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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Fed, Treasury announce $2.3 trillion loan facilities

Federal Issues SBA Department of Treasury Federal Reserve FDIC OCC CARES Act Covid-19

Federal Issues

On April 9, the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) and the Department of Treasury (Treasury) announced actions to enhance liquidity in the financial system, including the expansion of recently initiated facilities and the launch of several new lending facilities. (See Fed press release here). As previously covered by InfoBytes, on March 23, Treasury announced the creation of three facilities to provide liquidity to the financial system: (i) the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF); (ii) the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility (PMCCF); and (iii) the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF). To increase the flow of credit to consumers and businesses, the TALF will expand purchases to include “highly rated newly issued collateralized loan obligations and legacy commercial mortgage-backed securities as eligible collateral.” Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin approved a $10 billion equity investment in TALF, and—pursuant to the CARES Act—a $75 billion equity investment in PMCCF and SMCCF, which together are expected to provide up to $850 billion in credit. (See the TALF term sheet here, the PMCCF term sheet here, and the SMCCF term sheet here.)

Three new facilities approved by Secretary Mnuchin to support the flow of credit include the Paycheck Protection Program Lending Facility (PPPLF), the Main Street Business Lending Program, and a Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF) to support the flow of credit in the economy. Pursuant to the CARES Act, the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides funding for small business loans so that they are able to pay their employees. The PPP will benefit from the PPPLF, which will provide liquidity to banks originating the PPP loans through term financing, and will then hold the PPP loans as collateral at face value. To advance the use of the PPPLF, the Fed, OCC, and FDIC issued an interim final rule, the “Regulatory Capital Rule: Paycheck Protection Program Lending Facility and Paycheck Protection Program Loans,” which is effective immediately. The interim final rule ensures that lending banks are able to “neutralize the regulatory capital effects of participating in the facility.” In addition, the CARES Act provides that SBA PPP loans “will receive a zero percent risk weight under the agencies’ capital rule.” Comments on the rule must be received within 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. (See the PPPLF term sheet here.)

Treasury, through CARES Act funds, will provide $75 billion in equity to the Main Street facility, which will support the Main Street Lending Program with funding for up to $600 billion in loans to small and mid-sized businesses. The program extends four-year loans with deferred principal and interest payments for one year. Originating banks retain 5 percent of the Main Street loans, and sell 95 percent of the loans to the Main Street facility. Borrowers seeking Main Street loans “must commit to make reasonable efforts to maintain payroll and retain workers.” (See the Main Street New Loan Facility here, and the Main Street Expanded Loan Facility here.)

Finally, the Fed will establish an MLF to support liquidity to state and local governments. The MLF will provide up to $500 billion for which Treasury will provide credit protection of $35 billion to the Fed with CARES Act funding. (See the MLF term sheet here).

Secretary Mnuchin stated that “[t]he combination of these facilities will provide up to $2.3 trillion in new financing to support American workers by helping American businesses preserve jobs, sustain operations, and continue to serve their customers.” Likewise, the Fed asserted that it “will continue to seek input from lenders, borrowers, and other stakeholders to make sure the program supports the economy as effectively and efficiently as possible while also safeguarding taxpayer funds.”

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