Tuesday, January 27, 2015

With Judicial Challenge Looming, FSOC Will Be Under Scrutiny from House Panel

Against the backdrop of a judicial challenge to the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s (FSOC) designation of Met Life, Inc. as a systemically important financial institution (SIFI) under the Dodd-Frank Act, the House Financial Services Committee said that it would conduct significant oversight of the FSOC this year to assess its effectiveness in carrying out its statutory responsibility to make financial markets more stable and resilient and to ensure that it conducts its deliberations with an appropriate level of transparency.

Similarly, the Committee’s oversight plan indicated that the Committee will conduct oversight of the Office of Financial Research, which supports FSOC, to ensure that the OFR is transparent and accountable, that it makes progress towards fulfilling its statutory duties, that its requests for data are not unduly burdensome or costly, and that the confidentiality of the data that it collects is strictly maintained.

FSOC determined that the occurrence of material financial distress at MetLife could pose a threat to U.S. financial stability, hastening to add that this does not constitute a determination that the company is currently experiencing, or is likely to experience, material financial distress. MetLife has challenged the SIFI designation in federal court.