FRB, FDIC issue proposed additional and consolidated guidance for 2019 GSIB resolution plans

On Friday, June 29, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (collectively, “the Agencies”) issued proposed updated resolution planning guidance to the eight largest and complex US Banking Institutions (“GSIBs” or “firms”) in relation to how the GSIBs should develop their next iteration of the 165 (d) Resolution Plans1 which are due July 1, 2019.2 The GSIBs last submitted their 165(d) Resolution Plans in July 2017.

This proposed guidance is intended to be supplementary to the specific feedback guidance issued in December 2017,3 where the Agencies noted that firms have made progress on enhancing resolvability, including eight areas of common progress, but emphasized further action is needed to address certain shortcomings for four firms, and identified improvement areas for all GSIBs. From the proposed guidance issuance date in the Federal Register, the interested parties and the public have 60 days to provide feedback to the Agencies on the proposed guidance.
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The growing need for regulatory reporting change management processes

Historically, regulatory reporting requirements were relatively static with the changes incremental in nature. For the most part, reporting requirements were initiated by policymakers through written announcements, regulators websites, and notices in the Federal Register. The new reporting requirements typically had long lead times and the changes managed by corporate finance/ regulatory reporting functions. Because of implementation schedules and technology challenges, often the reporting solutions were siloed and tactical, involving manual processes.

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CCAR: A mixed story of surprises and more work to do

The Federal Reserve (“Fed”) released the results of its Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) for 2018 on June 28.  The results cover 35 bank holding companies (BHCs) and Intermediate Holding Companies (IHCs1) subject to the capital planning and stress test rule.  In addition to the stress test results, the conclusions on the adequacy of the capital planning process for the 18 systemic and complex firms subject to the qualitative portion of the review are also provided.2

Key Facts:

  • The Fed objected to one firm, Deutsche Bank USA, on qualitative grounds, and granted conditional non- objections for three firms, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and State Street.
  • A record number of firms, six, adjusted their dividend or stock buy-back requests to avoid objection, the so-called mulligan, exceeding the prior record of four firms making adjustments in 2015 (see below).
  • Capital planning internal controls in many instances continue to fall below the Federal Reserve’s supervisory expectations.

The prior week’s release of the Dodd-Frank Act Stress Test (DFAST) results provided more detailed information on the Fed’s stress test.  Compared to CCAR, those results exclude buybacks and capital issuances and hold past common dividends constant.  A link to our take on the DFAST results can be found here.

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CMS issues request for information on physician self-referral policy

On June 20, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a request for information (RFI) seeking public input on any undue regulatory impact or burden stemming from the physician self-referral law, commonly referred to as the Stark Law.

The RFI will be published in the June 25, 2018, Federal Register. Comments are due by August 24, 2018.

Notably, the RFI follows the inclusion of a proposal in the President’s 2019 budget proposal for a broad statutory exception to the physician self-referral law for financial arrangements under alternative payment models (APMs) and a series of industry roundtables on the self-referral law convened by the House Ways and Means Committee.

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The administration’s blueprint to lower drug prices and reduce consumer costs is likely to be a complicated game of Risk

This article originally ran in the Deloitte Center for Health Solution’s Health Care Current. Click here to subscribe.

Remember the game of Risk? My older brother and his friends used to play it for days—much to my annoyance because I didn’t understand it and wasn’t allowed to play with them. Multiple players sit around a board game making strategic moves that are part diplomacy and part conquest. The game is based on some fairly simple rules, but it incorporates a lot of complex interactions. Setting and negotiating drug prices has always reminded me of a complicated board game where multiple players make strategic moves to reach the end of the game—and patients, much like me as a little sister, do not understand and can’t play the game.

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2018 Dodd-Frank Act Stress Test (DFAST): Our take

The Federal Reserve (“Fed”) released the results of its Dodd-Frank Act Stress Tests (DFAST) that measure the potential impact of adverse or severely adverse economic conditions on the performance and condition of the 35 Bank Holding Companies (BHCs) and Intermediate Holding Companies (IHCs)1 subject to the rule.  These results will be followed on June 28, 2018 by the Fed’s conclusions regarding the adequacy of bank capital plans as evaluated through the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR).

Key takeaways for the severely adverse scenario results include:

  • All firms exceeded minimum required capital under stress for the fourth year in a row.
  • This year’s test had a higher stress impact than previous years resulting in lower post-stress minimum capital levels, reversing an improving trend. The increase in stress was evidenced by:
    • Higher loss rates on loans (6.4% vs 5.8%)
    • Higher global market shock (GMS) losses (up 22%)2
    • Lower offsetting tax benefits in loss and recovery periods from the new tax law (32 basis points (bp) on risk-weighted assets (RWA) on average)
    • Declines in other comprehensive income (OCI) (30bp on RWA in aggregate)
  • These more stressful results were somewhat offset by lower growth in risk-weighted assets and higher pre-provision net revenue.
  • Impact from changes in law. In response to provisions in the recently passed regulatory relief legislation (S.2155, Economic Growth, Regulatory Reform, and Consumer Protection Act (“EGRRCPA”)), the Fed excluded the three firms below the $100 billion asset threshold3, and announced they would also exclude those firms from the CCAR results.
  • The supplementary leverage ratio was more constraining than last year. For most firms, post-stress supplemental leverage ratios were closer to minimum levels than last year and all firms exceeded the minimum ratio of 3.0 percent.

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Federal Reserve Board announces final rule to establish SCCL for US BHCs and FBOs – do you know your counterparty exposure?

On June 14, 2018, the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) unanimously voted to pass the final rule to establish single-counterparty credit limits (SCCL) for covered large US bank holding companies (BHCs) and foreign banking organizations (FBOs). The final rule, which aims to limit the amount of exposure that large banks can maintain with a single counterparty, is generally aligned with the proposed rule issued in March 2016. Also, the rule represents the first instance of the FRB applying the new enhanced prudential standard (EPS) thresholds to specific classes of institutions as prescribed in the recently passed regulatory relief legislation (S.2155, Economic Growth, Regulatory Reform, and Consumer Protection Act).1

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Labor Department issues final rule to expand availability of association health plans

On June 19, 2018, the Department of Labor issued a final rule that changes the definition of “employer” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in an effort to make association health plans (AHPs) more broadly available to small employers and their employees. The final rule is scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on June 21, 2018.

ERISA is the 1974 federal law that generally regulates health coverage offered by large employers and pre-empts state insurance requirements for self-funded coverage.

The final rule will make it possible for more small employers and their employees to join AHPs, which generally are considered large group health plans that are not subject to insurance market requirements for small group and non-group health insurance products that were enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). For example, AHPs would be exempt from requirements for small group and individual market policies to cover the ACA’s 10 essential health benefits.

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In response to proposals for new payment models, HHS declines to advance any for future testing

On June 13, 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released responses by Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to the comments and recommendations of the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) on a dozen proposals for physician-focused payment models (PFPMs) reviewed by the committee, and sent to HHS between October 2017 and May 2018. HHS did not accept any of the proposals for broader implementation.

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Key highlights of the Volcker Rule proposal

On May 30, 2018, the Federal Reserve Board approved a 373 page notice of proposed rulemaking (the “proposal”) to amend the regulations implementing the Volcker Rule (the Rule), a centerpiece of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”).  The proposal aims to simplify and tailor the compliance requirements of the Rule, which was finalized back in December 2013 to prevent banks from engaging in proprietary trading and from owning hedge funds or private equity funds. The proposed changes were jointly developed and approved by the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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