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April 25, 2023

Treasury tightens nonbank rules after banking crisis

Further regulation of nonbank institutions is called for

U.S. Treasury and top U.S. financial regulators proposed new rules to make it easier for the Federal Reserve to designate nonbank institutions as systemically important so they can be supervised and regulated more easily.

The U.S. Treasury Secretary raised concerns about the lack of supervision currently applicable to "nonbank" financial institutions at the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) Council Meeting on April 21. As a result, Janet Yellen expressed concern over the potential for wider financial contagion to take hold when these firms experience distress periods. Any entity that does not hold a bank license but still provides specific financial services is considered a nonbank. Examples of nonbanks include venture capital firms, crypto companies, and hedge funds. Unlike traditional banking institutions, nonbanks do not receive protection from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

The FSOC released proposals today to revise existing guidance on nonbank designations and to release a new framework to enhance financial stability.

“the existing guidance, issued in 2019, created unnecessary barriers to designation.”

- Janet Yellen

Yellen said the new guidance measures remove these hurdles to major financial firms gaining nonbank status, a process that currently takes six years. According to meeting officials, the new, shorter oversight and designation process will still give regulators and institutions plenty of time to communicate and discuss details.

Additionally, the new guidance will replace the 2019-era rules with a process determining whether a company or its activities threaten U.S. financial stability. After last month's collapses of crypto- and tech-friendly banks Silvergate Bank, Signature Bank, and Silicon Valley Bank, Yellen assured investors and everyday citizens that the U.S. banking sector remains stable. Regarding the new guidance, she warned that the recent banking crisis is a clear example of why FSOC and the Fed need greater oversight and emergency provisions.

“Last month’s events show us that our work is not yet done. The authority for emergency interventions is critical. But equally as important is a supervisory and regulatory regime that can help prevent financial disruptions from starting and spreading in the first place,”

says Janet Yellen

Neil Hodgson Coyle
Neil Hodgson-Coyle
Editorial chief at TechNews180
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