Regional Banks Allowed to Increase Mortgage-Backed Securities by $100 Billion

Washington, D.C.–To help stabilize struggling mortgage markets, regional U.S. banks will be able to increase mortgage-backed securities holdings by more than $100 billion, according to the New York Times.The Federal Housing Finance Board voted Monday to allow banks in the Federal Home Loan Bank system use existing capital to increase their holdings of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities.Effective immediately, the banks will able to increase their holdings for two years. The 12 Federal Home Loan banks have been a rare liquidity source during the recent credit market tightening, offering affordable real estate loan “advances” to member banks that hold their stock.