WASHINGTON - The US Federal Reserve on Friday proposed to tighten the leash on foreign banks to protect taxpayers from having to bail them out, in what banks said could lead to a pullback from US markets.
The rules will likely make it more expensive for foreign banks to operate in America, and attorneys who work with foreign banks said that they needed to rethink whether they can maintain their current operations.
The plan would force foreign banks to group all their subsidiaries under a holding company, subject to the same capital standards as US holding companies. The biggest banks will also need to hold liquidity buffers.
"The proposal would not disadvantage foreign banking organizations relative to domestic US banking firms, but rather it seeks to maintain a level playing field," Fed Governor Jeremy Stein said at a board meeting.
Banks with fewer than $10 billion in US assets would not need to comply with the new rules, the Fed said.