Ally Financial Inc., majority owned by the government, was the only bank that failed to meet one of the key ratios. The test showed that Ally had 1.5% in capital set aside under a measure known as Tier 1 common ratio, which compares the bank’s common equity to its risk-weighted assets.
In a press release, Ally Financial stated that it "believes that the Federal Reserve’s analysis of Ally’s capital adequacy [...] is fundamentally flawed." In addition, Ally stated:
Ally continues to have strong capital levels and ample liquidity to support its automotive finance operations. In addition, Ally Bank continues to be a well-capitalized bank with a leading position in the market.
One thing that Ally did not mention in its press release was ResCap. Last year Ally Financial's mortgage unit, Residential Capital (ResCap), had filed for bankruptcy protection. According to this Dow Jones (via Fox Business):
Ally's potential costs tied to ResCap have grown more uncertain in recent weeks as the mortgage subsidiary's creditors have pushed the parent company to pay more money to ResCap's bankruptcy estate.
Effects on Ally Bank?
As an Ally Bank depositor, I'm not concerned with this news. As Ally stated in its press release, the bank continues to be well-capitalized. Our financial overview of Ally Bank shows an overall health rating of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas ratio of 3.47% (excellent) based on September 2012 data.
Of course, it always makes sense to stay under the FDIC limits. Ally Bank makes it easy to add POD/ITF beneficiaries to allow depositors to be insured for over $250,000. I have more details in this post.
My main concern with this news is that Ally Bank will continue to be pressured by the FDIC to lower its rates. Back in 2009 the Wall Street Journal reported that the FDIC asked Ally officials to keep the rates on deposits low enough so the bank wasn't one of the nation's top five rate payers, as measured by Bankrate.com. This came after the American Bankers Association complained to the FDIC about Ally's deposit rates. The ABA thought it was risky for Ally to be allowed to pay above-market rates since Ally was receiving government assistance.
I haven't been closely tracking Ally's ranking on Bankrate, but every time I check, Ally Bank's products always appear just under #5 on the Bankrate's tables. When I checked today, Ally's 5-year CD and savings account were #6 in the tables. Ally's 1-year CD was #8 on the table.
As I mentioned yesterday, Ally's loyalty rewards program for CD renewals can boost the CD rates so they are close to or exceed the top rates in the nation.