Legislative Activity

House Financial Services Committee to Discuss Oversight of FSOC

Following the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s (FSOC) unanimous decision on September 4 to preliminarily designate MetLife as a “systemically important” nonbank financial institution, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing to discuss oversight of the agency. Various lawmakers have set forth proposals that would alter the FSOC’s structure or limit its ability to make designations, but such proposals have yet to be enacted into law. According to Representative Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Chairman of the Financial Services Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee, the FSOC’s behavior is “irresponsible and inappropriate…and only strengthens my resolve to reform the out of control” council.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, September 16: The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing titled “Examining the State of Small Depository Institutions.”
  • Wednesday, September 17: The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing titled “Oversight of the Financial Stability Oversight Council.”
  • Wednesday, September 17: The Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy will hold a hearing titled “Who is the Economy Working for? The Impact of Rising Inequality on the American Economy.”
  • Thursday, September 18: The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing titled “Assessing and Enhancing Protections in Consumer Financial Services.”

Regulatory Activity

Financial Regulators Continue Work to Finalize Dodd-Frank Rules

On Tuesday, September 9, the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing to discuss the progress of rulemakings required under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) and the implementation of such requirements. Governor Daniel Tarullo noted that the Federal Reserve will focus on the financial sector concentration rule and that regulators are in the “home stretch” with respect to the risk retention rule.  Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman Martin Gruenberg indicated that the FDIC is also working with the Federal Reserve on the long-term debt rule. Additionally, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray stated that the CFPB will continue to work on the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) implementation. At the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Chair White noted that the SEC will focus on finalizing rulemakings related to over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives and executive compensation. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Timothy Massad indicated that the CFTC will consider a rule for special entities to address certain end-user concerns, as well as work on a re-proposal of the margin rule, though it is unlikely to be finalized this year. Notably, the CFTC will hold an open meeting this Wednesday, September 17, to consider a proposed rule on margin requirements and a final rule on utility special entities.

CFTC Announces Sponsors of Advisory Committees

The CFTC recently announced the sponsors of the agency’s Advisory Committees, which were created to seek input and make recommendations to the Commission on a variety of regulatory and market issues the affect the integrity and competitiveness of U.S. markets.  The sponsors are: (1) Chairman Timothy Massad, Agricultural Advisory Committee; (2) Commissioner Chris Giancarlo, Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee; (3) Commissioner Mark Wetjen, Global Markets Advisory Committee; and (4) Commissioner Sharon Bowen, Market Risk Advisory Committee. The Technology Advisory Committee, previously led by recently-departed Commissioner Scott O’Malia, will be sponsored by other Commissioners on a six-month rotating basis until the Senate confirms a fifth Commissioner.  Commissioner Wetjen will be the first sponsor of the Committee.