June 24, 2014

House members push for FSOC open meetings

June 25, 2014 – Several Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee pushed Treasury Secretary Jack Lew Tuesday on the issue of Financial Stability Oversight Council transparency during a hearing on the state of the council.

Lew testified on the council's annual report, which also addresses the state of housing finance reform and the potential impact of student-loan debt on home and car buying. He will also testify today before the Senate Banking Committee.

During Tuesday's hearing, Republicans pushed for H.R. 4387, a NAFCU-supported measure that would make FSOC meetings open. Lew responded that he did not believe it was appropriate for members of the public to attend the meetings and that the council was already transparent.

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W. Va., argued that the $50 billion threshold for financial institutions to be considered "systematically important financial institutions," or SIFIs, is arbitrary. She said the threshold should be based instead on business activity.

NAFCU Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt wrote the committee leaders in advance of Tuesday's hearing. She reiterated the association's call for better coordination of rulemaking among federal financial institution regulators and sharing of information about domestic financial services policy development, examinations, reporting requirements and enforcement.

The FSOC includes as voting members the top regulators at NCUA, the Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, CFPB, Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission.