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Biggest banks preparing Plan B in case of fall

Published time: June 27, 2012 11:54
Edited time: June 27, 2012 15:54
The Citigroup center (AFP Photo / Justin Sullivan)

The Citigroup center (AFP Photo / Justin Sullivan)

The biggest US banks J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America are preparing plans for quick liquidation in an emergency without hurting the nation’s economy.

­The financial majors have to provide the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp and the Federal Reserve with their roadmaps by the July 1. Also some European financial institutions such as Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Credit Suisse and UBS are preparing emergency plans by this deadline. Eventually about 124 banks are expected to submit plans to the FDIC by the end of 2013.

These plans, known as living wills, are prepared under provisions of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law designed to end the practice of bailing out the major banks by the government.

Under the Dodd-Frank Act banks should consider liquidation through in two different approaches. The first one is through bankruptcy courts with banks negotiating with their creditors. While the second requires the FDIC to take control to provide harmless liquidation.

The liquidation plans follow J.P.Morgan's announcement last month that a trading debacle has cost it more than $2 billion, which aggravated concerns over the financial crisis. Last month J.P.Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon told the US Congress that the bank's wind down scenario would let it fail without a cost to taxpayers.

Meanwhile the banks and the regulators have been discussing what the plans are expected to include. The rules for creating the living wills are 74 pages long, including an explanations and comments. Experts say plans could be up to 4,000 pages long, providing details such as drafts of press releases and plans on acting in foreign jurisdictions in case of bankruptcy.