WASHINGTON — Policy makers need to streamline the nation's regulatory system, reducing the alphabet soup of regulatory agencies to one or two, Bank of New York Mellon Corp. Chief Executive Robert Kelly said Thursday.
Kelly, appearing at a conference in Washington, said that overlapping state and federal regulation for banks and other financial firms results in too little accountability and increases uncertainty for market participants.
"We have an antiquated system that needs to be modernized," Kelly said during a panel discussion on overhauling the regulatory system.
The Obama administration and members of Congress are just now taking the first steps toward rethinking the shape and scope of the financial regulatory system. One central question will be what to do with regulation of the banking industry, which is overseen by a handful of regulatory agencies depending on the type of bank involved.
Kelly said reducing the number of bank regulators to one or two would be more effective, and could potentially improve the overall quality of regulation.
"When you have too many regulators, you're not going to get the best and the brightest," he said.
Kelly echoed the comments made by Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan, who said policy makers need to "make more sense of this process." Dugan, whose agency regulates national banks, expressed concern that there wouldn't be enough political will to eliminate some existing agencies. He compared streamlining regulation to heaven: "Everybody wants to go there, but nobody wants to die."
In addition to improving bank regulation, Kelly said he supports the adoption of international accounting standards. Global financial institutions and the global financial system need a single standard, he said.