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Bank Regulators Urge Firms to Aid Customers in Sandy Wake

Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Banking regulators including the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. encouraged financial institutions to help customers in regions harmed by Hurricane Sandy.

Banks should take “all reasonable and prudent steps” to help borrowers’ cash and financial needs knowing that such efforts “will not be subject to examiner criticism,” the regulators said in a statement today in Washington.

The statement from the Fed, FDIC, National Credit Union Administration and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said such steps may include modifying loans, waiving ATM fees, increasing ATM withdrawal limits or easing restrictions on cashing out-of-state checks.

Such steps “could help customers recover financial strength and contribute to the health of the local community and the long-term interests of institutions and their customers when undertaken in a prudent manner,” the regulators said. The actions “may not be feasible or desirable for all institution,” they said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joshua Zumbrun in Washington at jzumbrun@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net

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