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Appendix D to Part 225--Capital Adequacy Guidelines for Bank Holding Companies: Tier 1 Leverage Measure

a. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System has adopted a minimum ratio of tier 1 capital to total assets to assist in the assessment of the capital adequacy of bank holding companies (banking organizations).1 The principal objectives of this measure is to place a constraint on the maximum degree to which a banking organization can leverage its equity capital base. It is intended to be used as a supplement to the risk-based capital measure.

1 Supervisory ratios that related capital to total assets for state member banks are outlined in Appendix B of this part.

b. The guidelines apply to consolidated basis to banking holding companies with consolidated assets of $150 million or more. For bank holding companies with less that $150 million in consolidated assets, the guidelines will be applied on a bank-only basis unless (i) the parent bank holding company is engaged in nonbank activity involving significant leverage 2 or (ii) the parent company has a significant amount of outstanding debt that is held by the general public.

2 A parent company that is engaged is significant off balance sheet activities would generally be deemed to be engaged in activities that involve significant leverage.

c. The tier 1 leverage guidelines are to be used in the inspection and supervisory process as well as in the analysis of applications acted upon by the Federal Reserve. The Board will review the guidelines from time to time and will consider the need for possible adjustments in light of any significant changes in the economy, financial markets, and banking practices.

II. The Tier 1 Leverage Ratio

a. The Board has established a minimum level of tier 1 capital to total assets of 3 percent. A banking organization operating at or near these levels is expected to have well-diversified risk, including no undue interest-rate risk exposure; excellent asset quality; high liquidity; and good earnings; and in general be considered a strong banking organization, rated composite 1 under BOPEC rating system of bank holding companies. Organizations not meeting these characteristics, as well as institutions with supervisory, financial, or operational weaknesses, are expected to operate well above minimum capital standards. Organizations experiencing or anticipating significant growth also are expected to maintain capital ratios, including tangible capital positions, well above the minimum levels. For example, most such banks generally have operated at capital levels ranging from 100 to 200 basis points above the stated minimums. Higher capital ratios could be required if warranted by the particular circumstances or risk profiles of individual banking organizations. Thus for all but the most highly rated banks meeting the conditions set forth above, the minimum tier 1 leverage ratio is to be 3 percent plus an additional cushion of a least 100 to 200 basis points. In all cases, banking organizations should hold capital commensurate with the level and nature of all risks, including the volume and severity of problem loans, to which they are exposed.

b. A banking organization's tier 1 leverage ratio is calculated by dividing its tier 1 capital (the numerator of the ratio) by its average total consolidated assets (the denominator of the ratio). The ratio will also be calculated using period-end assets whenever necessary, on a case-by-case basis. For the purpose of this leverage ratio, the definition of tier 1 capital as set forth in the risk-based capital guidelines contained in appendix A of this part will be used.3 As a general matter, average total consolidated assets are defined as the quarterly average total assets (defined net of the allowance for loan and lease losses) reported on the organization's Consolidated Financial Statements (FR Y-9C Report), less goodwill; amounts of mortgage servicing assets, nonmortgage servicing assets, and purchased credit card relationships, that, in the aggregate, are in excess of 100 percent of tier 1 capital; amounts of nonmortgage servicing assets, and purchased credit card relationships that, in the aggregate, are in excess of 25 percent of tier 1 capital; the amounts of credit-enhancing interest-only strips that are in excess of 25 percent of tier 1 capital; all other identifiable intangible assets; any investments in subsidiaries or associated companies that the Federal Reserve determines should be deducted from tier 1 capital; and deferred tax assets that are dependent upon future taxable income, net of their valuation allowance, in excess of the limitation set forth in section II.B.4. of appendix A of this part.4

3 Tier 1 capital for banking organizations includes common equity, minority interest in the equity accounts of consolidated subsidiaries, qualifying noncumulative perpetual preferred stock, and qualifying cumulative perpetual preferred stock. (Cumulative perpetual preferred stock is limited to 25 percent of tier 1 capital.) In addition, as a general matter, tier 1 capital excludes goodwill; amounts of mortage servicing assets, nonmortgage servicing assets, and purchased credit card relationships that, in the aggregate, exceed 100 percent of tier 1 capital; amounts of nonmortgage servicing assets and purchased credit card relationships that, in the aggregate, exceed 25 percent of tier 1 capital; amounts of credit-enhancing interest-only strips that are in excess of 25 percent of tier 1capital; all other identifiable intangible assets; and deferred tax assets that are dependent upon future taxable income, net of their valuation allowance, in excess of certain limitations. The Federal Reserve may exclude certain investments in subsidiaries or associated companies as appropriate.

4 Deductions from tier 1 capital and other adjustments are discussed more fully in section II.B. of appendix A of this part.

c. Whenever appropriate, including when an organization is undertaking expansion, seeking to engage in new activities or otherwise facing unusual or abnormal risks, the Board will continue to consider the level of an individual organization's tangible tier 1 leverage ratio (after deducting all intangibles) in making an overall assessment of capital adequacy. This is consistent with the Federal Reserve's risk- based capital guidelines an long-standing Board policy and practice with regard to leverage guidelines. Organizations experiencing growth, whether internally or by acquisition, are expected to maintain strong capital position substantially above minimum supervisory levels, without significant reliance on intangible assets.

d. Notwithstanding anything in this appendix to the contrary, a bank holding company may deduct from its average total consolidated assets the amount of any asset-backed commercial paper (i) purchased by the bank holding company on or after September 19, 2008, from an SEC-registered open-end investment company that holds itself out as a money market mutual fund under SEC Rule 2a-7 (17 CFR 270.2a-7) and (ii) pledged by the bank holding company to a Federal Reserve Bank to secure financing from the ABCP lending facility (AMLF) established by the Board on September 19, 2008.

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