Ensuring the continued implementation of last year’s financial regulatory reform law and continued examination of whether rules should be tailored to help financial firms serve their local communities are but two of the objectives outlined in a Senate Banking Committee agenda released Tuesday by the panel’s chairman, Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho.
In conducting “ongoing oversight,” the agenda shows, the panel will continue to monitor operations of the federal agencies within its jurisdiction – the federal bank, thrift and credit union regulators among them – and examine whether regulators are properly implementing recently enacted laws such as the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA, S. 2155). “In particular, the Committee will continue to examine whether the regulations, guidance and supervisory expectations are consistent with the intent of the sponsors of EGRRCPA,” the agenda states. “The agencies have proposed other rules to right-size regulations, and the Committee will closely monitor progress to final rules.”
The committee has a fairly broad reach, with jurisdiction over (among other offices) the Federal Reserve, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC), National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
Part of the panel’s oversight aim is to improve transparency and accountability. To that end, it says it will “continue to review the benefits of agencies that have a bipartisan commission, rather than a single director; a Congressional funding mechanism; and a safety and soundness focus.” The OCC and CFPB are the only federal financial institution regulators having a single administration rather than a bipartisan panel; and all of the financial institution supervisors are funded independently of the appropriations process.
The plan also shows the panel will conduct oversight over the Treasury and Commerce agencies tasked with national security and law enforcement missions. At Treasury, these offices include the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS); and the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, which houses the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes (TFFC), and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
As for access to credit, the committee document says the panel will “continue to examine whether regulation should be tailored for financial companies to ensure they can adequately deliver credit to local communities. Similarly, the Committee will conduct oversight when financial companies use their market power to manage social policy by withholding access to credit or services to customers and industries they disfavor.”
Also covered in the agenda are housing; capital markets; data collection, privacy, and security; credit bureaus; fintech; expiring programs (among them, the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP, currently scheduled to expire May 31); and national security.