assessment, the Board 
assumes that a firm will make all of its planned capital actions, 
including dividends and repurchases, and issuances of regulatory 
capital instruments. The proposal would narrow the set of planned 
capital actions assumed to occur in the supervisory stress test.
    The current CCAR capital distribution assumptions were introduced 
to assess whether a firm could meet minimum capital requirements during 
severe stress conditions even if the firm did not reduce its planned 
capital distributions. However, the stress buffer requirements would 
reduce the need for the assumption that a firm makes all common stock 
distributions in a stress scenario because the restriction on a firm's 
capital distributions on an ongoing basis would be a function of the 
firm's performance under stress. Accordingly, the Board would no longer 
assume that a firm makes any repurchases or redemptions of any capital 
instrument.
    However, in order to preserve the current incentives for a firm to 
engage in disciplined, forward-looking dividend planning, a firm's 
stress buffer requirements would include four quarters of planned 
common stock dividends (in the fourth through seventh quarters of the 
planning horizon), added to the projected decline in the firm's capital 
under stress. Requiring a firm to pre-fund one year of planned 
dividends would preserve the current incentives for a firm to engage in 
disciplined, forward-looking dividend planning. As noted, this aspect 
of the proposal is based on the Board's experience with large bank 
holding companies' capital distribution practices during the recent 
financial crisis. Additionally, evidence in the academic literature 
generally indicates that repurchases are more flexible than

[[Page 18166]]

dividends.\31\ A reduction in dividends by a publicly-traded firm could 
be interpreted by market participants as a signal of long-run 
deterioration in firm profitability, which could lead to a negative 
stock price reaction. Hence, even if the outlook for a publicly traded 
firm has significantly worsened, public pressure and competition may 
deter the firm from reducing dividend payments. Requiring a firm to 
pre-fund one year of dividends reflects the assumption that the firm 
will strive to maintain its current level of dividends even during 
times of stress.
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    \31\ See Franklin Allen and Roni Michaely (2003), ``Payout 
Policy'' in Handbook of the Economics of Finance, and Martin 
Schmalz, Joan Farre-Mensa, and Roni Michaely (2014) ``Payout 
Policy'' in Robert Jarrow (Ed.), Annual Review of Financial 
Economics.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As in the current supervisory post-stress capital assessment, the 
Board would continue to assume in the supervisory stress test that a 
firm would make payments on any instrument that qualifies as additional 
tier 1 capital or tier 2 capital equal to the stated dividend, or 
contractual interest or principal due on such instrument during the 
quarter. Based on supervisory experience, reductions in these payments 
are generally viewed by market participants as a sign of material 
weakness and firms are therefore likely to make them even under 
stressful conditions.\32\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\ 12 CFR 217.20(c) and (d).
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    The Board would also generally assume in the supervisory stress 
test that a firm does not make any planned issuance of regulatory 
capital instruments, parallel to the assumption that a firm does not 
repurchase any regulatory capital instruments. However, as under the 
current capital plan rule, the supervisory stress test would include 
issuances of common or preferred stock in connection with a planned 
merger or acquisition to the extent that the merger or acquisition is 
reflected in a firm's pro forma balance sheet estimates. Including such 
issuances, for purposes of the supervisory stress tests, would allow 
the Board to assess how a planned merger or acquisition would affect a 
firm's post-stress capital position.
    The proposal would revise the required capital action assumptions 
in the company-run stress test rules to be consistent with the proposed 
capital actions used to calculate a firm's stress buffer requirements 
and would introduce those assumptions into the supervisory stress test 
rules.\33\
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    \33\ Under the proposal, in their company-run stress test, 
covered companies would no longer include in their capital action 
assumptions: (1) Actual capital actions for the first quarter of the 
planning horizon; (2) any common stock dividends; or (3) issuance of 
common or preferred stock relating to expensed employee 
compensation. For the first quarter of the planning horizon, firms 
would include any payments on any other instrument that is eligible 
for inclusion in the numerator of a regulatory capital ratio equal 
to the stated dividend, interest, or principal due on such 
instrument during the quarter. The capital action assumptions used 
in the company-run and supervisory stress tests would not include 
the four quarters of planned dividends.
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    Since the first CCAR exercise, any capital plan implying a common 
stock dividend payout ratio above 30 percent has received heightened 
scrutiny in the qualitative assessment of each firm's capital planning 
processes. Participants in the CCAR review expressed general opposition 
to any specific cap on dividends, and argued that if a cap were deemed 
necessary, it should be higher than 30 percent. Including four quarters 
of planned dividends in a firm's stress buffer requirements as proposed 
would foster an incentive for prudent dividend payouts, removing the 
need for heightened scrutiny based on a capital plan's dividend payout 
ratio. Accordingly, in connection with this proposal, in future CCAR 
exercises the Board would eliminate the 30 percent dividend payout 
ratio as a criterion for heightened supervisory scrutiny of a firm's 
capital plan.
    In addition, in response to comments regarding the current 
assumption that a firm's credit supply does not contract, resulting in 
growth of a firm's balance sheet in stress scenarios, the Board is 
proposing to modify its Stress Testing Policy Statement to include the 
assumption that a firm takes actions to maintain its current level of 
assets, including its securities, trading assets, and loans, over the 
planning horizon (no growth assumption).\34\ The no growth assumption 
would simplify the current supervisory stress test assumptions while 
preventing firms from planning to reduce credit supply in a stress 
scenario. In addition, the proposal would clarify in the Stress Testing 
Policy Statement that, in projecting risk-weighted assets and the 
leverage ratio denominator, the Board would assume that a firm's risk-
weighted assets and leverage ratio denominator remain unchanged over 
the planning horizon except for changes primarily related to deductions 
from regulatory capital or due to changes to the Board's regulations. 
Similar to the Board's current methodology, balance sheet, risk-
weighted asset, and leverage ratio denominator projections would 
reflect the impact of a change to a firm's business plan, such as a 
planned merger or acquisition, or completed or contractually agreed-on 
divestiture.\35\
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    \34\ While the Board would assume in the supervisory post-stress 
capital assessment that a firm's balance sheet does not grow, in a 
firm's company-run stress tests, the Board expects each firm's 
projected balance sheet to be consistent with each scenario and the 
firm's business strategy.
    \35\ A firm's capital plan must include a discussion of any 
expected changes to its business plan that are likely to have a 
material impact on its capital adequacy or liquidity. See 12 CFR 
225.8(e)(2)(iv).
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    Question 6: What aspects of the calculation of the stress buffer 
requirements could be modified to increase the effectiveness of the 
proposal in ensuring that firms maintain stress buffer requirements 
that are appropriately sized to withstand stressful economic and 
financial conditions while permitting such firms to continue lending 
and supporting the real economy? Please describe the advantages or 
disadvantages of any alternative approach.
    Question 7: Besides stated payments on regulatory capital 
instruments and issuance of common or preferred stock associated with a 
merger or acquisition, what, if any, other types of planned capital 
actions should the Board incorporate into the supervisory stress test 
for the purposes of calculating the stress buffer requirements, and 
why?
    Question 8: What are the advantages and disadvantages of including 
or excluding dividend payouts and certain other planned capital actions 
in the calculation of the stress buffer requirements when considered in 
combination with other elements of the proposal or alternatives to the 
proposal?
    Question 9: What, if any, additional factors beyond a planned 
divestiture, merger, or acquisition, should the Board incorporate into 
its projected changes in a firm's balance sheet or risk-weighted assets 
over the planning horizon and why?
    Question 10: What are the advantages and disadvantages of 
integrating the distribution assumptions used in calculating a firm's 
stress buffer requirements with those used in the supervisory stress 
test?

C. Effective Dates for Proposed Stress Buffer Requirements

    A firm's stress buffer requirements would be effective on October 1 
of each year, and remain in effect until September 30 of the following 
year, unless the firm received updated stress buffer requirements from 
the Board.\36\ The rule would be effective December 31, 2018. Under the 
proposal, a firm's

[[Page 18167]]

first stress buffer requirements would be effective on October 1, 
2019.\37\
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    \36\ A firm may receive updated stress buffer requirements in 
connection with a resubmitted capital plan or in connection with a 
request for reconsideration (as described in section III.D of this 
preamble).
    \37\ To provide a transition between the 2018 CCAR cycle and the 
first stress buffer requirement, for the period from July 1 through 
September 30, 2019, under the proposal, a firm would be authorized 
to make capital distributions that do not exceed the four-quarter 
average of capital distributions for which the Board or Reserve Bank 
indicated its non-objection in the previous capital plan cycle, 
unless otherwise determined by the Board.
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    The process for determining the stress buffer requirements would be 
codified in the Board's capital plan rule (discussed further in section 
III below), and the restrictions associated with these requirements 
would be codified in the Board's capital rule (discussed further in 
section IV below).
    Question 11: What if any operational complications or challenges to 
capital planning processes would the proposed effective dates create, 
and how might the Board address these issues consistent with the goals 
of the proposal?
    Question 12: What advantages or disadvantages are associated with 
making the rule effective on December 31, 2018 and generally making the 
stress buffer requirements effective on October 1, 2019?

D. Impact of the Proposed Stress Buffer Requirements

    To avoid limitations on capital distributions under the Board's 
current rules, a firm must manage to two distinct capital regimes. 
Specifically, the firm must both (1) maintain risk-based capital ratios 
above the capital rule's minimum requirements plus the capital 
conservation buffer requirement (a GSIB must also maintain a 
supplementary leverage ratio above 5 percent), and (2) demonstrate an 
ability to maintain capital ratios above minimum regulatory capital 
requirements in the supervisory post-stress capital assessment in CCAR. 
This proposal would simplify and integrate these requirements, 
eliminating the need for firms to manage to both potential sources of 
limitations on capital distributions. In conjunction with the proposal, 
the Board would also modify certain assumptions used in the supervisory 
stress test. To assess the impact of both the integration and the 
modified assumptions, the Board reviewed the levels of capital 
currently required of each firm across the two current regimes to avoid 
limitations on capital distributions and compared the higher of those 
amounts to the estimated level of capital that would be required of 
each firm under the proposal.\38\
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    \38\ This analysis assumes a countercyclical capital buffer 
amount of zero, consistent with the current level as affirmed by the 
Board on December 1, 2017: www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/bcreg20171201a.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For firms with over $50 billion in assets that are not GSIBs, the 
proposal would generally result in a reduction to a firm's required 
level of capital to avoid capital distribution limitations relative to 
what is required today.\39\ This estimated reduction is attributable to 
the proposal's modified assumptions regarding balance sheet growth and 
capital distributions. While these assumptions would more appropriately 
reflect the expected performance of bank portfolios under stress, they 
would be somewhat less stringent than the assumptions currently used in 
the supervisory stress test. For GSIBs, the proposal would generally 
maintain or in some cases increase CET1 capital requirements. The 
estimated increase for these firms would occur because the capital 
conservation buffer requirement under the proposal--which, for a GSIB, 
includes both the stress capital buffer requirement and the GSIB 
surcharge--would be greater than the capital required under the current 
supervisory post-stress capital assessment.
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    \39\ In connection with this analysis, the Board analyzed the 
stress test results in CCAR 2015 through 2017. U.S. IHC subsidiaries 
of foreign banking organizations were not subject to supervisory 
stress testing for this full period, and accordingly, were excluded 
from this quantitative analysis. None of these firms is subject to 
the GSIB surcharge, and all would benefit from the modified capital 
distribution and balance sheet assumptions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    All other things being equal, the proposal generally would lower 
the amount of tier 1 capital that a firm would need to maintain with 
respect to the assessment of the leverage ratio in stress. This is 
because the modified balance sheet and distribution assumptions in the 
supervisory stress test would reduce the stringency of the Tier 1 
leverage ratio in stress and the stress leverage buffer requirement 
would not include a GSIB surcharge or any applicable countercyclical 
capital buffer amount.
    The impact of the proposal would vary through the economic and 
credit cycle based on the risk profile and planned capital 
distributions of individual firms, as well as on the specific severely 
adverse stress scenario used in the supervisory stress test. Based on 
data from CCAR 2015, 2016, and 2017, the impact of the proposal would 
range from an aggregate reduction in CET1 capital requirements of about 
$35 billion (based on 2017 data) to an aggregate increase in CET1 
capital requirements of about $40 billion (based on 2015 data). For 
GSIBs, this represents a corresponding increase in CET1 capital 
requirements of approximately $10 billion to $50 billion in aggregate, 
respectively, while non-GSIBs would have a decrease of approximately 
$45 billion to $10 billion, respectively. Had the proposal been in 
effect during recent CCAR exercises, analysis of those CCAR results and 
the current level of capital at participating firms indicates that no 
such firm would have needed to raise additional capital in order to 
avoid the proposal's limitations on capital distributions.

III. Proposed Changes to the Capital Plan Rule

A. Removal of Quantitative Objection

    The proposal would remove the quantitative objection from the 
capital plan rule. Under the current capital plan rule, a firm may 
receive an objection to its capital plan if the firm does not 
demonstrate the ability to maintain capital ratios above the minimum 
requirements on a post-stress basis. The proposal would replace the 
quantitative objection with the stress buffer requirements.

B. Requirements for a Firm's Planned Capital Distributions

    A focus on firms' capital planning would continue to be a key 
element of the Board's regulatory and supervisory regime. The proposal 
would continue to require a firm to describe its planned capital 
distributions in its capital plan and not exceed those planned capital 
distributions. Firms should plan to maintain capital levels above their 
minimum requirements plus relevant buffer requirements during normal 
economic periods and also to plan for capital needs during adverse 
economic conditions. These practices allow firms to continue to lend 
and operate as viable financial intermediaries even during adverse 
periods.
    To help ensure a firm engages in prudent capital planning, the firm 
would be required to limit its planned capital distributions for the 
fourth through seventh quarters of the planning horizon to those that 
would be consistent with any effective capital distribution limitations 
that would apply under the firm's own BHC baseline scenario 
projections.\40\ For

[[Page 18168]]

example, in a given calendar quarter, if a firm estimates that the 
amount of its capital conservation buffer will be less than the 
corresponding capital conservation buffer requirement, the firm would 
be required to limit its planned distributions in that quarter to those 
permitted under the capital rule. When determining conformance under 
the capital plan rule with effective capital distribution limitations 
established by the Board under the capital rule, a firm would not be 
required to consider planned discretionary bonus payments.\41\
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    \40\ A firm would be required to ensure its planned capital 
distributions are consistent with any limitations on capital 
distributions it anticipates would apply in baseline conditions in 
the upcoming year. Those limitations would include the projected 
standardized approach capital conservation buffer requirement, 
stress leverage buffer requirement, supplementary leverage buffer 
requirement, internal and external total loss-absorbing capacity 
buffer requirements, and any capital directive established by the 
Board by order or regulation. The limitations would not be 
calculated using the advanced approaches, as a firm is not required 
to use the advanced approaches to calculate its regulatory capital 
ratios in the capital plan rule.
    \41\ The capital plan rule and corresponding regulatory reports 
do not require a firm to describe or separately identify 
discretionary bonus payments.
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    In its capital plan, a firm would also be required to plan for all 
limitations on capital distributions in the Board's rules, except the 
advanced approaches capital conservation buffer requirement and total 
loss-absorbing capacity buffer requirement calculated using the 
advanced approaches.\42\ In addition, a firm's GSIB surcharge and 
countercyclical capital buffer amount may vary over the planning 
horizon, consistent with the requirements of the capital rule. The 
proposal would require a firm's planned capital distributions to be 
consistent with, as applicable, the firm's current GSIB surcharge and 
countercyclical capital buffer amount, as well as any known changes to 
these items during the planning horizon. Any assumption that the GSIB 
would rapidly shrink and reduce its other measures of systemic risk 
during a stress period such that it no longer would be a GSIB would be 
inconsistent with the expectation that the GSIB remain a financial 
intermediary and continue to support the real economy. The proposal 
would therefore require a firm to assume its GSIB surcharge in the 
ninth quarter of the planning horizon is the same as its GSIB surcharge 
in the eighth quarter of the planning horizon.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \42\ See e.g., 12 CFR 217.11, 12 CFR 252.63, 12 CFR 252.165, and 
12 CFR part 263.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For instance, a firm that became subject to a higher GSIB surcharge 
in its most recent annual surcharge calculation would use the higher 
surcharge beginning in the fifth quarter of the planning horizon (which 
would coincide with the quarter in which the higher GSIB surcharge 
would come into effect under the capital rule) and retain that amount 
through the end of the planning horizon. Otherwise, a firm would assume 
that its current GSIB surcharge applies for all quarters of the 
planning horizon (as it would not have knowledge of a decrease in its 
GSIB surcharge when it finalized its plan). With regard to the 
countercyclical capital buffer, a firm would reflect any applicable 
countercyclical capital buffer amount as established by the Board. For 
example, if the Board had established a countercyclical capital buffer 
amount beginning in the fifth quarter of the planning horizon that 
remained in effect for one year, the firm would reflect the 
countercyclical capital buffer amount in quarters five through eight of 
the planning horizon.
    Under the proposal, a firm's planned capital distributions would be 
required to be consistent with effective capital distribution 
limitations that would apply in the firm's pro forma projections under 
the BHC baseline scenario. The BHC baseline scenario would be defined 
as a scenario that reflects the bank holding company's reasonable 
expectation of the economic and financial outlook, including 
expectations related to the bank holding company's capital adequacy and 
financial condition. The firm's projections under the BHC baseline 
scenario must incorporate the firm's expected performance, business 
plan, management actions, and all planned capital actions.\43\
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    \43\ Consistent with current practice, a firm may use the same 
baseline scenario as the supervisory baseline scenario if the bank 
holding company determines the supervisory baseline scenario 
appropriately represents its view of the most likely outlook for the 
risk factors salient to the firm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basing capital distribution restrictions on a firm's projections in 
its BHC baseline scenario may create incentives for a firm to be overly 
optimistic about its baseline projections in order to increase the 
amount of permissible capital distributions. In order to maintain 
strong incentives for a firm to project realistic baseline earnings, 
the Board intends to monitor and evaluate a firm's quarterly 
performance relative to its baseline projections to help ensure that 
the firm adopts processes that realistically project performance and 
capital levels. A pattern of materially underperforming baseline 
projections for earnings, capital levels, or capital ratios may be 
indicative of weaknesses in the firm's capital planning and result in 
heightened scrutiny in the qualitative assessment. Additionally, as 
under the current rule, the Board may require a firm that materially 
underperforms its projected capital ratios to resubmit its capital plan 
if such underperformance results from material changes in the firm's 
risk exposures or operating conditions. Additionally, under the 
proposal, the Board would continue to be able to object to the capital 
plans of large and complex firms and LISCC firms on qualitative 
grounds.
    Further, the proposal would provide that the Board would consider 
the results of any stress test conducted by the bank holding company or 
the Board in conducting its review of a firm's capital plan, similar to 
the provision in the current capital plan rule. Those results would 
inform the Board's view of the financial condition of the firm, which 
has implications for the reasonableness and appropriateness of the 
firm's capital plan.
    Question 13: What are the advantages and disadvantages of not 
requiring a firm to project and meet the limitations of the capital 
rule regarding discretionary bonus payments on a pro forma basis?
    Question 14: What, if any, modifications should the Board make to 
the definition of BHC baseline scenario?
    Question 15: What are the advantages and disadvantages of not 
requiring a firm to make BHC baseline scenario projections that would 
enable it to evaluate whether its planned capital actions would be 
consistent with advanced approaches-based capital distribution 
restrictions, such as the advanced approaches capital conservation 
buffer requirement or the total loss absorbency capacity buffer 
requirements?

