The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) is recommending that some banks, such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America, make their initial capital and asset levels more aggressive than previously planned.
The changes would also allow banks to take more risk in new products and to adjust their risk profile.
The recommendations are a reflection of heightened financial worries and heightened scrutiny of banks after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate twice since last summer, sparking a sharp selloff in the stock market.
Banks have struggled to meet their capital and liquidity needs amid a surge in credit demand and the impact of a global recession, which has pushed up unemployment and wages.
“These revisions are consistent with the FSOC’s guidance that the most prudent approach to the risk-taking of assets and capital is to make more aggressive adjustments to the baseline capital level than is currently planned,” the FSC said in a statement.
Bank of America will begin to raise capital levels as much as 8 percent in 2020 and could be as high as 11 percent by the end of 2021, the FSSC said.
Wells Fargo will be able to raise its capital level from 7 percent to 9 percent.
Wells Fargo and other banks that meet the requirements could be able take on more risk through new products or investments.
More: The FSSCs recommendations could have consequences for the wider economy, which depends heavily on financial institutions for credit, according to the FSU’s Michael McPherson.
We are seeing more and more banks come forward to provide financial services to consumers and small businesses, and we expect to see them grow further in the coming years, McPherson said.
But the new guidance is likely to trigger a new round of bank-to-consumer lending, which is expected to add to the federal budget deficit and could lead to higher unemployment and economic turmoil.
As of Wednesday, the U,S.
unemployment rate stood at 7.9 percent, the lowest level in five years, and the U-6 rate stood just above 5 percent.
The U.K. is at its lowest level since April 2009.
While the Federal Reserve and Treasury have been monitoring the financial markets since early November, the central bank did not raise interest rates on Wednesday.
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Associated Press writer Chris Meore in Washington contributed to this report.