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Release Date: October 24, 2000

For immediate release

The Federal Reserve Board today announced it is updating and streamlining the interagency program for supervising the U.S. operations of foreign banks in cooperation with other federal and state authorities involved in supervising the banks.

The changes, outlined in a letter to Federal Reserve supervisors, include sharing supervisors' Strength of Support Assessment (SOSA) rankings with the senior managers of foreign banks and the banks' home country supervisors. Also, the five current SOSA rankings, A to E, were streamlined into three rankings, 1 to 3.

SOSA rankings, which have been used since 1995, assess a foreign bank's ability to provide financial, liquidity and management support to its U.S. operations. They serve as a starting point for U.S. bank supervisors in assessing the risks of foreign banks' operations in the United States and in formulating a strategy for their supervision.

Sharing SOSA rankings "should strengthen communications with bank management, as well as enhance information sharing, collaboration and coordination between the host (U.S.) and home country authorities in the supervision of multinational banking organizations," wrote Richard Spillenkothen, director of the Board's Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation.

U.S. supervisors will continue to provide the senior management of foreign banks and their home country supervisors with ratings reflecting examinations of the foreign banking organizations' operations in the United States.

Supervisory letters are the Federal Reserve's primary means of communicating key policy directives to its supervisory staff and the banking industry. They can be viewed on the Board's web site at www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/srletters.

The supervisory letter is attached.

Supervisory Letter SR 00-14

Attachment (107 KB PDF)

2000 Banking and consumer regulatory policy

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Last update: October 24, 2000