C. Summary of the Proposed Timeline for Reviewing Capital Plans and 
Calculating the Stress Buffer Requirements

    Under the current capital plan rule, the Board completes its 
assessment of a firm's capital plan, including the supervisory stress 
test, by June 30. Similarly, under the proposal, the Board would 
complete the assessment of a firm's capital plan and provide each firm 
with initial notice of the firm's stress buffer requirements by June 
30. The proposal would modify certain other procedural requirements 
associated with the capital plan rule.
    Consistent with the current practice, the as-of date for the 
capital plan cycle would be December 31 of the previous calendar year, 
and the planning horizon for capital planning would be a period of nine 
consecutive quarters from that date. Firms would submit their capital 
plans and related regulatory reports by April 5. The Board generally 
would determine each firm's stress buffer requirements and conduct a 
qualitative evaluation of the capital plans of large and complex firms 
and LISCC firms in the second quarter of the year (April through June). 
By June 30, the Board generally would disclose to the public

[[Page 18169]]

each firm's stress buffer requirements and the Board's decision to 
object or not object to the capital plan of each large and complex and 
LISCC firm on qualitative grounds.
    Currently, upon completion of the supervisory stress test but 
before the disclosure of the final CCAR results, the Board provides 
each firm with the results of its post-stress capital analysis, and 
each firm has an opportunity to make a one-time adjustment to its 
planned capital actions. Similarly, under the proposal, within two 
business days of receipt of initial notice of its stress buffer 
requirements, a firm would be required to assess whether its planned 
capital distributions are consistent with the effective capital 
distribution limitations that would apply on a pro forma basis under 
the BHC baseline scenario throughout the fourth through seventh 
quarters of the planning horizon. In the event of an inconsistency, a 
firm would be required to reduce the capital distributions in its 
capital plan to be consistent with such limitations for those quarters 
of the planning horizon.\44\ A firm would be required to notify the 
Board of any reductions in capital distributions in its capital plan.
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    \44\ In addition, a firm that is not required to reduce its 
planned capital distributions would be permitted to do so after 
receiving its initial notice. For instance, a firm may choose to 
reduce its planned dividends in order to lower its stress buffer 
requirements.
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    Each firm's updated annual stress buffer requirements would become 
effective for purposes of the capital rule on October 1. From October 1 
through September 30 of the following calendar year, a firm would not 
be permitted to exceed the amount of capital distributions in the 
firm's capital plan without prior notification to or approval from the 
Board.
    Table 1 below summarizes the key dates and actions in the annual 
capital plan cycle under the proposal.

  Table 1--Key Dates and Actions in the Annual Capital Plan Cycle Under
                              the Proposal
------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Date                                Action
------------------------------------------------------------------------
December 31 of the preceding   As of date of the capital plan cycle.
 calendar year.
By February 15...............  Board publishes scenarios for the
                                upcoming capital plan cycle.
By April 5...................  Each firm submits its capital plan
                                (including results of the bank holding
                                company's stress tests) and relevant
                                regulatory reports.
April through June...........  Board performs its supervisory stress
                                test and calculates each firm's stress
                                buffer requirements. Concurrently, the
                                Board conducts a qualitative evaluation
                                of each large and complex and LISCC
                                firm's capital plan.
By June 30...................  The Board provides to a firm and
                                publishes initial notice of the firm's
                                stress buffer requirements, and for each
                                large and complex and LISCC firm, the
                                Board's decision to object or not object
                                to the capital plan on a qualitative
                                basis.
Within two business days of    Each firm must analyze its planned
 initial notice.                capital distributions for the period of
                                October 1 through September 30 of the
                                following calendar year, and adjust
                                downward any amount not consistent with
                                effective capital distribution
                                limitations that would apply on a pro
                                forma basis under baseline conditions,
                                and provide the Board its final planned
                                capital distributions.
October 1 through September    Effective dates of a firm's stress buffer
 30 of the following calendar   requirements.
 year.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Transition to the Stress Buffer Requirement Regime
    Currently, the Board's review and approval of planned capital 
actions covers the four-quarter period between July 1 and June 30 of 
the following calendar year. Were a firm's stress buffer requirements 
to become effective on October 1, 2019, as proposed, for the period 
July 1 to September 30, 2019, a bank holding company would be 
authorized to make capital distributions that do not exceed the four-
quarter average of capital distributions to which the Board indicated 
its non-objection for the previous capital plan cycle, unless otherwise 
determined by the Board. To the extent that a firm wishes to make 
additional capital distributions beyond its four-quarter average of 
capital distributions to which the Board indicated its non-objection 
for the previous capital plan cycle, it would be able to use the 
established notification or request for approval processes in the 
current capital plan rule.
    Question 16: The proposal would maintain the Board's current 
practice of providing firms with two business days to make any 
adjustments to planned capital actions to minimize the time when a firm 
has material nonpublic information. What if any challenges are posed by 
this timeframe for a firm to adjust its planned capital actions?
    Question 17: What are the advantages or disadvantages of the 
proposed transition from the current process to the proposed process? 
What if any alternative transition processes should the Board consider 
and why?

D. Requests for Reconsideration

    The proposed rule would revise the procedures for a firm to request 
reconsideration of a qualitative objection to its capital plan and 
would provide similar procedures to allow a firm to request 
reconsideration of its stress buffer requirements.
    Under the proposal, a firm that determines to request 
reconsideration of any of its stress buffer requirements or of a 
qualitative objection to its capital plan would be required to submit a 
request to the Board, and the Board would respond in writing within 30 
days. By requiring a firm to submit a request for reconsideration 
through this procedure, the proposal would provide the Board with an 
opportunity to consider justifications and additional information that 
the firm believes would support its request in light of the results of 
the Board's supervisory stress test, additional information received 
during the CCAR process, and any other relevant information. The 
proposed procedures also would provide a firm with an opportunity to 
respond to any of its stress buffer requirements and help ensure that 
the stress capital buffer requirements are appropriately sized. 
Likewise, the proposed procedures would provide a firm with an 
opportunity to respond to a qualitative objection to its capital plan, 
and to help ensure that the Board has considered all relevant aspects 
of the firm's capital planning process and capital adequacy process. 
While a firm's request for reconsideration is pending, the requirements 
under reconsideration

[[Page 18170]]

would not be final, and therefore would not be effective.
Timing and Contents of Request for Reconsideration
    The proposal would establish requirements for the timing and 
contents of a request for reconsideration. Under the proposal, a firm 
wishing to request reconsideration of a qualitative objection to its 
capital plan or any of its stress buffer requirements would be required 
to submit to the Board in writing such request within fifteen calendar 
days of receipt of notice of its objection or stress buffer 
requirements. The request would be required to include an explanation 
of why the firm believes that the objection to its capital plan or 
either of its stress buffer requirements should be reconsidered. To 
facilitate the Board's review of a firm's request for reconsideration, 
the request should identify all supporting reasons for the request. For 
information not previously provided as part of the capital plan, the 
request should include an explanation of why the information should be 
considered.
    Within 30 calendar days of receipt of the firm's request for 
reconsideration, the Board would notify the firm of its decision to 
affirm or modify any of the firm's stress buffer requirements or affirm 
or withdraw its objection to the firm's capital plan.\45\ The Board's 
response would include an explanation of its decision, including 
responses to the firm's supporting reasons and consideration of 
additional information provided.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \45\ The Board would be able to extend the time for action on a 
request for reconsideration upon notice to the firm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The proposed timeline is intended to provide an adequate 
opportunity for response, while ensuring that the results of the 
supervisory stress test and a firm's most recent capital plan are 
integrated into the firm's ongoing capital requirements and planned 
distributions as quickly as possible. The proposed process should 
provide the firm with an opportunity to present any issues or arguments 
in an efficient manner and allow the Board to respond to the items 
raised in the request for reconsideration taking into account the 
results of the stress test and its supervisory experience in light of 
information and arguments presented by the firm.
Effectiveness of Stress Buffer Requirements During Request for 
Reconsideration
    While a firm's request for reconsideration is pending, its stress 
buffer requirement(s) or qualitative objection to the firm's capital 
plan, if under reconsideration, would not be final, and therefore would 
not be effective.\46\ The firm generally would be able to continue to 
make capital distributions that were included in the last capital plan 
for which the firm received a non-objection.\47\
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    \46\ A qualitative objection to a capital plan and any of a 
firm's stress buffer requirements also would not be effective during 
the 15-day period following the notice of objection or stress buffer 
requirements but prior to the deadline for submitting a request for 
reconsideration.
    \47\ To maintain a firm's status quo during the request for 
reconsideration, if the Board has not yet indicated its non-
objection for a quarter during which a decision for a request for 
reconsideration is pending, a firm would be able to make capital 
distributions so long as these distributions do not exceed the four-
quarter average of capital distributions to which the Board 
indicated its non-objection for the previous capital plan cycle, 
unless otherwise determined by the Board. A limitation based, in 
part, on an average of final planned capital actions for the 
previous capital plan cycle would account for variations in a firm's 
capital actions from quarter to quarter.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adjustments Following Reconsideration Determination
    In the case that the Board adjusted a firm's stress buffer 
requirements in response to a request for reconsideration of a firm's 
stress buffer requirement(s), the firm would follow the procedures 
provided for the initial notification of the stress buffer 
requirements. To enable the firm to make the capital distributions 
included in its original capital plan, if the Board reduced the firm's 
stress buffer requirements, the firm would have an opportunity to 
increase its planned capital distributions up to the amount included in 
the firm's original capital plan. A firm would be required to notify 
the Board of any adjustments in planned capital distributions.
Informal Hearing Procedures
    Currently, the capital plan rule provides that a firm that requests 
reconsideration of an objection to its capital plan may request an 
informal hearing as an alternative to requesting reconsideration of an 
objection to its capital plan. Consistent with the current capital plan 
rule, the proposal would provide a firm with an opportunity to request 
an informal hearing as part of its request for request for 
reconsideration.
    Question 18: What are the advantages and disadvantages of the 
proposed procedures for requesting reconsideration of a qualitative 
objection to a capital plan or any of the stress buffer requirements? 
What, if any, modifications would enhance the proposed procedures?
    Question 19: During the pendency of a request for reconsideration, 
a firm's stress buffer requirements or objection to a firm's capital 
plan would not go into effect and a firm generally would continue to be 
bound by existing limitations on capital distributions. What are the 
advantages and disadvantages of this approach?
    Question 20: The proposal would require a firm to submit a request 
for reconsideration within 15 calendar days of receiving notice of a 
qualitative objection to its capital plan or any of its stress buffer 
requirements. What if any challenges are posed by this proposed 
timeframe?
    Question 21: The Board has not received any requests for an 
informal hearing under the capital plan rule. What are the advantages 
and disadvantages of continuing to provide an opportunity to request an 
informal hearing? What information would not be adequately addressed in 
a written reconsideration process that would be better addressed in an 
informal hearing? Discuss and provide examples of any issues that are 
likely to be raised in an informal hearing that would not be adequately 
presented through a written submission.

E. Capital Plan Resubmission and Circumstances Warranting Recalculation 
of the Stress Buffer Requirements

    The capital plan rule currently provides that the Board may require 
a firm to resubmit its capital plan if the Board determines that there 
has been a material change in the firm's risk profile, financial 
condition, or corporate structure or if the bank holding company stress 
scenario(s) used in the firm's most recent capital plan are no longer 
appropriate for the firm's business model and portfolios, or changes in 
financial markets or the macro-economic outlook that could have a 
material impact on a firm's risk profile and financial condition 
require the use of updated scenarios (material change). Additionally, a 
firm must resubmit its capital plan if it determines there has been or 
will be a material change in the firm's risk profile, financial 
condition, or corporate structure since the firm last submitted the 
capital plan to the Board. Until the Board has acted on that 
resubmitted capital plan, a firm is not permitted to make any capital 
distributions other than those approved by the Board in

[[Page 18171]]

writing. A firm that wishes to increase its capital distributions can 
choose to resubmit its capital plan to the Board. These provisions 
would be maintained in the proposal.
    Similar to the current procedure, under the proposal, the Board may 
recalculate a firm's stress buffer requirements whenever the firm 
chooses or is required to resubmit its capital plan. The Board would 
review a resubmitted capital plan within 75 calendar days after receipt 
and, at the Board's discretion, provide the firm with one or more 
updated stress buffer requirements, and, for a large and complex or 
LISCC firm, would object or not object to the resubmitted capital plan 
on qualitative grounds. Under the proposal, upon a determination by the 
Board or the firm of a material change, the Board may conduct an 
updated supervisory stress test and recalculate a firm's stress buffer 
requirements based on the resubmitted capital plan.\48\ Similar to the 
process for submitting the annual capital plan, the planned capital 
distributions in the firm's resubmitted capital plan would be required 
to be consistent with any effective capital distribution limitations 
that would apply on a pro forma basis over the planning horizon. Any 
updated stress buffer requirements, approved planned capital actions, 
and, for a LISCC or large and complex firm, the Board's action on the 
resubmitted capital plan, would be in effect until the firm's updated 
stress buffer requirements from the next annual assessment by the Board 
become effective (unless the firm experienced another material change 
prior to that date).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \48\ For this purpose, the planning horizon would be the nine 
quarter period beginning on the date after the as-of date of the 
projections. For instance, if the as-of date of the projections was 
June 30, 2019, the planning horizon would extend from July 1, 2019, 
through September 30, 2021.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Question 22: Under the proposal, the Board may recalculate a firm's 
stress buffer requirements if the firm resubmits its capital plan. 
Accordingly, the Board also would recalculate the firm's stress buffer 
requirement using an updated severely adverse scenario. What are the 
advantages or disadvantages of using an updated severely adverse 
scenario to recalculate a firm's stress buffer requirements?
    Question 23: What, if any, other changes to CCAR or the capital 
plan rule should the Board consider? For example, what advantages or 
disadvantages would be associated with:
    i. Removing or adjusting the provisions that allow the Board to 
object to a large and complex or LISCC firm's capital plan on the basis 
of qualitative deficiencies in the firm's capital planning process;
    ii. Publishing for notice and comment the severely adverse scenario 
used in calculating a firm's stress buffer requirements;
    iii. Providing additional flexibility for a firm to exceed the 
capital distributions included in its capital plan if its earnings and 
capital ratios are above those in its BHC baseline; or
    iv. Providing additional flexibility to a firm to increase the 
planned capital actions above what was included in its original capital 
plan based on the results of the supervisory stress test or request for 
reconsideration?

