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Inside Washington (07/13/2011)
* WASHINGTON (7/14/11)--The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), created by the Dodd-Frank Act to limit risk to the financial system, has accomplished little in its first year of existence, according to some observers (American Banker July 13). The council’s primary responsibilities are determining which nonbank financial companies are large and interconnected enough to receive heightened supervision and overseeing the Office of Financial Research, which monitors financial markets for potential systemic threats. The FSOC also assists in implementing the Volcker Rule, a Dodd-Frank provision named for former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker that limits banks’ risky investments. The council has held five meetings--another meeting is scheduled for Monday--and made early progress to curb banks’ proprietary trading and classify certain firms as “systemically important.” But overall, the 10-member FSOC has done little to make it more relevant than informal policy groups that predate it, industry observers say. The council, which includes heads of other top regulators such as the Federal Reserve Board and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., may be a lower priority for its members that run other agencies, observers said. Douglas Landy, a partner in Allen & Overy LLP, said that although the FSOC miscalculated in not taking formal action earlier, it is working without a blueprint and may need time to gel … * WASHINGTON (7/14/11)--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Wednesday outlined the agency’s approach to monitoring big banks for consumer abuses. Starting July 21, the CFPB will oversee the 111 depository institutions that have total assets more than $10 billion--80% of the banking industry’s assets. “The new consumer agency is here to make sure that markets work for American families, and our bank supervision program is a big part of that,” said Elizabeth Warren, special advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the CFPB. “Starting on July 21, we will be a cop on the beat--examining banks and protecting consumers.” The CFPB will conduct periodic examinations for most banks, the agency said. For the largest and most complex institutions, the agency said it will implement year-round supervision programs. The examination process will begin remotely in most instances. CFPB examiners will start on-site reviews at the supervised institutions to continue their work, the agency said. The CPFB will provide additional information via letter to the 111 institutions, and will conduct informational roundtables starting in early August. The agency will post the initial phase of its examination manual on its website. The manual is the field guide for examiners supervising banks and other consumer financial services companies …


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