The Federal Reserve, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo: What You Need to Know Right Now

Last week, the Federal Reserve delivered results from the Dodd-Frank stress tests, which showed that all but one of the 18 banks tested have balance sheets that are battle-ready for a severe economic downturn. Today, the Fed released the results from the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review -- better known as the CCAR.

What does this mean for the nation's biggest banks? It means the difference between whether or not they'll be able to raise dividends and spend money on share buybacks.

For specifics on what the capital plans were, we'll have to wait for the individual banks to let us know. But for now, we do know which plans the Fed approved, and which got a thumbs-down.

Source: The Federal Reserve.

While it's not all that surprising that Ally Financial was shot down, BB&T's rejection is a bit of a shocker. On the approval side, Wells Fargo  got a thumbs-up, as did Citigroup  -- which revealed last week that it was only asking for a small-ish share buyback and no dividend increase. 

Bank of America  was approved as well. Given that both Wells Fargo and B of A's minimum tier 1 common ratio was lower with capital actions versus what we saw from the Dodd-Frank tests last week, it's reasonable to assume that they both asked for -- and were given the go-ahead for -- capital distribution plans.

Keep your eyes peeled for news from these banks, Fools; there may be some capital coming your way.

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Matt Koppenheffer owns shares of Bank of America. The Motley Fool recommends Wells Fargo. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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