IV. Proposed Changes to the Capital Rule and Explanation of the 
Mechanics of the Distribution Limitations of the Stress Buffer 
Requirements

A. Proposed Changes to the Capital Rule

    Conceptually, a firm's capital buffer is the amount by which its 
regulatory capital ratios exceed minimum requirements. For example, for 
risk-based capital purposes under the current capital rule, a firm's 
capital conservation buffer is equal to the lowest of the following 
ratios: The firm's CET1 capital ratio minus its minimum CET1 capital 
ratio requirement, its tier 1 capital ratio minus its minimum tier 1 
capital ratio requirement, and its total capital ratio minus its 
minimum total capital ratio requirement. The proposal would retain this 
concept for determining a firm's buffer above its minimum risk-based 
capital requirements, and would extend the concept for purposes of 
determining a firm's buffer above its minimum 4 percent tier 1 leverage 
ratio requirement (leverage buffer). Under the proposal, a firm would 
compare a given buffer to the relevant buffer requirement to determine 
whether it is subject to limitations on its capital distributions and 
discretionary bonus payments.
    To incorporate the stress buffer requirements into the capital 
rule, the proposal would revise the capital rule to introduce the terms 
``stress capital buffer requirement'' and ``stress leverage buffer 
requirement,'' and to define standardized approach capital conservation 
buffer requirement and advanced approaches capital conservation buffer 
requirement for firms subject to the capital plan rule. A firm would 
determine its standardized approach capital conservation buffer using 
risk-based capital ratios calculated under the capital rule's 
standardized approach, and, if applicable, would determine its advanced 
approaches capital conservation buffer using risk-based capital ratios 
calculated under the rule's advanced approaches.\49\ The firm would 
compare each of these buffers to the corresponding capital conservation 
buffer requirement. A subject firm's standardized approach capital 
conservation buffer requirement would be equal to the sum of: (1) Its 
stress capital buffer requirement, (2) as applicable, the firm's GSIB 
surcharge; and, (3) as applicable, the firm's countercyclical capital 
amount. A subject firm's advanced approaches capital conservation 
buffer requirement would be equal to the sum of: (1) 2.5 Percent of 
risk-weighted assets, (2) as applicable, the firm's GSIB surcharge; 
and, (3) as applicable, the firm's countercyclical capital buffer 
amount. Similarly, under the proposal, a firm would compare its 
leverage buffer to its stress leverage buffer requirement.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \49\ As under the current capital rule, under Sec.  217.10, a 
firm subject to the advanced approaches must calculate each of its 
risk-based capital ratios (common equity tier 1, tier 1, and total 
capital) under the standardized approach (12 CFR part 217, subpart 
D) and under the advanced approaches (12 CFR part 217, subpart E).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Mechanics of the Distribution Limitations of the Stress Buffer 
Requirements

    A firm would be subject to the most stringent distribution 
limitation, if any, as determined by the firm's standardized approach 
capital conservation buffer requirement, the firm's stress leverage 
buffer requirement and, if applicable, the firm's advanced approaches 
capital conservation buffer requirement, and the enhanced supplementary 
leverage ratio standard. The firm would determine the maximum amount it 
could pay in capital distributions and discretionary bonus payments 
that quarter (maximum payout amount) by multiplying the firm's eligible 
retained income by the most stringent payout ratio, if any, that it is 
subject to as determined under Table 2 to 12 CFR 217.11 of the proposed 
rule.
    For example, in order to determine the maximum payout amount that a 
firm may pay in capital distributions and discretionary bonus payments 
for the first quarter of 2020, a firm would multiply its maximum payout 
ratio by its eligible retained income. For the period from January 1, 
2020 to March 31, 2020, the eligible retained income of the firm would 
be based on the firm's net income for the year 2019 and the maximum 
payout ratio would be determined based on the capital ratios of the 
firm as of December 31, 2019. Firms that are subject to stress buffer 
requirements are expected to know their

[[Page 18172]]

capital positions on a daily basis. If a firm has any uncertainty 
regarding its quarter-end capital ratios prior to filing its regulatory 
reports, it should be conservative with capital distributions 
(including buybacks) during the beginning of a calendar quarter in 
order to avoid a situation in which it distributes more than the amount 
permitted under the capital rule.
    The proposal would not amend the current definitions of 
``distribution'' and ``capital distribution'' found in the capital rule 
and capital plan rule, respectively. Under the capital rule, the 
definition of distribution includes reductions in tier 1 capital 
through a repurchase or any other means, except when the institution, 
in the same quarter as the repurchase, fully replaces the tier 1 
instrument by issuing another similar instrument. Under the capital 
plan rule, a capital distribution means a redemption or repurchase of 
any debt or equity capital instrument, a payment of common or preferred 
stock dividends, a payment that may be temporarily or permanently 
suspended by the issuer on any instrument that is eligible for 
inclusion in the numerator of any minimum regulatory capital ratio, and 
any similar transaction that the Board determines to be in substance a 
distribution of capital. Unlike the definition of distribution in the 
capital rule, the definition of capital distribution in the capital 
plan rule does not provide an exception for distributions accompanied 
by an offsetting issuance. The discrepancy between the two definitions 
reflects the different purposes of the two rules. The broader 
definition included in the capital plan rule ensures that all 
distributions, including those offset by issuances, are included in a 
firm's capital plan. However, because distributions offset by 
equivalent issuances within a quarter do not affect a firm's capital 
position, this type of distribution is not included in the definition 
in the capital rule.
    Question 24: What are the advantages or disadvantages of 
maintaining the current definitions of distribution and capital 
distribution in the capital rule and capital plan rule, respectively, 
or of amending the definition of capital distribution in the capital 
plan rule to match the definition of distribution in the capital rule 
or vice versa?

V. Proposed Changes to the Stress Test Rules

    To increase the transparency regarding the application of an 
additional trading and counterparty scenario component, the proposal 
would expressly include the definition of ``significant trading 
activity'' into the Board's company-run stress test requirements,\50\ 
rather than defining this term with reference to the Capital 
Assessments and Stress Testing report (FR Y-14). Currently, significant 
trading activity is defined in the FR Y-14. The FR Y-14 defines a firm 
with significant trading activity as any domestic bank holding company 
or U.S. intermediate holding company that is subject to supervisory 
stress tests and that (1) has aggregate trading assets and liabilities 
of $50 billion or more, or aggregate trading assets and liabilities 
equal to 10 percent or more of total consolidated assets, and (2) is 
not a ``large and noncomplex firm'' under the Board's capital plan 
rule. Under the proposal, this definition of significant trading 
activity would be adopted in the stress test rules for the annual 
company-run stress test. This change would be responsive to feedback 
that it is more transparent to define the scope of applicability for 
the trading and counterparty component in the stress test rules, rather 
than by cross-reference to the FR Y-14.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \50\ See 12 CFR part 252, subpart F.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

VI. Proposed Changes to Regulatory Reports

    The proposal would modify the Consolidated Financial Statements for 
Holding Companies Report (FR Y-9C; OMB: 7100-0128) to collect 
information regarding the stress buffer requirements applicable to a 
firm and the Capital Assessments and Stress Testing Report (FR Y-14A; 
OMB No. 7100-0341). Specifically, the proposal would add new line items 
to the quarterly FR Y-9C in order to collect information regarding a 
firm's stress capital buffer requirement, stress leverage buffer 
requirement, and GSIB surcharge and countercyclical capital buffer 
amount, as applicable, and information necessary to calculate a firm's 
distribution limitations, including its capital conservation buffer, 
advanced approaches capital conservation buffer, leverage buffer, 
eligible retained income, and distributions. This information would 
enable the Board and the public to identify any distribution 
limitations and monitor a bank holding company's performance on a 
quarterly basis.
    The proposal would add similar items to the semi-annual FR Y-14A 
schedule to collect the information necessary to compare a firm's 
projected capital ratios to expected buffer requirements and implement 
the proposed evaluation of planned capital actions under the BHC 
baseline scenario.\51\ As described in section III.C above, the 
proposal provides that, within two business days of receipt of notice 
of its stress buffer requirements, a firm would be required to assess 
whether its planned capital distributions are consistent with the 
effective capital distribution limitations that would apply on a pro 
forma basis under the BHC baseline scenario throughout the fourth 
through seventh quarters of the planning horizon. In the event of an 
inconsistency, a firm would be required to reduce the capital 
distributions in its capital plan to be consistent with such 
limitations for those quarters of the planning horizon and provide the 
Board with its final planned capital actions following any such 
adjustments.\52\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \51\ A firm generally would only be required to report this 
information annually in connection with its April 5 capital plan 
submission.
    \52\ The proposal also permits a firm to reduce its planned 
capital distributions if the firm's planned capital distributions 
are consistent with effective capital distribution limitations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To implement this requirement, a firm would be required to report 
its capital distributions on the FR Y-14A filed in connection with its 
initial capital plan on April 5, and in the event of any downward 
adjustments to its planned capital distributions, resubmit the FR Y-14A 
summary schedule within two business days of receiving its stress 
buffer requirements, that reflect the stress buffer requirements and 
its reduced planned capital distributions.\53\ At the time a firm 
submits its capital plan and FR Y-14 report (April 5), the firm will 
not be aware of its stress buffer requirements for the upcoming cycle. 
For simplicity, the instructions contemplate that the firm would report 
the stress buffer requirements currently in effect, and assume that the 
stress buffer requirements remain constant through the planning 
horizon. However, the capital plan rule requires the firm's planned 
capital distributions to be consistent with effective capital 
distribution limitations in the fourth through seventh quarters of the 
planning horizon and not the distribution limitations in effect in the 
prior cycle. Thus, it would be possible for a firm to include planned 
capital distributions in its April 5 FR Y-14A

[[Page 18173]]

that would exceed those permitted under the previous cycle's capital 
plan, but be consistent with the capital plan rule because the firm's 
stress buffer requirements declined.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \53\ In the event that a firm requests reconsideration of any of 
its stress buffer requirements, a firm must evaluate its planned 
capital distributions in light of any modifications any of the 
stress buffer requirements. The firm may be required to reduce or 
permitted to increase its capital distributions depending on any 
modifications, and must provide the Board with its final planned 
capital actions reflecting those adjustments. In the event of any 
adjustment, the firm would be required to file the FR Y-14A to 
reflect its revised planned capital distributions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Question 25: The proposal would require all firms subject to the 
stress buffer requirements to report their eligible retained income and 
capital distributions and discretionary bonus payments each quarter on 
the FR Y-9C, which is publicly available. What concerns, if any, are 
raised by making this reporting mandatory? What concerns, if any, are 
raised by making this reporting public as opposed to including this 
information in a confidential information collection?

VII. Administrative Law Matters

A. Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with section 3512 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 
1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521) (PRA), the Board may not conduct or sponsor, 
and a respondent is not required to respond to, an information 
collection unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) control number. The Board reviewed the proposed rule 
under the authority delegated to the Board by OMB.
    The proposed rule would revise collection of information 
requirements subject to the PRA. As described further below, the 
proposal would revise the reporting requirements found in section 12 
CFR 225.8. Additionally, the Board proposes to revise certain other 
collections of information to reflect the changes proposed in the 
proposed rule.
    The OMB control numbers are 7100-0128, 7100-0341, and 7100-0342 for 
this information collection.
    Comments are invited on:
    a. Whether the collections of information are necessary for the 
proper performance of the Federal Reserve's functions, including 
whether the information has practical utility;
    b. The accuracy or the estimate of the burden of the information 
collections, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions 
used;
    c. Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected;
    d. Ways to minimize the burden of the information collections on 
respondents, including through the use of automated collection 
techniques or other forms of information technology; and
    e. Estimates of capital or startup costs and costs of operation, 
maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information.
    All comment will become a matter of public record. Comments on 
aspects of this notice that may affect reporting, recordkeeping, or 
disclosure requirements and burden estimates should be sent to: 
Secretary, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th and C 
Streets NW, Washington, DC 20551. A copy of the comments may also be 
submitted to the OMB desk officer by mail to U.S. Office of Management 
and Budget, 725 17th Street NW, #10235, Washington, DC 20503 or by 
facsimile to 202-3955806, Attention, Agency Desk Officer.
    Proposed Revisions, With Extension for Three Years, of the 
Following Information Collections:
    (1) Title of Information Collection: Consolidated Financial 
Statements for Holding Companies.
    Agency Form Number: FR Y-9C; FR Y-9LP; FR Y-9SP; FR Y-9ES; FR Y-
9CS.
    OMB Control Number: 7100-0128.
    Frequency of Response: Quarterly, semi-annually, and annually.
    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit.
    Respondents: Bank holding companies (BHCs), savings and loan 
holding companies (SLHCs), securities holding companies (SHCs), and 
U.S. intermediate holding companies (IHCs), (collectively, ``holding 
companies'').
    Abstract: The FR Y-9C serves as standardized financial statements 
for holding companies. The FR Y-9 family of reporting forms continues 
to be the primary source of financial data on holding companies that 
examiners rely on in the intervals between on-site inspections. 
Financial data from these reporting forms are used to detect emerging 
financial problems, to review performance and conduct pre-inspection 
analysis, to monitor and evaluate capital adequacy, to evaluate holding 
company mergers and acquisitions, and to analyze a holding company's 
overall financial condition to ensure the safety and soundness of its 
operations.
    Current Actions: The proposal would modify the FR Y-9C for holding 
companies subject to the capital plan rule in order to collect 
information regarding a firm's stress capital buffer requirement, 
stress leverage buffer requirement, GSIB surcharge, countercyclical 
capital buffer amount, as applicable, and any applicable distribution 
limitations under the regulatory capital rule. Specifically, the 
proposal would add new line items to the FR Y-9C Schedule HC-R Part I 
to collect to collect the following information from holding companies 
subject to the capital plan rule: (1) The firm's capital conservation 
buffer requirements (including its standardized approach capital 
conservation buffer requirement and the advanced approaches capital 
conservation buffer requirement), stress leverage buffer requirement, 
and SLR buffer requirement; (2) the firm's capital conservation buffer, 
advanced approaches capital conservation buffer, leverage buffer, and, 
as applicable, SLR buffer as of the preceding quarter-end, which is the 
difference between the firm's relevant capital ratio and the relevant 
minimum requirement; and (3) information needed to calculate the firm's 
maximum payout amount, including the firm's planned total capital 
distributions, eligible retained income, and maximum payout ratio. The 
proposed revision would apply to top-tier holding companies subject to 
the Board's capital plan rule (BHCs and IHCs with total consolidated 
assets of $50 billion or more), for a total of 39 of the existing FR Y-
9C respondents. The draft reporting forms and instructions for the FR 
Y-9C will be available at https://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/reportforms/review.aspx.
    Number of Respondents: FR Y-9C (non-Advanced Approaches holding 
companies or other respondents): 632; FR Y-9C (Advanced Approaches 
holding companies or other respondents): 18; FR Y-9LP: 780; FR Y-9SP: 
3,889; FR Y-9ES: 80; FR Y-9CS: 236.
    Current Estimated Average Hours per Response: FR Y-9C (non-Advanced 
Approaches holding companies or other respondents): 47.11 hours; FR Y-
9C (Advanced Approaches holding companies or other respondents): 48.36 
hours; FR Y-9LP: 5.27 hours; FR Y-9SP: 5.4 hours; FR Y-9ES: 0.5 hours; 
FR Y-9CS: 0.5 hours.
    Current Estimated Annual Burden Hours: FR Y-9C (non-Advanced 
Approaches holding companies or other respondents): 119,094 hours; FR 
Y-9C (Advanced Approaches holding companies or other respondents): 
3,482 hours; FR Y-9LP: 16,442 hours; FR Y-9SP: 42,001; FR Y-9ES: 40; FR 
Y-9CS: 472.
    Proposed Change in Estimated Annual Burden Hours: FR Y-9C: 1,188 
hours (an increase of 0.26 hours per response for FR Y-9C (non-Advanced 
Approaches holding companies or other respondents) and an increase of 8 
hours per response for FR Y-9C (Advanced Approaches holding companies 
or other respondents)).
    Proposed Total Estimated Annual Burden Hours: FR Y-9C (non-Advanced 
Approaches holding companies or other respondents): 119,751 hours; FR 
Y-9C (Advanced Approaches holding companies or other respondents): 
4,058

