Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 30, 2009
Financial Regulators Adopt Guidance on Prudent Commercial Real Estate Loan Workouts
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) released a policy statement today supporting prudent commercial real estate (CRE) loan workouts. This policy statement, adopted by each of the financial regulators, 1 provides guidance for examiners, and for financial institutions that are working with CRE borrowers who are experiencing diminished operating cash flows, depreciated collateral values, or prolonged delays in selling or renting commercial properties. The financial regulators recognize that prudent loan workouts are often in the best interest of both financial institutions and borrowers, particularly during difficult economic conditions. This policy statement details risk-management practices for loan workouts that support prudent and pragmatic credit and business decision making within the framework of financial accuracy, transparency, and timely loss recognition.
Financial institutions that implement prudent loan workout arrangements after performing comprehensive reviews of borrowers’ financial conditions will not be subject to criticism for engaging in these efforts, even if the restructured loans have weaknesses that result in adverse credit classifications. 2 In addition, performing loans, including those renewed or restructured on reasonable modified terms, made to creditworthy borrowers, will not be subject to adverse classification solely because the value of the underlying collateral declined.
The policy statement includes examples of CRE loan workouts. The examples, provided for illustrative purposes only, reflect examiners’ analytical processes for credit classifications and assessments of institutions’ accounting and reporting treatments for restructured loans. The policy statement reiterates existing guidance that examiners are expected to take a balanced approach in assessing institutions’ risk-management practices for loan workout activities.
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council was established by the Congress in 1979 to prescribe uniform principles, standards, and report forms for the federal examination of financial institutions, to make recommendations to promote uniformity in the supervision of financial institutions, and to conduct schools for examiners. The Council has six voting members: the Comptroller of the Currency, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, a Governor of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, the Chairman of the National Credit Union Administration, and the Chairman of the State Liaison Committee. Visit the Council's Web site for press releases and information on the mission and work of the Council at http://www.ffiec.gov.
1 The financial regulators consist of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, and the FFIEC State Liaison Committee.
2 The NCUA does not require credit unions to adopt a uniform regulatory classification schematic of loss, doubtful, substandard or special mention. A credit union should apply an internal loan grade based on its evaluation of credit risk. The term "classify" within the credit union industry has typically meant "individually review to apply a percentage reserve" for ALLL purposes. As used in this statement, "classify" and "classification" in relation to a credit union’s evaluation of a credit for risk mean "grade" and "assign a credit risk grade."
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