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Final Dodd-Frank Act stress test guidance for medium firms arrives

First tests under rules to be conducted by March 31

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The Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency jointly issued on Wednesday final guidance for supervisory expectations for stress tests undertaken by financial firms whose assets total between $10 billion and $50 billion.

Such institutions, defined as medium-sized, are required to conduct yearly stress tests under rules issued by the trio of agencies back in October 2012.

This is part of the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The deadline for the first such “stress tests” is March 31.

The test rules are described by the agencies as flexible to accommodate different risk profiles, sizes, business mixes, market footprints, and complexity.

More critically, the final guidance describes general supervisory expectations for these companies' Dodd-Frank Act stress tests. It also provides examples of practices that would be consistent with expectations.

The final guidance is similar to the proposed guidance issued by the agencies in 2013. The agencies clarified certain aspects in response to comments received.

Companies with assets between $10 billion and $50 billion are not subject to the Federal Reserve's capital plan rule, the Federal Reserve's annual Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review, Dodd-Frank Act supervisory stress tests, or related data collections, which apply to bank holding companies with assets of at least $50 billion, according to the guidance released Wednesday.

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