[[Page 18174]]

hours; FR Y-9LP: 16,442 hours; FR Y-9SP: 42,001; FR Y-9ES: 40; FR Y-
9CS: 472.
    (2) Title of Information Collection: Capital Assessments and Stress 
Testing information collection.
    Agency Form Number: FR Y-14A/Q/M.
    OMB Control Number: 7100-0341.
    Frequency of Response: Annually, semi-annually, quarterly, and 
monthly.
    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit.
    Respondents: The respondent panel consists of any top-tier bank 
holding company (BHC) or intermediate holding company (IHC) that has 
$50 billion or more in total consolidated assets, as determined based 
on: (i) The average of the firm's total consolidated assets in the four 
most recent quarters as reported quarterly on the firm's Consolidated 
Financial Statements for Bank Holding Companies (FR Y-9C) (OMB No. 
7100-0128); or (ii) the average of the firm's total consolidated assets 
in the most recent consecutive quarters as reported quarterly on the 
firm's FR Y-9Cs, if the firm has not filed an FR Y-9C for each of the 
most recent four quarters. Reporting is required as of the first day of 
the quarter immediately following the quarter in which it meets this 
asset threshold, unless otherwise directed by the Board.
    Abstract: The data collected through the FR Y-14A/Q/M schedules 
provide the Board with the information and perspective needed to help 
ensure that large BHCs and IHCs have strong, firm[hyphen]wide risk 
measurement and management processes supporting their internal 
assessments of capital adequacy and that their capital resources are 
sufficient given their business focus, activities, and resulting risk 
exposures. The annual CCAR exercise is complemented by other Board 
supervisory efforts aimed at enhancing the continued viability of large 
firms, including continuous monitoring of firms' planning and 
management of liquidity and funding resources and regular assessments 
of credit, market and operational risks, and associated risk management 
practices. Information gathered in this data collection is also used in 
the supervision and regulation of these financial institutions.
    The Capital Assessments and Stress Testing information collection 
consists of the FR Y-14A, FR Y-14Q, and FR Y-14M reports. The semi-
annual FR Y-14A collects quantitative projections of balance sheet, 
income, losses, and capital across a range of macroeconomic scenarios 
and qualitative information on methodologies used to develop internal 
projections of capital across scenarios.\54\ The quarterly FR Y-14Q 
collects granular data on various asset classes, including loans, 
securities, and trading assets, and pre-provision net revenue (PPNR) 
for the reporting period. The monthly FR Y-14M comprises three retail 
portfolio- and loan-level collections, and one detailed address 
matching collection to supplement two of the portfolio and loan-level 
collections.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \54\ A bank holding company that must re-submit its capital plan 
generally also must provide a revised FR Y-14A in connection with 
its resubmission.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Current Actions: The proposal would modify the FR Y-14 reports in 
order to collect information regarding a firm's capital conservation 
buffer requirements (including the stress buffer requirements) and any 
applicable distribution limitations under the regulatory capital rule. 
The proposal would add new line items to the semi-annual FR Y-14A, 
Schedule A (Summary--Capital) to collect information regarding a firm's 
projections under BHC baseline conditions. Specifically, the FR Y-14A 
would be revised to collect the following: (1) The firm's capital 
conservation buffer requirements (including its standardized approach 
capital conservation buffer requirement and the advanced approaches 
capital conservation buffer requirement), stress leverage buffer 
requirement, and SLR buffer requirement for each quarter of the 
planning horizon; (2) the firm's capital conservation buffer, advanced 
approaches capital conservation buffer, leverage buffer, and, as 
applicable, SLR buffer as of the preceding quarter-end for each quarter 
of the planning horizon, which is the difference between the firm's 
relevant capital ratio and the relevant minimum requirement; and (3) 
information needed to calculate the firm's maximum payout amount, 
including the firm's planned total capital distributions, eligible 
retained income, and maximum payout ratio for each quarter of the 
planning horizon. The draft reporting forms and instructions for the FR 
Y-14 will be available at https://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/reportforms/review.aspx.
    Number of Respondents: 39.
    Current Estimated Average Hours per Response: FR Y-14A: Summary, 
887 hours; Macro scenario, 31 hours; Operational Risk, 18 hours; 
Regulatory capital instruments, 21 hours; and Business plan changes, 16 
hours; Adjusted Capital Submission, 100 hours. FR Y-14Q: Retail, 15 
hours; Securities, 13 hours; PPNR, 711 hours; Wholesale, 151 hours; 
Trading, 1,926 hours; Regulatory capital transitions, 23 hours; 
Regulatory capital instruments, 54 hours; Operational risk, 50 hours; 
MSR Valuation, 23 hours; Supplemental, 4 hours; Retail FVO/HFS, 15 
hours; CCR, 514 hours; and Balances, 16 hours. FR Y-14M: 1st lien 
mortgage, 516 hours; Home equity, 516 hours; and Credit card, 512 
hours. FR Y-14 On-Going automation revisions, 480 hours; and 
implementation, 7,200 hours. FR Y-14 Attestation: Implementation, 4,800 
hours; and on-going, 2,560 hours.
    Current Estimated Annual Burden Hours: FR Y-14A: Summary, 69,186 
hours; Macro scenario, 2,418 hours; Operational Risk, 702 hours; 
Regulatory capital instruments, 819 hours; Business plan changes, 624 
hours; and Adjusted Capital Submission, 500 hours. FR Y-14Q: Retail, 
2,340; Securities, 2,028 hours; Pre-provision net revenue (PPNR), 
110,916 hours; Wholesale, 23,556 hours; Trading, 92,448 hours; 
Regulatory capital transitions, 3,588 hours; Regulatory capital 
instruments, 8,424 hours; Operational risk, 7,800 hours; Mortgage 
Servicing Rights (MSR) Valuation, 1,380 hours; Supplemental, 624 hours; 
and Retail Fair Value Option/Held for Sale (Retail FVO/HFS), 1,500 
hours; Counterparty, 24,672 hours; and Balances, 2,496 hours. FR Y-14M: 
1st lien mortgage, 229,104 hours; Home equity, 191,952 hours; and 
Credit card, 110,592 hours. FR Y-14 On-going automation revisions, 
18,720 hours; and implementation, 0 hours. FR Y-14 Attestation: 
Implementation, 0 hours; and on-going, 33,280 hours.
    Proposed Change in Estimated Annual Burden Hours: FR Y-14A: 780 
hours (20 additional hours annually for the 39 FR Y-14 filers).
    Proposed Total Estimated Annual Burden Hours: FR Y-14A: Summary, 
69,966 hours; Macro scenario, 2,418 hours; Operational Risk, 702 hours; 
Regulatory capital instruments, 819 hours; Business plan changes, 624 
hours; and Adjusted Capital Submission, 500 hours. FR Y-14Q: Retail, 
2,340; Securities, 2,028 hours; Pre-provision net revenue (PPNR), 
110,916 hours; Wholesale, 23,556 hours; Trading, 92,448 hours; 
Regulatory capital transitions, 3,588 hours; Regulatory capital 
instruments, 8,424 hours; Operational risk, 7,800 hours; Mortgage 
Servicing Rights (MSR) Valuation, 1,380 hours; Supplemental, 624 hours; 
and Retail Fair Value Option/Held for Sale (Retail FVO/HFS), 1,500 
hours; Counterparty, 24,672 hours; and Balances, 2,496 hours. FR Y-14M: 
1st lien mortgage, 229,104 hours;

[[Page 18175]]

Home equity, 191,952 hours; and Credit card, 110,592 hours. FR Y-14 On-
going automation revisions, 18,720 hours; and implementation, 0 hours. 
FR Y-14 Attestation: Implementation, 0 hours; and on-going, 33,280 
hours.
    (3) Title of Information Collection: Recordkeeping and Reporting 
Requirements Associated with Regulation Y (Capital Plans).
    Agency Form Number: Reg Y-13.
    OMB Control Number: 7100-0342.
    Frequency of Response: Annually.
    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit.
    Respondents: BHCs and IHCs.
    Abstract: Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225) requires large bank 
holding companies (BHCs) to submit capital plans to the Federal Reserve 
on an annual basis and to require such BHCs to request prior approval 
from the Federal Reserve under certain circumstances before making a 
capital distribution.
    Current Actions: The proposal would modify the capital plan rule in 
Regulation Y by introducing stress buffer requirements and providing 
for new procedures regarding their implementation. This includes adding 
Sec.  225.8(h)(3)(i), which would require a firm to determine whether 
capital distributions for the fourth through seventh quarters of the 
planning horizon under the BHC baseline scenario included in the 
capital plan submitted pursuant to paragraph (e)(1)(ii) would be 
consistent with effective capital distribution limitations, assuming 
the stress buffer requirements, and reduce its distributions as 
necessary to be consistent with such capital distribution limitations.
    Number of Respondents: 39.
    Current Estimated Average Hours per Response: Annual capital 
planning recordkeeping (Sec.  225.8(e)(1)(i)) (LISCC and large and 
complex firms), 11,920 hours; Annual capital planning recordkeeping 
(Sec.  225.8(e)(1)(i)) (large and noncomplex firms), 8,920 hours; 
annual capital planning reporting (Sec.  225.8(e)(1)(ii)), 80 hours; 
annual capital planning recordkeeping (Sec.  225.8(e)(1)(iii)), 100 
hours; data collections reporting (Sec.  225.8(e)(3)(i)-(vi)), 1,005 
hours; data collections reporting (Sec.  225.8(e)(4)), 100 hours; 
review of capital plans by the Federal Reserve reporting (Sec.  
225.8(j)), 16 hours; prior approval request requirements reporting 
(Sec.  225.8(k)(1), (3), & (4)), 100 hours; prior approval request 
requirements exceptions (Sec.  225.8(k)(3)(iii)(A)), 16 hours; prior 
approval request requirements reports (Sec.  225.8(k)(6)), 16 hours.
    Current Estimated Annual Burden Hours: Annual capital planning 
recordkeeping (Sec.  225.8(e)(1)(i)) (LISCC and large and complex 
firms), 238,400 hours; Annual capital planning recordkeeping (large and 
complex firms) (Sec.  225.8(e)(1)(i)) (large and noncomplex firms), 
160,560 hours; annual capital planning reporting (Sec.  
225.8(e)(1)(ii)), 2,240 hours; annual capital planning recordkeeping 
(Sec.  225.8(e)(1)(iii)), 2,800 hours; data collections reporting 
(Sec.  225.8(e)(3)(i)-(vi)), 38,190 hours; data collections reporting 
(Sec.  225.8(e)(4)), 1,000 hours; review of capital plans by the 
Federal Reserve reporting (Sec.  225.8(j)), 32 hours; prior approval 
request requirements reporting (Sec.  225.8(k)(1), (3), & (4)), 2,600 
hours; prior approval request requirements exceptions (Sec.  
225.8(k)(3)(iii)(A)), 32 hours; prior approval request requirements 
reports (Sec.  225.8(k)(6)), 32 hours.
    Proposed Change in Estimated Average Hours per Response: Proposed 
response to notice; adjustments to planned capital distributions 
(recordkeeping) (Sec.  225.8(h)(3)(i)), 2 hours.
    Proposed Total Estimated Annual Burden Hours: Annual capital 
planning recordkeeping (Sec.  225.8(e)(1)(i)) (LISCC and large and 
complex firms), 238,400 hours; Annual capital planning recordkeeping 
(Sec.  225.8(e)(1)(i)) (large and noncomplex firms), 160,560 hours; 
annual capital planning reporting (Sec.  225.8(e)(1)(ii)), 2,240 hours; 
annual capital planning recordkeeping (Sec.  225.8(e)(1)(iii)), 2,800 
hours; data collections reporting (Sec.  225.8(e)(3)(i)-(vi)), 38,190 
hours; data collections reporting (Sec.  225.8(e)(4)), 1,000 hours; 
proposed response to notice: Adjustments to planned capital 
distributions (recordkeeping) (Sec.  225.8(h)(3)(i)), 78 hours; prior 
approval request requirements reporting (Sec.  225.8(k)(1), (3), & 
(4)), 2,600 hours; prior approval request requirements exceptions 
(Sec.  225.8(k)(3)(iii)(A)), 32 hours; prior approval request 
requirements reports (Sec.  225.8(k)(6)), 32 hours.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Board is providing an initial regulatory flexibility analysis 
with respect to this proposed rule. The Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 
U.S.C. 601 et seq., (RFA), requires an agency to consider whether the 
rules it proposes will have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.\55\ In connection with a proposed 
rule, the RFA requires an agency to prepare an Initial Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis describing the impact of the rule on small 
entities or to certify that the proposed rule would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
An initial regulatory flexibility analysis must contain (1) a 
description of the reasons why action by the agency is being 
considered; (2) a succinct statement of the objectives of, and legal 
basis for, the proposed rule; (3) a description of, and, where 
feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities to which the 
proposed rule will apply; (4) a description of the projected reporting, 
recordkeeping, and other compliance requirements of the proposed rule, 
including an estimate of the classes of small entities that will be 
subject to the requirement and the type of professional skills 
necessary for preparation of the report or record; (5) an 
identification, to the extent practicable, of all relevant Federal 
rules which may duplicate, overlap with, or conflict with the proposed 
rule; and (6) a description of any significant alternatives to the 
proposed rule which accomplish its stated objectives.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \55\ Under regulations issued by the Small Business 
Administration, a small entity includes a depository institution, 
bank holding company, or savings and loan holding company with total 
assets of $550 million or less and trust companies with total assets 
of $38.5 million or less. As of December 31, 2017, there were 
approximately 3,384 small bank holding companies, 230 small savings 
and loan holding companies, and 553 small state member banks.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Board has considered the potential impact of the proposed rule 
on small entities in accordance with the RFA. Based on its analysis and 
for the reasons stated below, the Board believes that this proposed 
rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. Nevertheless, the Board is publishing and 
inviting comment on this initial regulatory flexibility analysis. A 
final regulatory flexibility analysis will be conducted after comments 
received during the public comment period have been considered. The 
proposal would also make corresponding changes to the Board's reporting 
forms.
    As discussed in detail above, the proposed rule would amend the 
capital rule, capital plan rule, stress testing rules, and the proposed 
Stress Testing Policy Statement, that was previously proposed on 
December 15, 2017. Under the proposed rule, the Board would use the 
results of the supervisory stress test to establish the size of a 
firm's stress capital buffer requirement and stress leverage buffer 
requirement. The stress capital buffer requirement would replace the 
static 2.5 percent of standardized risk-weighted assets

[[Page 18176]]

component of a firm's capital conservation buffer requirement in the 
capital rule. As under the current capital rule, a firm would be 
subject to increasingly strict limitations on capital distributions and 
bonus payments as the firm's capital ratios decline below the firm's 
buffer requirements. The proposal would also make adjustments to the 
assumptions used in the supervisory stress test and would replace the 
capital plan rule's quantitative objection.
    The Board has broad authority under the International Lending 
Supervision Act (ILSA) \56\ and the PCA provisions of the Federal 
Deposit Insurance Act \57\ to establish regulatory capital requirements 
for the institutions it regulates. For example, ILSA directs each 
Federal banking agency to cause banking institutions to achieve and 
maintain adequate capital by establishing minimum capital requirements 
as well as by other means that the agency deems appropriate.\58\ The 
PCA provisions of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act direct each Federal 
banking agency to specify, for each relevant capital measure, the level 
at which an IDI subsidiary is well capitalized, adequately capitalized, 
undercapitalized, and significantly undercapitalized.\59\ In addition, 
the Board has broad authority to establish regulatory capital standards 
for bank holding companies under the Bank Holding Company Act and the 
Dodd-Frank Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act).\60\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \56\ 12 U.S.C. 3901-3911.
    \57\ 12 U.S.C. 1831o.
    \58\ 12 U.S.C. 3907(a)(1).
    \59\ 12 U.S.C. 1831o(c)(2).
    \60\ See, e.g., sections 165 and 171 of the Dodd-Frank Act (12 
U.S.C. 5365 and 12 U.S.C. 5371). Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 
(2010).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The proposed rule would apply only to bank holding companies with 
total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more, any nonbank financial 
company supervised by the Board that becomes subject to the capital 
planning requirements pursuant to a rule or order of the Board, and to 
U.S. intermediate holding companies established pursuant to the Board's 
Regulation YY. Currently, all nonbank financial companies supervised by 
the Board are not subject to the capital planning requirements and all 
U.S. intermediate holding companies established pursuant to Regulation 
YY have greater than $1 billion in total assets. The proposed rule 
would not apply to any small entities. Further, the proposal would make 
changes to the projected reporting, recordkeeping, and other compliance 
requirements of the rule by proposing to collect information from firms 
subject to the capital plan rule relating to adjustments to planned 
capital distributions included in a firm's capital plan and information 
regarding a firm's capital conservation buffer requirements (including 
the stress buffer requirements) and any applicable distribution 
limitations under the capital rule. These changes would not impact 
small entities. In addition, the Board is aware of no other Federal 
rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the proposed changes to 
the capital rule, capital plan rule, and stress testing rules. 
Therefore, the Board believes that the proposed rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on small banking organizations supervised 
by the Board and therefore believes that there are no significant 
alternatives to the proposed rule that would reduce the economic impact 
on small banking organizations supervised by the Board.
    The Board welcomes comment on all aspects of its analysis. In 
particular, the Board requests that commenters describe the nature of 
any impact on small entities and provide empirical data to illustrate 
and support the extent of the impact.

C. Solicitation of Comments of Use of Plain Language

    Section 722 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (Pub. L. 106-102, 113 
Stat. 1338, 1471, 12 U.S.C. 4809) requires the Federal banking agencies 
to use plain language in all proposed and final rules published after 
January 1, 2000. The Board has sought to present the proposed rule in a 
simple and straightforward manner, and invites comment on the use of 
plain language.
    For example:
     Have we organized the material to suit your needs? If not, 
how could the rule be more clearly stated?
     Are the requirements in the rule clearly stated? If not, 
how could the rule be more clearly stated?
     Do the regulations contain technical language or jargon 
that is not clear? If so, which language requires clarification?
     Would a different format (grouping and order of sections, 
use of headings, paragraphing) make the regulation easier to 
understand? If so, what changes would make the regulation easier to 
understand?
     Would more, but shorter, sections be better? If so, which 
sections should be changed?
     What else could we do to make the regulation easier to 
understand?

List of Subjects

12 CFR Part 217

    Administrative practice and procedure, Banks, Banking, Holding 
companies, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Securities.

