The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently issued a proposed rule that would require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to develop, maintain and submit annual capital plans to FHFA. This requirement helps protect taxpayers by ensuring that the Enterprises properly assess their risks and maintain the appropriate level of capital.
“Today’s action is part of FHFA’s commitment to safety and soundness and protecting the housing finance system throughout the economic cycle,” said FHFA Acting Director Sandra Thompson in a statement. “The proposed rule will help ensure that the Enterprises have robust systems and processes in place to monitor and maintain proper levels of capital. Adhering to a framework similar to other regulatory capital planning frameworks will better position the enterprises, and the mortgage market, to withstand stressful economic environments.”
The proposed rule mandates that the enterprises’ capital plans include:
- An assessment of the expected sources and uses of capital over the planning horizon
- Estimates of projected revenues, expenses, losses, reserves and pro forma capital levels under a range of the enterprise’s internal scenarios, as well as under FHFA’s scenarios
- A description of all planned capital actions over the planning horizon
- A discussion of how the enterprise will, under expected and stressful conditions, maintain capital commensurate with the business risks and continue to serve the housing market
- A discussion of any expected changes to the enterprise’s business plan that are likely to have a material impact on the enterprise’s capital adequacy or liquidity
The proposed rule also incorporates the determination of the stress capital buffer into the capital planning process, and builds upon the existing supervisory expectation that the enterprises incorporate forward-looking projections of revenue and losses to monitor and maintain their internal capital adequacy.