Financial institution regulators complied with laws requiring reports on money penalties, GAO finds

Four of the five federal financial institution regulators are named as in compliance with requirements that they report on inflation adjustments to civil money penalties (CMP), according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report issued Wednesday.

According to GAO (the congressional watchdog), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Federal Reserve Board of Governors (FRB) and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) all followed in 2018 requirements in the law that they annually submit to Congress a report assessing their compliance with the required civil monetary penalty adjustments.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which is within the Treasury Department, was not one of the 52 federal agencies reported on by GAO. Those 52 agencies, GAO, are those that could be subject to the law’s (the Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended in 2015) reporting requirements.

However, the report did name four agencies that failed to comply with the inflation adjustment requirements – including the Treasury Department. The report notes that Treasury did not publish the 2018 annual inflation adjustment amounts for two of the 65 civil monetary penalties within its jurisdiction in the Federal Register, and did not report related information in its fiscal year 2018 annual financial report (AFR). However, no office within Treasury (including the OCC) is singled out as the originator of the penalties.

Other agencies named for not being in compliance with publishing CMP inflation adjustments for 2018 were the Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, and National Transportation Safety Board.

The report notes that the four financial institution regulators that were in compliance did so under specific instances. NCUA reports annually on a calendar year basis, GAO said, and reported information about its civil monetary penalties, including the 2018 annual inflation adjustment in their calendar year 2017 annual reports, issued in June 2018 and March 2018, respectively.

FDIC, as a government corporation, is not required to report CMP information in its AFR. The Federal Reserve is required to prepare financial statements under the Federal Reserve Act, “and as such is not required to submit an AFR.”

Civil Monetary Penalties: Review of Federal Agencies’ Compliance with the 2018 Annual Inflation Adjustment Requirements