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Banks to be required to hold 'liquid' assets

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) -

Federal regulators are set to require big banks to keep enough high-quality assets on hand to survive during a severe downturn, the latest move under congressional mandate to lessen the likelihood of another financial meltdown.

The Federal Reserve and two other agencies moved toward adopting rules Sept. 3 that will subject big U.S. banks for the first time to so-called "liquidity" requirements. Liquidity assures the ability for banks to access cash quickly.

The largest banks — those with more than $250 billion in assets — will have to hold enough cash, government bonds and other high-quality assets to fund operations for 30 days during a time of market stress.

Regulators also are giving banks leeway in requiring collateral from companies that use derivatives to guard against price swings.

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