12 CFR Part 225

    Administrative practice and procedure, Banks, Banking, Capital 
planning, Holding companies, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Securities, Stress testing.

12 CFR Part 252

    Administrative practice and procedure, Banks, Banking, Capital 
planning, Federal Reserve System, Holding companies, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Securities, Stress testing.

Authority and Issuance

    For the reasons stated in the Supplementary Information, the Board 
of Governors of the Federal Reserve System proposes to amend 12 CFR 
chapter II as follows:

PART 217--CAPITAL ADEQUACY OF BANK HOLDING COMPANIES, SAVINGS AND 
LOAN HOLDING COMPANIES, AND STATE MEMBER BANKS (REGULATION Q)

0
1. The authority citation for part 217 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  12 U.S.C. 248(a), 321-338a, 481-486, 1462a, 1467a, 
1818, 1828, 1831n, 1831o, 1831p-1, 1831w, 1835, 1844(b), 1851, 3904, 
3906-3909, 4808, 5365, 5368, 5371.

Subpart B--Capital Ratio Requirements and Buffers

0
2. Section 217.11 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  217.11   Capital conservation buffer, countercyclical capital 
buffer amount, and GSIB surcharge.

    (a) Capital conservation buffer--(1) Composition of the capital 
conservation buffer. The capital conservation buffer is composed solely 
of common equity tier 1 capital.
    (2) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following 
definitions apply:
    (i) Eligible retained income. The eligible retained income of a 
Board-regulated institution is the Board-regulated institution's net 
income, calculated in accordance with the instructions to the Call 
Report or the FR Y-9C, as applicable, for the four calendar quarters 
preceding the current calendar quarter net of any distributions and 
associated tax effects not already reflected in net income.

[[Page 18177]]

    (ii) Maximum payout amount. A Board-regulated institution's maximum 
payout amount for the current calendar quarter is equal to the Board-
regulated institution's eligible retained income, multiplied by its 
maximum payout ratio.
    (iii) Maximum payout ratio. The maximum payout ratio is the 
percentage of eligible retained income that a Board-regulated 
institution can pay out in the form of distributions and discretionary 
bonus payments during the current calendar quarter. For a Board-
regulated institution that is not subject to 12 CFR 225.8, the maximum 
payout ratio is determined by the Board-regulated institution's capital 
conservation buffer, calculated as of the last day of the previous 
calendar quarter, as set forth in Table 1 to this section. For a Board-
regulated institution that is subject to 12 CFR 225.8, the maximum 
payout ratio is determined under paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section.
    (iv) Private sector credit exposure. Private sector credit exposure 
means an exposure to a company or an individual that is not an exposure 
to a sovereign, the Bank for International Settlements, the European 
Central Bank, the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, 
a MDB, a PSE, or a GSE.
    (v) SLR buffer requirement. A bank holding company's SLR buffer 
requirement is 2.0 percent.
    (vi) Stress capital buffer requirement. A bank holding company's 
stress capital buffer requirement is the stress capital buffer 
requirement determined under 12 CFR 225.8.
    (vii) Stress leverage buffer requirement. A bank holding company's 
stress leverage buffer requirement is the stress leverage buffer 
requirement determined under 12 CFR 225.8.
    (3) Calculation of capital conservation buffer. (i) A Board-
regulated institution that is not subject to 12 CFR 225.8 has a capital 
conservation buffer equal to the lowest of the following ratios, 
calculated as of the last day of the previous calendar quarter:
    (A) The Board-regulated institution's common equity tier 1 capital 
ratio minus the Board-regulated institution's minimum common equity 
tier 1 capital ratio requirement under Sec.  217.10;
    (B) The Board-regulated institution's tier 1 capital ratio minus 
the Board-regulated institution's minimum tier 1 capital ratio 
requirement under Sec.  217.10; and
    (C) The Board-regulated institution's total capital ratio minus the 
Board-regulated institution's minimum total capital ratio requirement 
under Sec.  217.10; or
    (ii) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a)(3)(i)(A) through (C) of this 
section, if the Board-regulated institution's common equity tier 1, 
tier 1 or total capital ratio is less than or equal to the Board-
regulated institution's minimum common equity tier 1, tier 1 or total 
capital ratio requirement under Sec.  217.10, respectively, the Board-
regulated institution's capital conservation buffer is zero.
    (4) Limits on distributions and discretionary bonus payments--(i) 
General limitation. A Board-regulated institution that is not subject 
12 CFR 225.8 shall not make distributions or discretionary bonus 
payments or create an obligation to make such distributions or payments 
during the current calendar quarter that, in the aggregate, exceed its 
maximum payout amount.
    (ii) No limitations. A Board-regulated institution that is not 
subject 12 CFR 225.8 and that has a capital conservation buffer that is 
greater than 2.5 percent plus 100 percent of its applicable 
countercyclical capital buffer amount in accordance with paragraph (b) 
of this section is not subject to a maximum payout amount under 
paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section.
    (iii) Negative eligible retained income. Except as provided in 
paragraph (a)(4)(iv) of this section, a Board-regulated institution 
that is not subject to 12 CFR 225.8 may not make distributions or 
discretionary bonus payments during the current calendar quarter if the 
Board-regulated institution's:
    (A) Eligible retained income is negative; and
    (B) Capital conservation buffer was less than 2.5 percent as of the 
end of the previous calendar quarter.
    (iv) Prior approval. Notwithstanding the limitations in paragraphs 
(a)(4)(i) through (iii) of this section, the Board may permit a Board-
regulated institution that is not subject to 12 CFR 225.8 to make a 
distribution or discretionary bonus payment upon a request of the 
Board-regulated institution, if the Board determines that the 
distribution or discretionary bonus payment would not be contrary to 
the purposes of this section, or to the safety and soundness of the 
Board-regulated institution. In making such a determination, the Board 
will consider the nature and extent of the request and the particular 
circumstances giving rise to the request.

     Table 1 to Sec.   217.11--Calculation of Maximum Payout Amount
------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Capital conservation buffer             Maximum payout ratio
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Greater than 2.5 percent plus 100 percent of the  No payout ratio
 Board-regulated institution's applicable          limitation applies.
 countercyclical capital buffer amount.
Less than or equal to 2.5 percent plus 100        60 percent.
 percent of the Board-regulated institution's
 applicable countercyclical capital buffer
 amount, and greater than 1.875 percent plus 75
 percent of the Board-regulated institution's
 applicable countercyclical capital buffer
 amount.
Less than or equal to 1.875 percent plus 75       40 percent.
 percent of the Board-regulated institution's
 applicable countercyclical capital buffer
 amount, and greater than 1.25 percent plus 50
 percent of the Board-regulated institution's
 applicable countercyclical capital buffer
 amount.
Less than or equal to 1.25 percent plus 50        20 percent.
 percent of the Board-regulated institution's
 applicable countercyclical capital buffer
 amount and greater than 0.625 percent plus 25
 percent of the Board-regulated institution's
 applicable countercyclical capital buffer
 amount.
Less than or equal to 0.625 percent plus 25       0 percent.
 percent of the Board-regulated institution's
 applicable countercyclical capital buffer
 amount.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (v) Other limitations on distributions. Additional limitations on 
distributions may apply under 12 CFR 225.4 and 263.202 to a Board-
regulated institution that is not subject to 12 CFR 225.8.
    (b) Countercyclical capital buffer amount--(1) General. An advanced 
approaches Board-regulated institution must calculate a countercyclical 
capital buffer amount in accordance with this paragraph (b) for 
purposes of determining its maximum payout ratio under Table 1 to this 
section and, if applicable, Table 2 to this section.

[[Page 18178]]

    (i) Extension of capital conservation buffer. The countercyclical 
capital buffer amount is an extension of the capital conservation 
buffer as described in paragraph (a) or (c) of this section, as 
applicable.
    (ii) Amount. An advanced approaches Board-regulated institution has 
a countercyclical capital buffer amount determined by calculating the 
weighted average of the countercyclical capital buffer amounts 
established for the national jurisdictions where the Board-regulated 
institution's private sector credit exposures are located, as specified 
in paragraphs (b)(2) and (3) of this section.
    (iii) Weighting. The weight assigned to a jurisdiction's 
countercyclical capital buffer amount is calculated by dividing the 
total risk-weighted assets for the Board-regulated institution's 
private sector credit exposures located in the jurisdiction by the 
total risk-weighted assets for all of the Board-regulated institution's 
private sector credit exposures. The methodology a Board-regulated 
institution uses for determining risk-weighted assets for purposes of 
this paragraph (b) must be the methodology that determines its risk-
based capital ratios under Sec.  217.10. Notwithstanding the previous 
sentence, the risk-weighted asset amount for a private sector credit 
exposure that is a covered position under subpart F of this part is its 
specific risk add-on as determined under Sec.  217.210 multiplied by 
12.5.
    (iv) Location. (A) Except as provided in paragraphs (b)(1)(iv)(B) 
and (C) of this section, the location of a private sector credit 
exposure is the national jurisdiction where the borrower is located 
(that is, where it is incorporated, chartered, or similarly established 
or, if the borrower is an individual, where the borrower resides).
    (B) If, in accordance with subpart D or E of this part, the Board-
regulated institution has assigned to a private sector credit exposure 
a risk weight associated with a protection provider on a guarantee or 
credit derivative, the location of the exposure is the national 
jurisdiction where the protection provider is located.
    (C) The location of a securitization exposure is the location of 
the underlying exposures, or, if the underlying exposures are located 
in more than one national jurisdiction, the national jurisdiction where 
the underlying exposures with the largest aggregate unpaid principal 
balance are located. For purposes of this paragraph (b), the location 
of an underlying exposure shall be the location of the borrower, 
determined consistent with paragraph (b)(1)(iv)(A) of this section.
    (2) Countercyclical capital buffer amount for credit exposures in 
the United States--(i) Initial countercyclical capital buffer amount 
with respect to credit exposures in the United States. The initial 
countercyclical capital buffer amount in the United States is zero.
    (ii) Adjustment of the countercyclical capital buffer amount. The 
Board will adjust the countercyclical capital buffer amount for credit 
exposures in the United States in accordance with applicable law.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ The Board expects that any adjustment will be based on a 
determination made jointly by the Board, OCC, and FDIC.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (iii) Range of countercyclical capital buffer amount. The Board 
will adjust the countercyclical capital buffer amount for credit 
exposures in the United States between zero percent and 2.5 percent of 
risk-weighted assets.
    (iv) Adjustment determination. The Board will base its decision to 
adjust the countercyclical capital buffer amount under this section on 
a range of macroeconomic, financial, and supervisory information 
indicating an increase in systemic risk including, but not limited to, 
the ratio of credit to gross domestic product, a variety of asset 
prices, other factors indicative of relative credit and liquidity 
expansion or contraction, funding spreads, credit condition surveys, 
indices based on credit default swap spreads, options implied 
volatility, and measures of systemic risk.
    (v) Effective date of adjusted countercyclical capital buffer 
amount--(A) Increase adjustment. A determination by the Board under 
paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section to increase the countercyclical 
capital buffer amount will be effective 12 months from the date of 
announcement, unless the Board establishes an earlier effective date 
and includes a statement articulating the reasons for the earlier 
effective date.
    (B) Decrease adjustment. A determination by the Board to decrease 
the established countercyclical capital buffer amount under paragraph 
(b)(2)(ii) of this section will be effective on the day following 
announcement of the final determination or the earliest date 
permissible under applicable law or regulation, whichever is later.
    (vi) Twelve month sunset. The countercyclical capital buffer amount 
will return to zero percent 12 months after the effective date that the 
adjusted countercyclical capital buffer amount is announced, unless the 
Board announces a decision to maintain the adjusted countercyclical 
capital buffer amount or adjust it again before the expiration of the 
12-month period.
    (3) Countercyclical capital buffer amount for foreign 
jurisdictions. The Board will adjust the countercyclical capital buffer 
amount for private sector credit exposures to reflect decisions made by 
foreign jurisdictions consistent with due process requirements 
described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.
    (c) Calculation of buffers for Board-regulated institutions subject 
to 12 CFR 225.8--(1) Limits on distributions and discretionary bonus 
payments. (i) A Board-regulated institution that is subject to 12 CFR 
225.8 shall not make distributions or discretionary bonus payments or 
create an obligation to make such distributions or payments during the 
current calendar quarter that, in the aggregate, exceed its maximum 
payout amount.
    (ii) Maximum payout ratio. The maximum payout ratio of a Board-
regulated institution that is subject to 12 CFR 225.8 is the lowest of 
the following ratios determined by its standardized approach capital 
conservation buffer, leverage buffer; if applicable, advanced 
approaches capital conservation buffer; and, if applicable, SLR buffer; 
as set forth in Table 2 to this section.
    (iii) Capital conservation buffer requirements. A Board-regulated 
institution that is subject to 12 CFR 225.8 has:
    (A) A standardized approach capital conservation buffer requirement 
equal to its stress capital buffer requirement plus its applicable 
countercyclical capital buffer amount in accordance with paragraph (b) 
of this section plus its applicable GSIB surcharge in accordance with 
paragraph (d) of this section; and
    (B) If the Board-regulated institution calculates risk-weighted 
assets under subpart E of this part, an advanced approaches capital 
conservation buffer requirement equal to 2.5 percent plus the Board-
regulated institution's countercyclical capital buffer amount in 
accordance with paragraph (b) of this section plus its applicable GSIB 
surcharge in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section.
    (iv) No maximum payout amount limitation. A Board-regulated 
institution that is subject to 12 CFR 225.8 is not subject to a maximum 
payout amount under paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section if it has:
    (A) A standardized approach capital conservation buffer, calculated 
under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, that is greater than its 
standardized approach capital conservation buffer requirement

[[Page 18179]]

calculated under paragraph (c)(1)(iii)(A) of this section;
    (B) If applicable, an advanced approaches capital conservation 
buffer, calculated under paragraph (c)(3) of this section, that is 
greater than the Board-regulated institution's advanced approaches 
capital conservation buffer requirement calculated under paragraph 
(c)(1)(iii)(B) of this section; and
    (C) A leverage buffer, calculated under paragraph (c)(4) of this 
section, that is greater than its stress leverage buffer requirement 
calculated under paragraph (a)(2)(vii) of this section; and
    (D) If applicable, a SLR buffer, calculated under paragraph (c)(5) 
of this section, that is greater than its SLR buffer requirement as 
calculated under paragraph (a)(2)(v) of this section.
    (v) Negative eligible retained income. Except as provided in 
paragraph (c)(1)(vi) of this section, a Board-regulated institution 
that is subject to 12 CFR 225.8 may not make distributions or 
discretionary bonus payments during the current calendar quarter if, as 
of the end of the previous calendar quarter, the Board-regulated 
institution's:
    (A) Eligible retained income is negative; and
    (B)(1) Standardized approach capital conservation buffer was less 
than its stress capital buffer requirement; or
    (2) If applicable, advanced approaches capital conservation buffer 
was less than 2.5 percent; or
    (3) Leverage buffer was less than its stress leverage buffer 
requirement; or
    (4) If applicable, SLR buffer was less than its SLR buffer 
requirement.
    (vi) Prior approval. Notwithstanding the limitations in paragraphs 
(c)(1)(i) through (v) of this section, the Board may permit a Board-
regulated institution that is subject to 12 CFR 225.8 to make a 
distribution or discretionary bonus payment upon a request of the 
Board-regulated institution, if the Board determines that the 
distribution or discretionary bonus payment would not be contrary to 
the purposes of this section, or to the safety and soundness of the 
Board-regulated institution. In making such a determination, the Board 
will consider the nature and extent of the request and the particular 
circumstances giving rise to the request.
    (v) Other limitations on distributions. Additional limitations on 
distributions may apply under 12 CFR 225.4, 225.8, 252.63, 252.165, and 
263.202 to a Board-regulated institution that is subject to 12 CFR 
225.8.
    (2) Standardized approach capital conservation buffer. (i) The 
standardized approach capital conservation buffer for Board-regulated 
institutions subject to 12 CFR 225.8 is composed solely of common 
equity tier 1 capital.
    (ii) A Board-regulated institution that is subject to 12 CFR 225.8 
has a standardized approach capital conservation buffer that is equal 
to the lowest of the following ratios, calculated as of the last day of 
the previous calendar quarter:
    (A) The ratio calculated by the Board-regulated institution under 
Sec.  217.10(b)(1) or (c)(1)(i), as applicable, minus the Board-
regulated institution's minimum common equity tier 1 capital ratio 
requirement under Sec.  217.10(a);
    (B) The ratio calculated by the Board-regulated institution under 
Sec.  217.10(b)(2) or (c)(2)(i), as applicable, minus the Board-
regulated institution's minimum tier 1 capital ratio requirement under 
Sec.  217.10(a); and
    (C) The ratio calculated by the Board-regulated institution under 
Sec.  217.10(b)(3) or (c)(3)(i), as applicable, minus the Board-
regulated institution's minimum total capital ratio requirement under 
Sec.  217.10(a).
    (iii) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section, if any 
of the ratios calculated by the Board-regulated institution under Sec.  
217.10(b)(1), (2), or (3), or if applicable Sec.  217.10(c)(1)(i), 
(c)(2)(i), or (c)(3)(i) is less than or equal to the Board-regulated 
institution's minimum common equity tier 1 capital ratio, tier 1 
capital ratio, or total capital ratio requirement under Sec.  
217.10(a), respectively, the Board-regulated institution's capital 
conservation buffer is zero.
    (3) Advanced approaches capital conservation buffer. (i) The 
advanced approaches capital conservation buffer is composed solely of 
common equity tier 1 capital.
    (ii) A Board-regulated institution that calculates risk-weighted 
assets under subpart E of this part has an advanced approaches capital 
conservation buffer that is equal to the lowest of the following 
ratios, calculated as of the last day of the previous calendar quarter:
    (A) The ratio calculated by the Board-regulated institution under 
Sec.  217.10(c)(1)(ii) minus the Board-regulated institution's minimum 
common equity tier 1 capital ratio requirement under Sec.  217.10(a);
    (B) The ratio calculated by the Board-regulated institution under 
Sec.  217.10(c)(2)(ii) minus the Board-regulated institution's minimum 
tier 1 capital ratio requirement under Sec.  217.10(a); and
    (C) The ratio calculated by the Board-regulated institution under 
Sec.  217.10(c)(3)(ii) minus the Board-regulated institution's minimum 
total capital ratio requirement under Sec.  217.10(a).
    (iii) Notwithstanding paragraphs (c)(3)(ii) of this section, if any 
of the ratios calculated by the Board-regulated institution under Sec.  
217.10(c)(1)(ii), (c)(2)(ii), or (c)(3)(ii) is less than or equal to 
the Board-regulated institution's minimum common equity tier 1 capital 
ratio, tier 1 capital ratio, or total capital ratio requirement under 
Sec.  217.10(a), respectively, the Board-regulated institution's 
advanced approaches capital conservation buffer is zero.
    (4) Leverage buffer. (i) The leverage buffer is composed solely of 
tier 1 capital.
    (ii) A Board-regulated institution has a leverage buffer that is 
equal to the Board-regulated institution's leverage ratio minus 4 
percent, calculated as of the last day of the previous calendar 
quarter.
    (iii) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(4)(ii) of this section, if the 
Board-regulated institution's leverage ratio is less than or equal to 4 
percent, the Board-regulated institution's leverage buffer is zero.
    (5) SLR buffer. (i) The SLR buffer is composed solely of tier 1 
capital.
    (ii) A global systemically important BHC has a SLR buffer that is 
equal to the global systemically important BHC's supplementary leverage 
ratio minus 3 percent, calculated as of the last day of the previous 
calendar quarter.
    (iii) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(5)(ii) of this section, if the 
global systemically important BHC's supplementary leverage ratio is 
less than or equal to 3 percent, the global systemically important 
BHC's SLR buffer is zero.

