Updated: Additional Data Shows Most Banks Saying No to CBLR

As we told you last month, two out of every three community banks chose not to opt into the Community Bank Leverage Ratio. We’ve updated our numbers as more banks file their Call Reports, but the trend continues. The latest numbers show just 1,709 banks out of 5,115 have indicated they are using the new simpler capital framework, which was mandated by Congress as part of its 2018 bill that rolled back key aspects of the Dodd-Frank reforms. Regulators originally set the leverage ratio as greater than 9 percent but temporarily lowered it to greater than 8 percent for 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis. It will increase to 8.5 percent in 2021 before reaching 9 percent on Jan. 1, 2022.

The smallest banks were most likely to opt into the framework, and the largest banks were the least likely. About 41 percent of banks with assets below $100 million opted in compared to just 17 percent of banks with assets above $1 billion.

Previous Invictus Group studies found that 96 percent of banks would be better off not opting into the framework, which allows most qualifying community banks to forgo risk weighting and other capital rules. But even if a bank ignores the framework, it could be missing out on maximizing its earnings potential by not adequately stress testing the bank first.

Here’s a look at what the Call Reports show: