Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
FHFA invites comment on all aspects of the proposed rule and will take all comments into consideration before issuing a final rule. Copies of all comments received will be posted without change on the FHFA Web site at
FHFA is an independent agency of the Federal government and was established by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), Public Law 110-289, 122 Stat. 2654, to regulate and oversee the regulated entities.
The purpose of this proposed rule is to ensure stronger regulation of the regulated entities by providing FHFA with additional, forward-looking information that will help it to assess capital adequacy under various scenarios at the regulated entities. Section 165(i)(2)(A) of the Dodd-Frank Act states in part:
A nonbank financial company supervised by the Board of Governors and a bank holding company described in subsection (a)
The annual stress test requirement contained in section 165(i)(2) of the Dodd-Frank Act applies to large financial companies that meet the total consolidated assets threshold, and that are regulated by a primary federal financial regulator. Each of FHFA's regulated entities currently has total consolidated assets of more than $10 billion and is currently subject to the annual stress test requirement. FHFA proposes expressly to retain to the Director the discretion to require any regulated entity to conduct the stress test annually if its total consolidated assets fall below $10 billion in a particular year. FHFA's proposal reflects its preliminary supervisory judgment that under some unforeseen circumstances prudential supervision of a regulated entity that has dropped below the $10 billion total consolidated asset threshold of the Dodd-Frank Act, may be enhanced by application of the stress-test regime.
Section 1238.1 of the proposed rule describes the authority and purpose of this rulemaking. As the primary federal financial regulator of the regulated entities, FHFA issues this proposed rule to implement the Dodd-Frank Act's annual stress test requirement for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and each of the Federal Home Loan Banks.
Section 165(i)(2)(C) of the Dodd-Frank Act (12 U.S.C. 5365(i)(2)(C)) requires FHFA, as a primary federal financial regulatory agency, in coordination with the Board and the Federal Insurance Office, to issue consistent and comparable regulations for annual stress testing. This requirement extends, expressly, to: (i) The definition of “stress test”; (ii) the establishment of methodologies for the conduct of stress tests (which must provide for at least three different sets of conditions, including baseline, adverse, and severely adverse); (iii) establishing the form and content of the report that the regulated entities are required to submit to FHFA and to the Board; and (iv) requiring the regulated entities to publish a summary of the results of the annual stress tests. FHFA has consulted with the Board and the Federal Insurance Office in developing these proposed regulations.
FHFA's authority to exercise its discretion to apply the proposed stress test requirements to any regulated entity that falls below the $10 billion threshold of the Dodd-Frank Act rests in its general supervisory authorities conferred by the Safety and Soundness Act and the Bank Act.
If a regulated entity is designated by the Financial Stability Oversight Council for supervision by the Board in accordance with section 113 of the Dodd-Frank Act, it would also become subject to supervisory stress tests overseen by the Board. The regulated entity would also become subject to enhanced prudential standards, and early remediation requirements, as required by sections 165 and 166 of the Dodd-Frank Act. However, some of these enhanced prudential standards and early remediation requirements may need to be tailored, by regulation or order, to address the newly covered entity's business model, capital requirements, liquidity needs, concentration risks, and other considerations.
Section 1238.2 of the proposed rule defines a number of terms used in section 165(i)(2) of the Dodd-Frank Act, including a definition of the statutory term “stress test,” as required by section 165(i)(2)(C)(i). In coordination with the Board, FHFA proposes to define “stress test” to mean “a process to assess the potential impact on the consolidated earnings and capital of a regulated entity, of different economic and financial conditions over a set planning horizon (“scenarios”), taking into account the current condition of the regulated entity and the regulated entity's risks, exposures, strategies and activities.” FHFA specifically requests public comments on this definition of “stress test.” This proposed rule also defines the following additional terms: “planning horizon,” “scenarios,” and a number of other terms.