      Table 2 to Sec.   217.11--Calculation of Maximum Payout Ratio
------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Capital buffer \1\                      Payout ratio
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Greater than the Board-regulated institution's    No payout ratio
 buffer requirement \2\.                           limitation applies.

[[Page 18180]]

 
Less than or equal to 100 percent of the Board-   60 percent.
 regulated institution's buffer requirement, and
 greater than 75 percent of the Board-regulated
 institution's buffer requirement.
Less than or equal to 75 percent of the Board-    40 percent.
 regulated institution's buffer requirement, and
 greater than 50 percent of the bank holding
 company's buffer requirement.
Less than or equal to 50 percent of the Board-    20 percent.
 regulated institution's buffer requirement, and
 greater than 25 percent of the Board-regulated
 institution's buffer requirement.
Less than or equal to 25 percent of the Board-    0 percent.
 regulated institution's buffer requirement.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ A Board-regulated institution's ``capital buffer'' means each of, as
  applicable, its standardized approach capital conservation buffer,
  leverage buffer, advanced approaches capital conservation buffer, and
  SLR buffer.
\2\ A Board-regulated institution's ``buffer requirement'' means each
  of, as applicable, its standardized approach capital conservation
  buffer requirement, stress leverage buffer requirement, advanced
  approaches capital conservation buffer requirement, and SLR buffer
  requirement.

    (d) GSIB surcharge. A global systemically important BHC must use 
its GSIB surcharge calculated in accordance with subpart H of this part 
for purposes of determining its maximum payout ratio under Table 2 to 
this section.

Subpart G--Transition Provisions

0
3. In Sec.  217.300, add paragraph (g) to read as follows:


Sec.  217.300   Transitions.

* * * * *
    (g) Implementation of stress capital buffer requirement and stress 
leverage buffer requirement. Notwithstanding any other requirement in 
Sec.  217.11, unless and until a Board-regulated institution subject to 
12 CFR 225.8 has received a stress capital buffer requirement from the 
Board calculated pursuant to 12 CFR 225.8, for purposes of Sec.  217.11 
its stress capital buffer requirement is equal to 2.5 percent; and, 
unless a Board-regulated institution subject to 12 CFR 225.8 has 
received a stress leverage buffer requirement, for purposes of Sec.  
217.11 its stress leverage buffer requirement is zero.

PART 225--BANK HOLDING COMPANIES AND CHANGE IN BANK CONTROL 
(REGULATION Y)

0
4. The authority citation for part 225 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(13), 1818, 1828(o), 1831i, 1831p-1, 
1843(c)(8), 1844(b), 1972(1), 3106, 3108, 3310, 3331-3351, 3906, 
3907, and 3909; 15 U.S.C. 1681s, 1681w, 6801 and 6805.

Subpart A--General Provisions

0
5. Section 225.8 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  225.8   Capital planning and stress capital and leverage buffer 
requirements.

    (a) Purpose. This section establishes capital planning and prior 
notice and approval requirements for capital distributions by certain 
bank holding companies. This section also establishes the Board's 
process for determining the stress buffer requirements for these bank 
holding companies.
    (b) Scope and reservation of authority--(1) Applicability. Except 
as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, this section applies to:
    (i) Any top-tier bank holding company domiciled in the United 
States with average total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more 
($50 billion asset threshold);
    (ii) Any other bank holding company domiciled in the United States 
that is made subject to this section, in whole or in part, by order of 
the Board;
    (iii) Any U.S. intermediate holding company subject to this section 
pursuant to 12 CFR 252.153; and
    (iv) Any nonbank financial company supervised by the Board that is 
made subject to this section pursuant to a rule or order of the Board.
    (2) Average total consolidated assets. For purposes of this 
section, average total consolidated assets means the average of the 
total consolidated assets as reported by a bank holding company on its 
Consolidated Financial Statements for Bank Holding Companies (FR Y-9C) 
for the four most recent consecutive quarters. If the bank holding 
company has not filed the FR Y-9C for each of the four most recent 
consecutive quarters, average total consolidated assets means the 
average of the company's total consolidated assets, as reported on the 
company's FR Y-9C, for the most recent quarter or consecutive quarters, 
as applicable. Average total consolidated assets are measured on the 
as-of date of the most recent FR Y-9C used in the calculation of the 
average.
    (3) Ongoing applicability. A bank holding company (including any 
successor bank holding company) that is subject to any requirement in 
this section shall remain subject to such requirements unless and until 
its total consolidated assets fall below $50 billion for each of four 
consecutive quarters, as reported on the FR Y-9C and effective on the 
as-of date of the fourth consecutive FR Y-9C.
    (4) Reservation of authority. Nothing in this section shall limit 
the authority of the Federal Reserve to issue a capital directive or 
take any other supervisory or enforcement action, including an action 
to address unsafe or unsound practices or conditions or violations of 
law.
    (5) Rule of construction. Unless the context otherwise requires, 
any reference to bank holding company in this section shall include a 
U.S. intermediate holding company and shall include a nonbank financial 
company supervised by the Board to the extent this section is made 
applicable pursuant to a rule or order of the Board.
    (6) Application of this section by order. The Board may apply this 
section, in whole or in part, to a bank holding company by order based 
on the institution's size, level of complexity, risk profile, scope of 
operations, or financial condition.
    (c) Transitional arrangements--(1) Transition periods for certain 
bank holding companies. (i) A bank holding company that meets the $50 
billion asset threshold (as measured under paragraph (b) of this 
section) on or before September 30 of a calendar year must comply with 
the requirements of this section beginning on January 1 of the next 
calendar year, unless that time is extended by the Board in writing.
    (ii) A bank holding company that meets the $50 billion asset 
threshold after September 30 of a calendar year must comply with the 
requirements of this section beginning on January 1 of the second 
calendar year after the bank holding company meets the $50 billion 
asset threshold, unless that time is extended by the Board in writing.
    (iii) The Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank with the 
concurrence of the Board, may require a bank holding company described 
in paragraph (c)(1)(i) or (ii) of this section to comply with any or 
all of the requirements in

[[Page 18181]]

paragraph (e)(1), (e)(3), (g), or (k) of this section if the Board or 
appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence of the Board, determines that 
the requirement is appropriate on a different date based on the 
company's risk profile, scope of operation, or financial condition and 
provides prior notice to the company of the determination.
    (2) Transition periods for subsidiaries of certain foreign banking 
organizations--(i) U.S. intermediate holding companies. (A) A U.S. 
intermediate holding company required to be established or designated 
pursuant to 12 CFR 252.153 on or before September 30 of a calendar year 
must comply with the requirements of this section beginning on January 
1 of the next calendar year, unless that time is extended by the Board 
in writing.
    (B) A U.S. intermediate holding company required to be established 
or designated pursuant to 12 CFR 252.153 after September 30 of a 
calendar year must comply with the requirements of this section 
beginning on January 1 of the second calendar year after the U.S. 
intermediate holding company is required to be established, unless that 
time is extended by the Board in writing.
    (C) The Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank with the concurrence 
of the Board, may require a U.S. intermediate holding company described 
in paragraph (c)(2)(i)(A) or (B) of this section to comply with any or 
all of the requirements in paragraph (e)(1), (e)(3), (g), or (k) of 
this section if the Board or appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence 
of the Board, determines that the requirement is appropriate on a 
different date based on the company's risk profile, scope of operation, 
or financial condition and provides prior notice to the company of the 
determination.
    (ii) Bank holding company subsidiaries of U.S. intermediate holding 
companies required to be established by July 1, 2016. (A) 
Notwithstanding any other requirement in this section, a bank holding 
company that is a subsidiary of a U.S. intermediate holding company 
(or, with the mutual consent of the company and Board, another bank 
holding company domiciled in the United States) shall remain subject to 
paragraph (e) of this section until December 31, 2017, and shall remain 
subject to the requirements of paragraphs (g) and (k) of this section 
until the Board issues an objection or non-objection to the capital 
plan of the relevant U.S. intermediate holding company.
    (B) After the time periods set forth in paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(A) of 
this section, this section will cease to apply to a bank holding 
company that is a subsidiary of a U.S. intermediate holding company, 
unless otherwise determined by the Board in writing.
    (d) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following 
definitions apply:
    (1) Additional tier 1 capital has the same meaning as under 12 CFR 
part 217.
    (2) Advanced approaches means the risk-weighted assets calculation 
methodologies at 12 CFR part 217, subpart E, as applicable.
    (3) Average total nonbank assets means the average of the total 
nonbank assets, calculated in accordance with the instructions to the 
FR Y-9LP, for the four most recent consecutive quarters or, if the bank 
holding company has not filed the FR Y-9LP for each of the four most 
recent consecutive quarters, for the most recent quarter or consecutive 
quarters, as applicable.
    (4) BHC baseline scenario means a scenario that reflects the bank 
holding company's reasonable expectation of the economic and financial 
outlook, including expectations related to the bank holding company's 
capital adequacy and financial condition.
    (5) BHC stress scenario means a scenario designed by a bank holding 
company that stresses the specific vulnerabilities of the bank holding 
company's risk profile and operations, including those related to the 
bank holding company's capital adequacy and financial condition.
    (6) Capital action means any issuance of a debt or equity capital 
instrument, any capital distribution, and any similar action that the 
Federal Reserve determines could impact a bank holding company's 
consolidated capital.
    (7) Capital distribution means a redemption or repurchase of any 
debt or equity capital instrument, a payment of common or preferred 
stock dividends, a payment that may be temporarily or permanently 
suspended by the issuer on any instrument that is eligible for 
inclusion in the numerator of any minimum regulatory capital ratio, and 
any similar transaction that the Federal Reserve determines to be in 
substance a distribution of capital.
    (8) Capital plan means a written presentation of a bank holding 
company's capital planning strategies and capital adequacy process that 
includes the mandatory elements set forth in paragraph (e)(2) of this 
section.
    (9) Capital plan cycle means the period beginning on January 1 of a 
calendar year and ending on December 31 of that year.
    (10) Capital policy means a bank holding company's written 
principles and guidelines used for capital planning, capital issuance, 
capital usage and distributions, including internal capital goals; the 
quantitative or qualitative guidelines for capital distributions; the 
strategies for addressing potential capital shortfalls; and the 
internal governance procedures around capital policy principles and 
guidelines.
    (11) Common equity tier 1 capital has the same meaning as under 12 
CFR part 217.
    (12) Effective capital distribution limitations means any 
limitations on capital distributions established by the Board by order 
or regulation, including pursuant to 12 CFR 217.11, 252.63, 252.165, 
and 263.202, provided that, for any limitations based on risk-weighted 
assets, such limitations must be calculated using the standardized 
approach, as set forth in 12 CFR part 217, subpart D.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Effective capital distribution limitations should not 
include planned discretionary bonus payments.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (13) Final planned capital distributions means the planned capital 
distributions included in a capital plan that include the adjustments 
made pursuant to paragraph (h) of this section, if any.
    (14) Global systemically important BHC means a bank holding company 
identified as a global systemically important BHC under 12 CFR 217.402.
    (15) GSIB surcharge has the same meaning as under 12 CFR 217.403.
    (16) Large and noncomplex bank holding company means any bank 
holding company subject to this section that:
    (i) Has, as of December 31 of the calendar year prior to the 
capital plan cycle:
    (A) Average total consolidated assets of less than $250 billion;
    (B) Average total nonbank assets of less than $75 billion; and
    (ii) Is not a bank holding company that is identified as a global 
systemically important BHC pursuant to Sec.  217.402.
    (17) Net distributions means, for each category of regulatory 
capital, the dollar amount of the bank holding company's capital 
distributions, net of the dollar amount of its capital issuances.
    (18) Net final planned capital distributions means the dollar 
amount of net distributions relating to the bank holding company's 
final planned capital distributions.
    (19) Nonbank financial company supervised by the Board means a 
company that the Financial Stability Oversight Council has determined 
under section 113 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer

[[Page 18182]]

