(Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve officials have questioned several big U.S. banks about their exposure to China Evergrande Group, joining other global regulators in examining the potential fallout from the property developer’s debt crisis.
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Troubles at Evergrande, with more than $300 billion of liabilities, spurred the Fed to seek information to head off any risks to financial stability, according to people familiar with the matter. Hong Kong’s central bank also asked lenders there to report risks tied to Evergrande, China’s largest issuer of high-yield, dollar-denominated bonds.
Read more: Hong Kong Asks Banks to Report Exposure to China Evergrande
U.S. banking supervisors routinely question lenders about their ties to struggling companies. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said last week that “there’s not a direct United States exposure,” adding that big Chinese banks also are “not tremendously exposed.”
The contagion danger had been similarly dismissed by European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, who said direct exposure in Europe is “limited.”
Powell said his main worry is “that it would affect global financial conditions through confidence channels and that kind of thing.”
A Fed spokesman declined to comment on the agency’s requests.
U.S. banks also supplied information to other regulators, including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Securities and Exchange Commission, one of the people said. An OCC spokeswoman declined to comment, and the SEC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Updates with additional U.S. agencies in seventh paragraph.)
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