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Big foreign banks in US get extension for 'living will' plans

[WASHINGTON] Four big foreign banks with large American operations are being given an extra year to detail plans on how they would sell or liquidate the assets of their US subsidiaries if they were to fail, regulators said on Wednesday.

Barclays PLC, Deutsche Bank AG, UBS Group AG and Credit Suisse Group AG will have until July 2017 to submit their resolution plans, or "living wills," to US government regulators. The previous deadline had been next month.

The regulators granted the extension because the banks are in the process of simplifying their organizational structures under a separate rule, the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said in separate statements.

The banks must satisfy that intermediate holding company requirement, set by the Fed, by July 1. The result of that process will affect foreign banks' living wills plans, regulators said.

The living will process is required by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law passed in 2010 in response to the financial crisis, and is intended to protect US taxpayers from having to bail out failing banks.

The law requires bank holding companies based in the United States with more than US$50 billion in assets, including subsidiaries of foreign banks, to meet more stringent standards for safety and soundness.