Section 165(i)(2) of the Dodd-Frank Act directs each financial company with total consolidated assets of more than $10 billion, and that is regulated by a primary federal financial regulatory agency, to complete an annual stress test. The proposed rule would require a regulated entity to use its data as of September 30 of that calendar year, except for data related to the regulated entity's trading and counterparty exposures for which FHFA will communicate the required as of date in the fourth quarter of each year. The annual stress test would require the regulated entities to assess the potential impact of different scenarios on their consolidated earnings and capital, and other related factors, over a nine-quarter forward-looking planning horizon taking into account all relevant exposures and activities.
Section 1238.3(b) also provides that, in conducting the annual stress test, the regulated entities must use scenarios that reflect a minimum of three sets of economic and financial conditions, including a baseline, adverse, and severely adverse scenario. FHFA will define scenarios for the regulated entities, bearing in mind the key risk exposures at each regulated entity.
Section 1238.4 provides that, in conducting a stress test, each regulated entity is required to calculate how certain financial values and ratios are affected during each of the nine quarters of the stress test planning horizon, for each scenario. The financial values and ratios to be considered include: (1) Potential losses, pre-provision net revenues, allowance for loan losses, and future pro forma capital positions over the planning horizon; (2) capital levels and capital ratios, including regulatory and any other capital ratios, specified by FHFA; and (3) Market Value of Equity.
Section 1238.4(c) provides that, if FHFA determines that the stress test methodologies and practices of a regulated entity are deficient, it can require the regulated entity to use additional analytical techniques and exercises to fulfill the stress test requirement. The proposed rule provides that FHFA will issue guidance annually to describe the scenarios and methodologies to be used in conducting the annual stress test.
Section 1238.4(d)(1) requires each regulated entity to establish and maintain a system of controls, oversight, and documentation to ensure that the stress testing process is effective to meet the requirements of part 1238. Section 1238.4(d)(2) of the proposed rule would require each regulated entity's board of directors and senior management to approve, and annually review, such controls, oversight, and documentation,
Section 1238.5 would require each regulated entity, on or before January 5 of each year, to report the results of the stress test to FHFA and to the Board. This section provides that each regulated entity must file a report in the manner and form established by FHFA. FHFA expects to issue an order at the time the final stress test regulation is published that will contain the specific contents of the annual report. Section 1238.5 of the proposed rule also specifies the confidentiality requirements that govern the release of information contained in the annual report and other information required to be submitted that is related to the annual report. FHFA currently is considering that the annual report should include at least the following elements, on which comment is solicited:
• A description of scenarios used and risks covered;
• A description of data, methods and key assumptions used, and internal capital goals and targets; and
• A discussion of changes in the results from one reporting period to the next that clearly identifies primary drivers of the changes.
• Income statement (reflecting a comparable level of detail to SEC filings);
• Balance sheet (reflecting a comparable level of detail to SEC filings);
• Capital roll-forward (
• Credit summary reflecting—Charge-offs, foreclosed property expenses, credit losses, payments from private mortgage insurers (disaggregated by private mortgage insurer), Credit-related expenses, defaults, REO acquisitions, number of seriously delinquent loans, aggregate unpaid principal balance of seriously delinquent loans, seriously delinquent rate, loan modifications, and ending loan loss reserve balance;
• Market Value of Equity (as estimated by the regulated entity using observed market prices, market price estimates and model-based estimates, as appropriate).
• The sensitivity of the book value of capital and market value of equity to parallel interest rate shocks (
• The sensitivity of the book value of capital and market value of equity to other factors at the “as of” date of the stress test.
Section 1238.6 would require that each regulated entity take the results of the annual stress test into account in making any changes, as appropriate, to its capital structure (including the level and composition of capital); its exposures, concentrations, and risk positions; any plans for recovery and resolution; and to improve overall risk management. If a regulated entity is under FHFA conservatorship, any post-assessment actions would require FHFA's prior approval.
The proposed rule would require, at § 1238.7, that each regulated entity publish annually, a summary of the results of its company-run stress test within 90 days of submitting its stress test report to FHFA and to the Board. The section also identifies the minimum elements of the public disclosure.
