Florida banks seek reprieve from new capital rules-WSJ

July 13 (BestGrowthStock) – Banks in Florida are requesting that
U.S. federal regulators exempt them from mandatory higher
capital requirements because they are struggling to cope with
the BP (BP.L: )(BP.N: ) oil spill, the Wall Street Journal said.

On Monday, Florida Bankers Association President Alex
Sanchez wrote to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) Chairman
Sheila Bair and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke requesting
a reprieve, the Journal said.

Sanchez has asked that all local banks — already weakened
by the real-estate crisis — be granted a twelve-month break
from higher capital requirements, loan appraisals and new
regulatory sanctions.

“Unless we work together in giving our banks more time to
work through this oil crisis” more financial institutions will
go under, Sanchez said in the letter, obtained by the Journal.

Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, regulators granted
banks in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas a three-year
waiver from loan appraisal regulations but did not offer a full
exemption from capital requirements, according to the paper.

“This oil spill crisis will decimate our communities, first
in the Panhandle and then around the state as the oil spill
spreads. Furthermore, no one knows how long this will last,”
Sanchez said.

Florida Bankers Association could not immediately be reached
for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours.
(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Louise
Heavens)

Florida banks seek reprieve from new capital rules-WSJ