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Hsu calls for new rules to safeguard banks' liquidity



new rules to safeguard banks' liquidity

In a noteworthy development on Thursday, (January 18, 2024) the top U.S. banking regulator, Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu, advocated for the implementation of fresh liquidity rules aimed at fortifying financial institutions against potential runs by depositors as reported by Reuters.


This recommendation comes in the aftermath of the unsettling events that led to the downfall of Silicon Valley Bank and several other mid-size banks in the preceding year, prompting regulatory authorities to reassess and refine their strategies.



Hsu's proposal, outlined in a set of prepared remarks, underscores the pressing need for mid-size and large banks to adhere to a targeted regulatory requirement ensuring they maintain adequate liquidity to withstand stress outflows over a five-day period. His statements reflect a commitment to bolstering the resilience of financial institutions in the face of unforeseen challenges and disruptions.


Speaking at Columbia University in New York, Hsu delved further into the issue, emphasizing the imperative for banks to be poised to utilize the U.S. Federal Reserve's discount window.


Despite reservations among many banks about potential market signals of weakness and the requirement for eligible collateral, Hsu suggested that prepositioning collateral at the discount window could be advantageous. This, in turn, could facilitate smoother borrowing during periods of financial stress, offering an alternative avenue for institutions to bolster their liquidity positions.



Furthermore, Hsu proposed that the regulatory framework should include provisions that clarify operational preparedness expectations related to the discount window. To ensure banks are adequately equipped to navigate stress periods, he even suggested the inclusion of a requirement for periodic test draws, underscoring the importance of proactive measures to assess and enhance the sector's overall preparedness.


In essence, Hsu's remarks signify a dynamic response to the lessons learned from the spate of bank failures in the spring of the previous year, highlighting the regulatory commitment to fortify the banking sector and instill greater stability and confidence in the financial system.



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