Section 1238.8 provides that the Director may require a regulated entity with total consolidated assets below $10 billion to conduct stress testing under this part; and, from time to time, issue such guidance and orders as may be necessary to facilitate implementation of this part.
In accordance with section 165(i)(2)(C), FHFA has coordinated with both the Board and the Federal Insurance Office. The Board issued its notice of proposed rulemaking on January 5, 2012
Section 1313 of the Safety and Soundness Act requires the Director to consider the differences between the Banks and the Enterprises whenever promulgating regulations that affect the Banks. In developing this proposed rule, FHFA considered the differences between the Banks and the Enterprises, but also adhered to the statutory mandate that the regulation be “consistent and comparable” with the regulations of the other agencies. In implementing the regulation, FHFA will define scenarios for the regulated entities, bearing in mind the key risk exposures at each regulated entity.
The proposed rule does not contain any collections of information pursuant to thePaperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501
The proposed rule applies only to the regulated entities, which do not come within the meaning of small entities as defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (
Administrative practice and procedure, Capital, Federal Home Loan Banks, Government-sponsored enterprises, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Stress test.
For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Federal Housing Finance Agency proposes to add part 1238 to subchapter B, to Title 12, Chapter XII of the Code of Federal Regulations to read as follows:
12 U.S.C. 1426; 4513; 4526; 4612; 5365(i).
This part establishes requirements that apply to each regulated entity's performance of annual stress tests. The purpose of the annual stress test is to provide the regulated entities, FHFA and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors (Board) with additional, forward-looking information that will help them to assess capital adequacy at the regulated entities under various scenarios; to review the regulated entities' stress test results; and to increase public disclosure of the regulated entities' capital condition by requiring broad dissemination of the stress test scenarios and results.
For purposes of this part, the following definitions apply:
(1) Shall complete an annual stress test of itself based on its data as of September 30 of that calendar year, except for data related to the regulated entity's trading and counterparty exposures for which FHFA will communicate the required as of date in the fourth quarter of each year;
(2) The stress test shall be conducted in accordance with this section and the methodologies and practices described in § 1238.4.
(1) Potential losses, pre-provision net revenues, allowance for loan losses, and future pro forma capital positions over the planning horizon;
(2) Capital levels and capital ratios, including regulatory and any other capital ratios, specified by FHFA; and
(3) Market Value of Equity.
(2) The board of directors and senior management of each regulated entity shall approve and annually review their controls, oversight, and documentation, including policies and procedures to ensure compliance with this part.
Each regulated entity shall take the results of the stress test conducted under § 1238.3 into account in making changes, as appropriate, to the regulated entity's capital structure (including the level and composition of capital); its exposures, concentrations, and risk positions; any plans for recovery and resolution; and to improve overall risk management. If a regulated entity is under FHFA conservatorship, any post-assessment actions shall require prior FHFA approval.
(1) A description of the types of risks being included in the stress test;
(2) For each regulated entity, a high-level description of scenarios provided by FHFA, including key variables (such as GDP, unemployment rate, housing prices, foreclosure rate, etc.);
(3) A general description of the methodologies employed to estimate losses, pre-provision net revenue, allowance for loan losses, and changes in capital positions over the planning horizon;
(4) A general description of the use of the required stress test as one element in a regulated entity's overall capital planning and capital adequacy assessment. If a regulated entity is under FHFA conservatorship, this description shall be coordinated with FHFA;
(5) Aggregate losses, pre-provision net revenue, allowance for loan losses, net income, and pro forma capital levels and capital ratios (including regulatory and any other capital ratios specified by FHFA) over the planning horizon, under each scenario; and
(6) Such other data fields, in such form (
The Director may, in circumstances considered appropriate, require any regulated entity not subject to this part to conduct stress testing hereunder; and from time to time, issue such guidance and orders as may be necessary to facilitate implementation of this part.