US regulators provide flexibility to banks adopting CECL in 2020

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (collectively, the agencies) are adopting a final rule that delays the estimated impact on regulatory capital stemming from the implementation of Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments—Credit Losses, Topic 326, Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments (CECL). The final rule provides banking organizations that implement CECL during the 2020 calendar year the option to delay for two years an estimate of CECL’s effect on regulatory capital, relative to the incurred loss methodology’s effect on regulatory capital, followed by a three-year transition period. The agencies are providing this relief to allow these banking organizations to better focus on supporting lending to creditworthy households and businesses in light of recent strains on the U.S. economy as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019, while also maintaining the quality of regulatory capital. This final rule is consistent with the interim final rule published in the Federal Register on March 31, 2020, with certain clarifications and minor adjustments in response to public comments related to the mechanics of the transition and the eligibility criteria for applying the transition.

Full documentation is available at https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/files/bcreg20200826a2.pdf

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