What is Prompt Corrective Action?

Legal Definition
Prompt Corrective Action is a US federal law mandating progressive penalties against banks that exhibit progressively deteriorating capital ratios. At the lower extreme, a critically undercapitalized Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-regulated institution (i.e., one with a ratio of total capital / assets below 2%) is required to be taken into receivership by the FDIC in order to minimize long-term losses to the FDIC. The motivation behind the law is to provide incentives for banks to address problems while they are still small enough to be manageable. Spong (2000, pages 90–95) summarizes the details (http://www.kansascityfed.org/publicat/bankingregulation/RegsBook2000.pdf).

In an interview on Bill Moyers Journal broadcast April 3, 2009, former bank regulator William K. Black asserted that federal officials were ignoring the PCA law requiring them to put insolvent banks into receivership. The PCA law applies only to institutions insured by the FDIC and therefore would not affect, for better or worse, companies such as AIG.
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