Fed directs 8 biggest US banks to hold extra capital to reduce chance of future bailouts

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Federal regulators are directing the eight biggest U.S. banks to hold capital at levels above industry requirements, to cushion against unexpected losses and reduce the chances of future taxpayer bailouts.

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The Federal Reserve's action coming Monday means the eight banks together will be required to shore up their financial bases with about $200 billion in additional capital. The requirements also are aimed at encouraging the Wall Street mega-banks to shrink so they pose less risk to the financial system. The banks include JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America.

JPMorgan is the only one that doesn't already meet the requirements. It currently falls about $12.5 billion short, according to Fed officials.

The Fed governors were voting at a public meeting to impose the so-called "capital surcharges" on the eight banks.