Protection Act (12 U.S.C. 5323) shall be supervised by the Board and 
for which such determination is still in effect.
    (20) Planning horizon means the period of at least nine consecutive 
quarters, beginning with the quarter preceding the quarter in which the 
bank holding company submits its capital plan, over which the relevant 
projections extend.
    (21) Regulatory capital ratio means a capital ratio for which the 
Board has established minimum requirements for the bank holding company 
by regulation or order, including, as applicable, the bank holding 
company's regulatory capital ratios calculated under 12 CFR part 217 
and the deductions required under 12 CFR 248.12; except that the bank 
holding company shall not use the advanced approaches to calculate its 
regulatory capital ratios.
    (22) Stress buffer requirement means either the stress capital 
buffer requirement or the stress leverage buffer requirement.
    (23) Stress capital buffer requirement means the amount calculated 
under paragraph (f)(2) of this section.
    (24) Stress leverage buffer requirement means the amount calculated 
under paragraph (f)(3) of this section.
    (25) Tier 1 capital has the same meaning as under 12 CFR part 217.
    (26) Tier 2 capital has the same meaning as under 12 CFR part 217.
    (27) U.S. intermediate holding company means the top-tier U.S. 
company that is required to be established pursuant to 12 CFR 252.153.
    (e) Capital planning requirements and procedures--(1) Annual 
capital planning. (i) A bank holding company must develop and maintain 
a capital plan.
    (ii) A bank holding company must submit its complete capital plan 
to the Board and the appropriate Reserve Bank by April 5 of each 
calendar year, or such later date as directed by the Board or by the 
appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence of the Board.
    (iii) The bank holding company's board of directors or a designated 
committee thereof must at least annually and prior to submission of the 
capital plan under paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section:
    (A) Review the robustness of the bank holding company's process for 
assessing capital adequacy;
    (B) Ensure that any deficiencies in the bank holding company's 
process for assessing capital adequacy are appropriately remedied; and
    (C) Approve the bank holding company's capital plan.
    (2) Mandatory elements of capital plan. A capital plan must contain 
at least the following elements:
    (i) An assessment of the expected uses and sources of capital over 
the planning horizon that reflects the bank holding company's size, 
complexity, risk profile, and scope of operations, assuming both 
expected and stressful conditions, including:
    (A) Estimates of projected revenues, losses, reserves, and pro 
forma capital levels, including regulatory capital ratios, and any 
additional capital measures deemed relevant by the bank holding 
company, over the planning horizon under a range of scenarios, 
including any scenarios provided by the Federal Reserve, the BHC 
baseline scenario, and at least one BHC stress scenario;
    (B) A discussion of the results of any stress test required by law 
or regulation, and an explanation of how the capital plan takes these 
results into account; and
    (C) A description of all planned capital actions over the planning 
horizon that are consistent with effective capital distribution 
limitations and as may be adjusted pursuant to paragraph (h) of this 
section. In determining whether a bank holding company's planned 
capital distributions are consistent with effective capital 
distribution limitations, a bank holding company must assume:
    (1) That any countercyclical capital buffer amount currently 
applicable to the bank holding company remains at the same level, 
except that the bank holding company must reflect any increases or 
decreases in the countercyclical capital buffer amount that have been 
announced by the Board at the times indicated by the Board's 
announcement for when such increases or decreases take effect; and
    (2) That any GSIB surcharge currently applicable to the bank 
holding company when the capital plan is submitted remains at the same 
level, except that the bank holding company must reflect any increase 
in its GSIB surcharge pursuant to 12 CFR 217.403(d)(1), beginning in 
the fifth quarter of the planning horizon.
    (ii) A detailed description of the bank holding company's process 
for assessing capital adequacy, including:
    (A) A discussion of how the bank holding company will, under 
expected and stressful conditions, maintain capital commensurate with 
its risks, maintain capital above the regulatory capital ratios, and 
serve as a source of strength to its subsidiary depository 
institutions;
    (B) A discussion of how the bank holding company will, under 
expected and stressful conditions, maintain sufficient capital to 
continue its operations by maintaining ready access to funding, meeting 
its obligations to creditors and other counterparties, and continuing 
to serve as a credit intermediary;
    (iii) The bank holding company's capital policy; and
    (iv) A discussion of any expected changes to the bank holding 
company's business plan that are likely to have a material impact on 
the bank holding company's capital adequacy or liquidity.
    (3) Data collection. Upon the request of the Board or appropriate 
Reserve Bank, the bank holding company shall provide the Federal 
Reserve with information regarding:
    (i) The bank holding company's financial condition, including its 
capital;
    (ii) The bank holding company's structure;
    (iii) Amount and risk characteristics of the bank holding company's 
on- and off-balance sheet exposures, including exposures within the 
bank holding company's trading account, other trading-related exposures 
(such as counterparty-credit risk exposures) or other items sensitive 
to changes in market factors, including, as appropriate, information 
about the sensitivity of positions to changes in market rates and 
prices;
    (iv) The bank holding company's relevant policies and procedures, 
including risk management policies and procedures;
    (v) The bank holding company's liquidity profile and management;
    (vi) The loss, revenue, and expense estimation models used by the 
bank holding company for stress scenario analysis, including supporting 
documentation regarding each model's development and validation; and
    (vii) Any other relevant qualitative or quantitative information 
requested by the Board or by the appropriate Reserve Bank to facilitate 
review of the bank holding company's capital plan under this section.
    (4) Re-submission of a capital plan. (i) A bank holding company 
must update and re-submit its capital plan to the appropriate Reserve 
Bank within 30 calendar days of the occurrence of one of the following 
events:
    (A) The bank holding company determines there has been or will be a 
material change in the bank holding company's risk profile, financial 
condition, or corporate structure since the bank holding company last

[[Page 18183]]

submitted the capital plan to the Board and the appropriate Reserve 
Bank under this section; or
    (B) The Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence of 
the Board, directs the bank holding company in writing to revise and 
resubmit its capital plan for any of the following reasons:
    (1) The capital plan is incomplete or the capital plan, or the bank 
holding company's internal capital adequacy process, contains material 
weaknesses;
    (2) There has been, or will likely be, a material change in the 
bank holding company's risk profile (including a material change in its 
business strategy or any risk exposure), financial condition, or 
corporate structure;
    (3) The BHC stress scenario(s) are not appropriate for the bank 
holding company's business model and portfolios, or changes in 
financial markets or the macro-economic outlook that could have a 
material impact on a bank holding company's risk profile and financial 
condition require the use of updated scenarios; or
    (4) For a bank holding company subject to paragraph (i) of this 
section, the capital plan or the condition of the bank holding company 
raise any of the issues described in paragraph (i)(2) of this section.
    (ii) A bank holding company may resubmit its capital plan to the 
Federal Reserve if the Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank objects to 
the capital plan.
    (iii) The Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence of 
the Board, may extend the 30-day period in paragraph (e)(4)(i) of this 
section for up to an additional 60 calendar days, or such longer period 
as the Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank, with concurrence of the 
Board, determines appropriate.
    (iv) Any updated capital plan must satisfy all the requirements of 
this section; however, a bank holding company may continue to rely on 
information submitted as part of a previously submitted capital plan to 
the extent that the information remains accurate and appropriate.
    (5) Confidential treatment of information submitted. The 
confidentiality of information submitted to the Board under this 
section and related materials shall be determined in accordance with 
applicable exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 
552(b)) and the Board's Rules Regarding Availability of Information (12 
CFR part 261).
    (f) Calculation methodologies and supervisory practices--(1) 
General. The Board will determine the stress buffer requirements that 
apply under 12 CFR 217.11 pursuant to this paragraph (f).
    (2) Stress capital buffer requirement calculation. A bank holding 
company's stress capital buffer requirement is equal to the greater of:
    (i)(A) The ratio of a bank holding company's common equity tier 1 
risk-based capital to risk-weighted assets, as calculated under 12 CFR 
part 217, subpart D, as of the final quarter of the previous capital 
plan cycle, unless otherwise determined by the Board; minus
    (B) The lowest projected ratio of the bank holding company's common 
equity tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets in any quarter of the 
planning horizon under the supervisory stress test described in 
paragraph (f)(4) of this section; plus
    (C) The sum of the ratios of the bank holding company's planned 
common stock dividends (expressed as a dollar amount) to projected 
risk-weighted assets for each of the fourth through seventh quarters of 
the planning horizon; or
    (ii) 2.5 percent.
    (3) Stress leverage buffer requirement calculation. A bank holding 
company's stress leverage buffer requirement is equal to:
    (i) The ratio of a bank holding company's tier 1 capital to average 
total consolidated assets, as calculated under 12 CFR part 217, subpart 
D, as of the final quarter of the previous capital plan cycle, unless 
otherwise determined by the Board; minus
    (ii) The lowest projected leverage ratio for the bank holding 
company in any quarter during the planning horizon under the 
supervisory stress test described in paragraph (f)(4) of this section; 
plus
    (iii) The sum of the ratios of the bank holding company's planned 
common stock dividends (expressed as a dollar amount) to the difference 
between projected total consolidated assets and amounts projected to be 
deducted from tier 1 capital under 12 CFR 217.22(a), (c), and (d) for 
each of the fourth through seventh quarters of the planning horizon.
    (4) Supervisory stress test. The supervisory stress test is the 
stress test conducted by the Board pursuant to 12 CFR part 252, subpart 
E, under the severely adverse scenario using the assumptions regarding 
a bank holding company's capital actions over the planning horizon that 
are set forth in that section. For a capital plan resubmitted pursuant 
to paragraph (e)(4) of this section, the Board may conduct the 
supervisory stress test using an updated version of the severely 
adverse scenario.
    (g) Review of capital plans by the Federal Reserve. The Board, or 
the appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence of the Board, will 
consider the following factors in reviewing a bank holding company's 
capital plan:
    (1) The comprehensiveness of the capital plan, including the extent 
to which the analysis underlying the capital plan captures and 
addresses potential risks stemming from activities across the bank 
holding company and the bank holding company's capital policy;
    (2) The reasonableness of the bank holding company's capital plan, 
the assumptions and analysis underlying the capital plan, and the 
robustness of its capital adequacy process;
    (3) Relevant supervisory information about the bank holding company 
and its subsidiaries;
    (4) The bank holding company's regulatory and financial reports, as 
well as supporting data that would allow for an analysis of the bank 
holding company's loss, revenue, and reserve projections;
    (5) The results of any stress tests conducted by the bank holding 
company or the Federal Reserve; and
    (6) Other information requested or required by the Board or the 
appropriate Reserve Bank, as well as any other information relevant, or 
related, to the bank holding company's capital adequacy.
    (h) Federal Reserve notice of stress buffer requirements; final 
planned capital distributions--(1) Timing of notice. The Board will 
provide a bank holding company with notice of its stress buffer 
requirements by June 30 of the calendar year in which the capital plan 
was submitted pursuant to paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section, unless 
otherwise determined by the Board. The notice will include an 
explanation of the results of the supervisory stress test described in 
paragraph (f)(4) of this section.
    (2) Response to notice; request for reconsideration of stress 
capital buffer requirement or stress leverage buffer requirement. A 
bank holding company may request reconsideration of the stress buffer 
requirements provided under paragraph (h)(1) of this section. To 
request reconsideration of its stress buffer requirements, a bank 
holding company must submit to the Board a written request pursuant to 
paragraph (j) of this section.
    (3) Response to notice; adjustments to planned capital 
distributions. Within two business days of receipt of notice of its 
stress buffer requirements under

[[Page 18184]]

paragraph (h)(1) or (j)(5) of this section, as applicable, a bank 
holding company must:
    (i) Determine whether the capital distributions for the fourth 
through seventh quarters of the planning horizon under the BHC baseline 
scenario included in the capital plan submitted pursuant to paragraph 
(e)(1)(ii) of this section would be consistent with effective capital 
distribution limitations, assuming the stress buffer requirements 
provided by the Board under paragraph (h)(1) or (j)(5) of this section, 
as applicable; and
    (ii) If the capital distributions for the fourth through seventh 
quarters of the planning horizon under the BHC baseline scenario 
included in the capital plan submitted pursuant to paragraph (e)(1)(ii) 
of this section would not be consistent with effective capital 
distribution limitations assuming the stress buffer requirements, the 
bank holding company must determine how it would reduce its planned 
capital distributions such that those planned capital distributions 
would be consistent with effective capital distribution limitations 
assuming the stress buffer requirements, and must notify the Board of 
these reductions; or
    (iii) If the capital distributions for the fourth through seventh 
quarters of the planning horizon under the BHC baseline scenario 
included in the capital plan submitted pursuant to paragraph (e)(1)(ii) 
of this section would be consistent with effective capital distribution 
limitations assuming the stress buffer requirements, the bank holding 
company may determine to adjust its planned capital distributions, 
provided that the adjusted planned capital distributions do not exceed 
the amount included in the capital plan submitted pursuant to paragraph 
(e)(1)(ii) of this section, and, if any adjustments are made, must 
notify the Board of these adjustments.
    (4) Response to notice; final planned capital distributions. (i) If 
a bank holding company does not request reconsideration under paragraph 
(j) of this section, the Board will consider the planned capital 
distributions, including any adjustments made pursuant to paragraph 
(h)(3) of this section, to be the bank holding company's final planned 
capital distributions on the expiration of the time for requesting 
reconsideration under paragraph (j) of this section.
    (ii) If a bank holding company requests reconsideration under 
paragraph (j) of this section, the bank holding company must provide 
the Board with its final planned capital distributions, including any 
adjustments made pursuant to paragraph (h)(3) of this section, within 2 
business days of receipt of notice of the Board's response under 
paragraph (j)(5) of this section.
    (5) Final stress capital buffer requirement and stress leverage 
buffer requirement; effective date. (i) The Board will provide a bank 
holding company with its stress buffer requirements and confirmation of 
the bank holding company's final planned capital distributions by 
August 31 of the calendar year that a capital plan was submitted, 
unless otherwise determined by the Board. No stress buffer requirements 
shall be considered final so as to be agency action subject to judicial 
review under 5 U.S.C. 704 during the pendency of a request for 
reconsideration, pursuant to paragraph (j) of this section, or before 
the time for requesting reconsideration has expired.
    (ii) A bank holding company's final planned capital distributions 
and stress buffer requirements shall:
    (A) Unless otherwise determined by the Board, be effective on 
October 1 of the calendar year in which a capital plan was submitted 
pursuant to paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section; and
    (B) Remain in effect until superseded, unless otherwise determined 
by the Board.
    (6) Publication. With respect to any bank holding company subject 
to this section, the Board may disclose publicly any or all of the 
following items:
    (i) The stress buffer requirements provided to a bank holding 
company under paragraph (h)(1) of this section that includes the 
adjustments made under paragraph (h)(3) also of this section, if any;
    (ii) A summary of the results of the supervisory stress test 
described in paragraph (f)(4) of this section; and
    (iii) A bank holding company's request for reconsideration under 
paragraph (j) of this section, and the Board's response to any such 
request for reconsideration or a summary thereof.
    (i) Federal Reserve action on a capital plan for bank holding 
companies that are not large and noncomplex bank holding companies--(1) 
Timing of action. The Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank with 
concurrence of the Board, will object, in whole or in part, to the 
capital plan of a bank holding company that is not a large and 
noncomplex bank holding company or provide the bank holding company 
with a notice of non-objection to its capital plan:
    (i) Unless otherwise determined by the Board, by June 30 of the 
calendar year in which a capital plan was submitted pursuant to 
paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section; and
    (ii) For a capital plan resubmitted pursuant to paragraph (e)(4) of 
this section, within 75 calendar days after the date on which a capital 
plan is resubmitted, unless the Board provides notice to the bank 
holding company that it is extending the time period.
    (2) Basis for objection to a capital plan. The Board may object to 
a capital plan submitted by a bank holding company that is not a large 
and noncomplex bank holding company if the Board determines that:
    (i) The bank holding company has material unresolved supervisory 
issues, including but not limited to issues associated with its capital 
adequacy process;
    (ii) The assumptions and analysis underlying the bank holding 
company's capital plan, or the bank holding company's methodologies and 
practices that support its capital planning process, are not reasonable 
or appropriate; or
    (iii) The bank holding company's capital planning process or 
proposed capital distributions otherwise constitute an unsafe or 
unsound practice, or would violate any law, regulation, Board order, 
directive, or condition imposed by, or written agreement with, the 
Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank. In determining whether a capital 
plan or any proposed capital distribution would constitute an unsafe or 
unsound practice, the Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank would 
consider whether the bank holding company is and would remain in sound 
financial condition after giving effect to the capital plan and all 
proposed capital distributions.
    (3) Notification of decision. The Board or the appropriate Reserve 
Bank will notify the bank holding company in writing of the reasons for 
a decision to object to a capital plan.
    (4) General distribution limitation. If the Board or the 
appropriate Reserve Bank objects to a capital plan and until such time 
as the Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence of the 
Board, issues a non-objection to the bank holding company's capital 
plan, the bank holding company may not make any capital distribution, 
other than capital distributions arising from the issuance of a capital 
instrument eligible for inclusion in the numerator of a regulatory 
capital ratio or capital distributions with respect to which the Board 
or the appropriate Reserve Bank has indicated in writing its non-
objection.
    (5) Publication of summary results. The Board may disclose publicly 
its decision to object or not object to a bank holding company's 
capital plan under

