Regulators tells banks to prep for higher rates

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Financial regulators are telling banks to have procedures in place to minimize their risks from loans when rock-bottom interest rates start to rise.

The advisory comes from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, which includes the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision.

The advisory wasn’t meant to signal any upcoming change in interest-rate policy by the Fed.

To nurture the budding recovery, the Fed has slashed a key bank lending rate to a record low near zero, where it has been for a year. When the economy is on firm ground, the Fed at some point will start boosting rates.