Higher Capital Requirements
Have a Price Tag

And it’s paid by all Americans, through:


More expensive and fewer loans for families and businesses


Slower U.S. economic growth


Disruptions to key financial markets


Increasing financial risk by pushing activity outside of the regulated sector


Reduced U.S. economic competitiveness

The nation’s largest banks are strong and resilient, with significant capital that helps ensure they can support the economy in times of stress.

But despite their strong performance during the pandemic and recent banking turmoil, some are arguing their capital requirements need to increase even more. This could have serious negative consequences for lending, market liquidity, and the broad economy because consumers, communities and customers ultimately pay the price.

“Increased capital requirements can negatively impact economic growth by raising the cost of lending and reducing the availability of financing for corporations and consumers.”

Smart Bank Capital Basel Figure

A Solution Looking for a Problem

In the past two decades, the nation’s largest banks have greatly increased both the quantity and quality of capital – a cushion that helps banks absorb losses and continue to serve clients, customers, and communities. They have nearly tripled their common equity tier 1 capital, the highest quality of regulatory capital. They have also taken a number of other measures to build resiliency.

“Capital and liquidity levels at our largest, most systemically important banks are at multi-decade highs.”

Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell, January 2022

Higher capital requirements could limit banks’ abilities to support capital markets and the broader economy, and make it harder and more expensive for businesses, consumers, and investors to obtain financing.


U.S. regulators, including the Federal Reserve, need to carefully consider the impacts on consumers, the economy and our global competitiveness before increasing capital requirements for our largest banks.

Small business owner talking on phone

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