[[Page 18185]]

this section, along with a summary of the results of the supervisory 
stress test described in paragraph (f)(4) of this section for that 
company. Any disclosure under this paragraph (i)(5) will occur by June 
30 of the calendar year in which a capital plan was submitted pursuant 
to paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section, unless otherwise determined by 
the Board.
    (j) Administrative Remedies; request for reconsideration. The 
following requirements and procedures apply to any request under this 
paragraph (j):
    (1) General. To request reconsideration of an objection to a 
capital plan, provided under paragraph (i) of this section, or of a 
stress buffer requirement, provided under paragraph (h) of this 
section, a bank holding company must submit a written request for 
reconsideration.
    (2) Timing of request. (i) A request for reconsideration of an 
objection to a capital plan, provided under paragraph (i) of this 
section, must be received within 15 calendar days of receipt of a 
notice of objection to a capital plan.
    (ii) A request for reconsideration of a stress buffer requirement, 
provided under paragraph (h) of this section, must be received within 
15 calendar days of receipt of a notice of bank holding company's 
stress buffer requirement.
    (3) Contents of request. (i) A request for reconsideration must 
include a detailed explanation of why reconsideration should be 
granted. With respect to any information that was not previously 
provided to the Federal Reserve in the bank holding company's capital 
plan, the request should include an explanation of why the information 
should be considered.
    (ii) A request for reconsideration may include a request for an 
informal hearing on the bank holding company's request for 
reconsideration.
    (4) Hearing. (i) The Board may, in its sole discretion, order an 
informal hearing if the Board finds that a hearing is appropriate or 
necessary to resolve disputes regarding material issues of fact.
    (ii) An informal hearing shall be held within 30 calendar days of a 
request, if granted, provided that the Board may extend this period 
upon notice to the requesting party.
    (5) Response to request. (i) Within 30 calendar days of receipt of 
the bank holding company's request for reconsideration of an objection 
to a capital plan submitted under paragraph (j) of this section or 
within 30 days of the conclusion of an informal hearing conducted under 
paragraph (j)(4) of this section, the Board will notify the company of 
its decision to affirm or withdraw the objection to the bank holding 
company's capital plan, or a specific capital distribution, provided 
that the Board may extend this period upon notice to the bank holding 
company.
    (ii) Within 30 calendar days of receipt of the bank holding 
company's request for reconsideration of its stress buffer requirement 
submitted under paragraph (j) of this section or within 30 days of the 
conclusion of an informal hearing conducted under paragraph (j)(4) of 
this section, the Board will notify the company of its decision to 
affirm or modify, as applicable, the bank holding company's stress 
buffer requirement, provided that the Board may extend this period upon 
notice to the bank holding company.
    (6) Distributions during the pendency of a request for 
reconsideration. During the pendency of the Board's final decision 
under paragraph (j)(5) of this section, the bank holding company may 
make the capital distributions to which the Board or the appropriate 
Reserve Bank indicated its non-objection, except that, if the Board or 
the appropriate Reserve Bank has not yet indicated its non-objection 
for a quarter during which a decision under paragraph (j)(5) of this 
section is pending, the bank holding company is authorized to make 
capital distributions that do not to exceed the four-quarter average of 
capital distributions to which the Board or the appropriate Reserve 
Bank indicated its non-objection for the previous capital plan cycle, 
unless otherwise determined by the Board.
    (k) Approval requirements for certain capital actions--(1) 
Circumstances requiring approval. A bank holding company may not make a 
capital distribution (excluding any capital distribution arising from 
the issuance of a capital instrument eligible for inclusion in the 
numerator of a regulatory capital ratio) under the following 
circumstances, unless it receives prior approval from the Board or 
appropriate Reserve Bank pursuant to paragraph (k)(5) of this section:
    (i) After giving effect to the capital distribution, the bank 
holding company would not meet a minimum regulatory capital ratio;
    (ii) The Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence of 
the Board, notifies the company in writing that the Federal Reserve has 
determined that the capital distribution would result in a material 
adverse change to the company's capital or liquidity structure or that 
the company's earnings were materially underperforming projections;
    (iii) Except as provided in paragraph (k)(2) of this section, the 
dollar amount of the capital distribution will exceed the dollar amount 
of the bank holding company's final planned capital distributions, as 
measured on an aggregate basis beginning in the fourth quarter of the 
planning horizon through the quarter at issue; or
    (iv) The capital distribution would occur after the occurrence of 
an event requiring resubmission under paragraph (e)(4)(i)(A) or (B) of 
this section and before the Federal Reserve has responded or acted 
under paragraphs (h) and (i) of this section, as applicable.
    (2) Exception for well capitalized bank holding companies. (i) A 
bank holding company may make a capital distribution for which the 
dollar amount exceeds the dollar amount of the bank holding company's 
final planned capital distributions if the following conditions are 
satisfied:
    (A) The bank holding company is, and after the capital distribution 
would remain, well capitalized as defined in Sec.  225.2(r);
    (B) The bank holding company's performance and capital levels are, 
and after the capital distribution would remain, consistent with its 
projections under the BHC baseline scenario;
    (C) The annual aggregate dollar amount of all capital distributions 
in the period beginning on July 1 of a calendar year and ending on June 
30 of the following calendar year would not exceed the total dollar 
amounts of the bank holding company's final planned capital 
distributions by more than 0.25 percent multiplied by the bank holding 
company's tier 1 capital, as reported to the Federal Reserve on the 
bank holding company's most recent first-quarter FR Y-9C;
    (D) Between July 1 of a calendar year and March 15 of the following 
calendar year, the bank holding company provides the appropriate 
Reserve Bank with notice 15 calendar days prior to a capital 
distribution that includes the elements described in paragraph (k)(4) 
of this section; and
    (E) The Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence of 
the Board, does not object to the transaction proposed in the notice. 
In determining whether to object to the proposed transaction, the Board 
or the appropriate Reserve Bank shall apply the criteria described in 
paragraph (k)(5)(ii) of this section.
    (ii) The exception in this paragraph (k)(2) shall not apply if the 
Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank notifies the bank holding company 
in writing that it is ineligible for this exception.

[[Page 18186]]

    (3) Net distribution limitation--(i) General. Notwithstanding a 
bank holding company's final planned capital distributions, the bank 
holding company must reduce its capital distributions in accordance 
with paragraph (k)(3)(ii) of this section if the bank holding company 
raises a smaller dollar amount of capital of a given category of 
regulatory capital instruments than it had included in its capital 
plan, as measured on an aggregate basis beginning in the fourth quarter 
of the planning horizon through the end of the current quarter.
    (ii) Reduction of distributions--(A) Common equity tier 1 capital. 
If the bank holding company raises a smaller dollar amount of common 
equity tier 1 capital, the bank holding company must reduce its final 
planned capital distributions relating to common equity tier 1 capital 
such that net distributions relating to common equity tier 1 capital 
are no greater than net final planned capital distributions of common 
equity tier 1 capital, as measured on an aggregate basis beginning in 
the fourth quarter of the planning horizon through the end of the 
current quarter.
    (B) Additional tier 1 capital. If the bank holding company raises a 
smaller dollar amount of additional tier 1 capital, the bank holding 
company must reduce its final planned capital distributions relating to 
additional tier 1 capital (other than scheduled payments on additional 
tier 1 capital instruments) such that the dollar amount of the bank 
holding company's net distributions relating to additional tier 1 
capital is no greater than the dollar amount of its net final planned 
capital distributions relating to additional tier 1 capital, as 
measured on an aggregate basis beginning in the fourth quarter of the 
planning horizon through the end of the current quarter.
    (C) Tier 2 capital. If the bank holding company raises a smaller 
dollar amount of tier 2 capital, the bank holding company must reduce 
its final planned capital distributions relating to tier 2 capital 
(other than scheduled payments on tier 2 capital instruments) such that 
the dollar amount of the bank holding company's net distributions 
relating to tier 2 capital is no greater than the dollar amount of its 
net final planned capital distributions relating to tier 2 capital, as 
measured on an aggregate basis beginning in the fourth quarter of the 
planning horizon through the end of the current quarter.
    (iii) Exceptions. Paragraphs (k)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section 
shall not apply:
    (A) To the extent that the Board or appropriate Reserve Bank 
indicates in writing its approval pursuant to paragraph (k)(5) of this 
section, following a request for prior approval from the bank holding 
company that includes all of the information required to be submitted 
under paragraph (k)(4) of this section;
    (B) To capital distributions arising from the issuance of a capital 
instrument eligible for inclusion in the numerator of a regulatory 
capital ratio that the bank holding company had not included in its 
capital plan;
    (C) To the extent that the bank holding company raised a smaller 
dollar amount of capital in the category of regulatory capital 
instruments described in paragraph (k)(3)(i) of this section due to 
employee-directed capital issuances related to an employee stock 
ownership plan;
    (D) To the extent that the bank holding company raised a smaller 
dollar amount of capital in the category of regulatory capital 
instruments described in paragraph (k)(3)(i) of this section due to a 
planned merger or acquisition that is no longer expected to be 
consummated or for which the consideration paid is lower than the 
projected price in the capital plan; or
    (E) To the extent that the dollar amount by which the bank holding 
company's net distributions exceed the dollar amount of its net final 
planned capital distributions in the category of regulatory capital 
instruments described in paragraph (k)(3)(i) of this section, as 
measured on an aggregate basis beginning in the fourth quarter of the 
planning horizon through the end of the current quarter, is less than 
0.25 percent of the bank holding company's tier 1 capital, as reported 
to the Federal Reserve on the bank holding company's most recent first-
quarter FR Y-9C; between July 1 of a calendar year and March 15 of the 
following calendar year, the bank holding company provides the 
appropriate Reserve Bank with notice 15 calendar days prior to any 
capital distribution in that category of regulatory capital instruments 
that includes the elements described in paragraph (k)(4) of this 
section; and the Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence 
of the Board, does not object to the transaction proposed in the 
notice. In determining whether to object to the proposed transaction, 
the Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank shall apply the criteria 
described in paragraph (k)(5)(ii) of this section.
    (iv) Exclusion from exceptions. The exceptions in paragraph 
(k)(3)(iii) of this section shall not apply if the Board or the 
appropriate Reserve Bank notifies the bank holding company in writing 
that it is ineligible for this exception.
    (4) Contents of request. (i) A request for a capital distribution 
under this section shall be filed between July 1 of a calendar year and 
March 1 of the following calendar year with the appropriate Reserve 
Bank and the Board and shall contain the following information:
    (A) The bank holding company's current capital plan or an 
attestation that there have been no changes to the capital plan since 
it was last submitted to the Federal Reserve;
    (B) The purpose of the transaction;
    (C) A description of the capital distribution, including for 
redemptions or repurchases of securities, the gross consideration to be 
paid and the terms and sources of funding for the transaction, and for 
dividends, the amount of the dividend(s); and
    (D) Any additional information requested by the Board or the 
appropriate Reserve Bank (which may include, among other things, an 
assessment of the bank holding company's capital adequacy under a 
revised stress scenario provided by the Federal Reserve, a revised 
capital plan, and supporting data).
    (ii) Any request submitted with respect to a capital distribution 
described in paragraph (k)(1)(i) of this section shall also include a 
plan for restoring the bank holding company's capital to an amount 
above a minimum level within 30 calendar days and a rationale for why 
the capital distribution would be appropriate.
    (5) Approval of certain capital distributions. (i) The Board or the 
appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence of the Board, will act on a 
request under this paragraph (k)(5) within 30 calendar days after the 
receipt of all the information required under paragraph (k)(4) of this 
section.
    (ii) In acting on a request under this paragraph (k)(5), the Board 
or appropriate Reserve Bank will apply the considerations and 
principles in paragraphs (g) and (i) of this section, as appropriate. 
In addition, the Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank may disapprove 
the transaction if the bank holding company does not provide all of the 
information required to be submitted under paragraph (k)(4) of this 
section.
    (6) Disapproval and hearing. (i) The Board or the appropriate 
Reserve Bank will notify the bank holding company in writing of the 
reasons for a decision to disapprove any proposed capital distribution. 
Within 15 calendar days after receipt of a disapproval by the Board, 
the bank holding company may submit a written request for a hearing.

[[Page 18187]]

    (A) The Board may, in its sole discretion, order an informal 
hearing if the Board finds that a hearing is appropriate or necessary 
to resolve disputes regarding material issues of fact.
    (B) An informal hearing shall be held within 30 calendar days of a 
request, if granted, provided that the Board may extend this period 
upon notice to the requesting party.
    (C) Written notice of the final decision of the Board shall be 
given to the bank holding company within 60 calendar days of the 
conclusion of any informal hearing ordered by the Board, provided that 
the Board may extend this period upon notice to the requesting party.
    (D) While the Board's final decision is pending and until such time 
as the Board or the appropriate Reserve Bank with concurrence of the 
Board, approves the capital distribution at issue, the bank holding 
company may not make such capital distribution.
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (l) Transition for certain planned capital actions. For the period 
July 1 to September 30, 2019, a bank holding company is authorized to 
make capital distributions that do not exceed the four-quarter average 
of capital distributions to which the Board or the appropriate Reserve 
Bank indicated its non-objection for the previous capital plan cycle, 
unless otherwise determined by the Board.

PART 252--ENHANCED PRUDENTIAL STANDARDS (REGULATION YY)

0
6. The authority citation for part 252 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  12 U.S.C. 321-338a, 481-486, 1467a, 1818, 1828, 
1831n, 1831o, 1831p-l, 1831w, 1835, 1844(b), 1844(c), 3101 et seq., 
3101 note, 3904, 3906-3909, 4808, 5361, 5362, 5365, 5366, 5367, 
5368, 5371.

Subpart E--Supervisory Stress Test Requirements for U.S. Bank 
Holding Companies With $50 Billion or More in Total Consolidated 
Assets and Nonbank Financial Companies Supervised by the Board

0
7. Section 252.44 is amended by adding paragraph (c) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  252.44   Annual analysis conducted by the Board.

* * * * *
    (c) Assumptions. In conducting a stress test under this section, 
the Board will make the following assumptions regarding a covered 
company's capital actions over the planning horizon:
    (1) The covered company will not pay any dividends on any 
instruments that qualify as common equity tier 1 capital;
    (2) The covered company will make payments on instruments that 
qualify as additional tier 1 capital or tier 2 capital equal to the 
stated dividend, interest, or principal due on such instrument;
    (3) The covered company will not make a redemption or repurchase of 
any capital instrument that is eligible for inclusion in the numerator 
of a regulatory capital ratio; and
    (4) The covered company will not make any issuances of common stock 
or preferred stock, except for issuances in connection with a planned 
merger or acquisition to the extent that the merger or acquisition is 
reflected in the covered company's pro forma balance sheet estimates.

Subpart F--Company-Run Stress Test Requirements for U.S. Bank 
Holding Companies With $50 Billion or More in Total Consolidated 
Assets and Nonbank Financial Companies Supervised by the Board

0
8. Section 252.54 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(2)(i) 
introductory text to read as follows:


Sec.  252.54  Annual stress test.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (i) The Board may require a covered company with significant 
trading activity (a covered company that has aggregate trading assets 
and liabilities of $50 billion or more, or aggregate trading assets and 
liabilities equal to 10 percent or more of total consolidated assets, 
and is not a large and noncomplex bank holding company, as defined in 
12 CFR 225.8) to include a trading and counterparty component in its 
adverse and severely adverse scenarios in the stress test required by 
this section:
* * * * *
0
9. Section 252.56 is amended by revising paragraph (b) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  252.56  Methodologies and practices.

* * * * *
    (b) Assumptions regarding capital actions. In conducting a stress 
test under Sec. Sec.  252.54 and 252.55, a covered company is required 
to make the following assumptions regarding its capital actions over 
the planning horizon:
    (1) The covered company will not pay any dividends on any 
instruments that qualify as common equity tier 1 capital;
    (2) The covered company will make payments on instruments that 
qualify as additional tier 1 capital or tier 2 capital equal to the 
stated dividend, interest, or principal due on such instrument;
    (3) The covered company will not make a redemption or repurchase of 
any capital instrument that is eligible for inclusion in the numerator 
of a regulatory capital ratio; and
    (4) The covered company will not make any issuances of common stock 
or preferred stock, except for issuances in connection with a planned 
merger or acquisition to the extent that the merger or acquisition is 
reflected in the covered company's pro forma balance sheet estimates.
* * * * *
0
10. Amend appendix B to part 252, as proposed to be added at 82 FR 
59528, by revising section 2.7 and adding section 3.4 to read as 
follows:

Appendix B to Part 252--Stress Testing Policy Statement

* * * * *

2.7. Credit Supply Maintenance

    The supervisory stress test incorporates an assumption that 
restricts the contraction of aggregate credit supply during the 
stress period. The aim of supervisory stress testing is to assess 
whether firms are sufficiently capitalized to absorb losses during 
times of economic stress, while meeting obligations and continuing 
to lend to households and businesses. While an individual firm may 
assume that it reacts to rising losses by sharply restricting its 
lending, (e.g., by exiting a particular business line), the banking 
industry as a whole cannot do so without creating a ``credit 
crunch'' and substantially increasing the severity and duration of 
an economic downturn. Ensuring that covered companies cannot assume 
they will ``shrink to health,'' serves the Federal Reserve's goal of 
helping to ensure that major financial firms remain sufficiently 
capitalized to accommodate credit demand in a severe downturn.
    Accordingly, in projecting a firm's balance sheet, the Federal 
Reserve will assume that the firm takes actions to maintain a 
constant level of assets, including loans, trading assets, and 
securities over the planning horizon. In order to implement this 
policy, the Federal Reserve must make assumptions about new loan 
balances. To predict losses on new originations over the planning 
horizon, newly originated loans are assumed to have the same risk 
characteristics as the existing portfolio, where applicable, with 
the exception of loan age and delinquency status. These newly 
originated loans would be part of a covered company's normal 
business, even in a stressed economic environment. By precluding the 
need to make assumptions about how underwriting standards might 
tighten or loosen during times of economic stress, the Federal 
Reserve adheres to Principle 1.3 and promotes consistency across 
covered companies. Similar to the Board's current methodology, 
balance sheet projections would reflect the impact of a planned 
merger or acquisition, or completed or contractually agreed-on 
divestiture.
    In projecting the denominator for the calculation of the 
leverage ratio, the Federal Reserve will account for the effect of 
changes associated with the calculation of regulatory

[[Page 18188]]

capital or changes to the Board's regulations. As with the Board's 
current methodology, leverage ratio denominator projections would 
reflect the impact of a planned merger or acquisition, or completed 
or contractually agreed-on divestiture.
* * * * *

3.4. Simple Approach for Projecting Risk-Weighted Assets

    In projecting risk-weighted assets, the Federal Reserve will 
generally assume that a covered company's risk-weighted assets 
remain unchanged over the planning horizon. This assumption allows 
the Federal Reserve to independently project firms' risk-weighted 
assets in line with the goal of simplicity (Principle 1.4). In 
addition, this approach is forward-looking (Principle 1.2), as this 
assumption removes reliance on historical data and past outcomes 
from the projection of risk-weighted assets.
    In projecting a firm's risk-weighted assets, the Federal Reserve 
will account for the effect of changes associated with the 
calculation of regulatory capital or changes to the Board's 
regulations in the calculation of risk-weighted assets. As with the 
Board's current methodology, risk-weighted asset projections would 
reflect the impact of a planned merger or acquisition, or completed 
or contractually agreed-on divestiture.

    By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve 
System, April 10, 2018.
Ann Misback,
Secretary of the Board.

[FR Doc. 2018-08006 Filed 4-24-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6210-01-P