McWilliams outlines initiatives, objectives for her agency in 2019

Improving the de novo application process, reviewing brokered deposits regulations, simplifying capital requirements, tailoring regulations, and refining the resolution process for large institutions are among the initiatives the chairman of federal insurer of bank deposits cites that she has taken during her seven months in office.

However, she indicated, the agency has no plans to ease up on robust supervision. “Rest assured, if you try to sweep dirt under the rug, we will find it,” Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Chairman Jelena McWilliams said Friday.

In remarks to a meeting of the American Bar Association (ABA) in Washington, McWilliams laid out seven objectives for her agency:

  • ensure that insured institutions are safe and sound;
  • provide clear rules of the road;
  • be consistent in application of regulation;
  • be fair, effective, and holistic in the consideration of regulatory issues;
  • be timely and contemporary in providing feedback;
  • respect the business judgment of an institution’s management team; and
  • promote an open, two-way dialogue between the regulated and the regulators.

Along those lines, however, she reiterated several policies the FDIC is pursuing, along with other federal regulators:

  • Supervisory guidance documents are not the same as rules, and should not be treated as such.
  • A key priority of hers is to substantially simplify the capital requirements for community banks.
  • Tailoring the risk-based capital rules for community banks that do not qualify for the Community Bank Leverage Ratio (CBLR) is being pursued jointly with other federal regulators.
  • Her agency, partnering with other regulators, is pursuing an examination modernization project that is exploring ways to use technology in the exam process, without compromising on quality.

Remarks by Jelena McWilliams, Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation at the American Bar Association Banking Law Committee Annual Meeting, “Principles of Supervision”; Washington, D.C.