Friday, August 03, 2012

House-Senate Legislation Would Deprive FSOC of the Authority to Designate Hedge Funds and Other Non-Bank Financial Institutions as Systemically Important

Senator David Vitter (R-La.) and Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) have introduced companion bills in the Senate, S 3497, and House, HR 6317, that would remove the authority of the Financial Stability Oversight Council to designate insurance companies, hedge funds and other non-bank financial institutions as systemically important financial institutions under Title 1 of the Dodd-Frank Act. As required by Dodd-Frank, the FSOC published a rule that would designate non-bank financial companies as systemically important financial institutions. According to Senator Vitter and Rep. Garret, the rule is unclear and provides no understanding about what standards will be used to make these designations. Non-bank financial companies chosen by the FSOC will be subjected to enhanced regulation by the Federal Reserve Board. In recent testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner indicated that the FSOC designations of non-bank financial institutions as systemically important would happen this year.  Senator Vitter is a member of the Banking Committee and Rep. Garret is Chair of the House Capital Markets Subcommittee.