Chamber of Commerce seeks changes to financial risk council

Mon Dec 2, 2013 4:10pm EST
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By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday called for changes to the U.S. financial risk council that could slow the process by which it designates large financial firms as "systemic," subjecting them to tougher supervision.

In a five-page list of proposed reforms, the Chamber criticized the Financial Stability Oversight Council's governance structure, saying it lacks transparency and does not give enough deference to the FSOC-member regulators who have the most expertise.

The Chamber plans to host a panel discussion on the subject on Wednesday, where several experts who have been critical in the past of the FSOC's operations will speak about systemic risk regulation.

"Structural shortcomings have been exposed," the Chamber wrote in its list of proposed reforms. "We believe important changes must be made."

The FSOC is a council of regulators created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law that is chaired by the Treasury Secretary and composed of the heads of other banking and market regulators, including the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The FSOC has the power to designate firms whose collapse could pose widespread market disruption as "systemically important financial institutions," or SIFIs. Any firm designated faces tougher capital rules and oversight by the Federal Reserve.

Each member of the council casts a vote in deciding which firms should face designation.

Earlier this year, the FSOC voted to designate General Electric Co's GE Capital, American International Group and Prudential Financial Inc.   Continued...

An American flag hangs over the exterior of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, October 9, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Segar