Federal financial regulators, separately but united, announce proposal codifying supervisory guidance

A proposal outlining and confirming federal financial institution regulators’ use of supervisory guidance for regulated institutions was issued for a 60-day comment period, the regulators announced Thursday.

In individual press releases, the federal banking agencies, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) all announced that their agencies all issued the proposal for comment.

Action by the NCUA Board on Wednesday cleared the way for the five agencies to make the announcement. At a rare, second monthly meeting, the credit union regulator board agreed to issue the proposal, which the other agencies had agreed to do the week before (for example, the FDIC Board agreed to issue the proposal at its meeting Oct. 20).

In a nutshell, the proposal would codify an interagency statement issued by all of the agencies in September 2018. That statement was intended to make clear that, unlike a statute or regulation, supervisory guidance does not have the force and effect of law. “Supervisory guidance does not have the force and effect of law, and the agencies do not take enforcement actions based on supervisory guidance,” the 2018 statement read.

Role of Supervisory Guidance