During a wide-ranging speech Tuesday on banking regulation, Federal Reserve Board Governor Laurence Meyer singled out large, complex institutions for increased scrutiny.
Several factors-including the rapid pace of consolidation, the wider scope of bank activities, and broader geographic service areas-argue for reform of the regulatory system, he said.
Mr. Meyer said the majority of banks should face less strict standards than the ones imposed on the largest banks, he said, citing capital standards as one example.
Building on a recent speech to state regulators, Mr. Meyer said there are roughly 32 "large complex banking organizations" that should be supervised intensely. That breaks down to roughly 20 U.S. banking companies and 12 based in foreign countries, he told the group Women in Housing and Finance.
The Fed plans to assign a senior supervisory official and a team of experts to each of these banks.
Starting next year, the central bank will be sharing the information it gathers on these banks with other regulators through the Banking Organization National Desktop system.
"That system should provide supervisors with both public and confidential information about an institution in a highly user-friendly way," Mr. Meyer said in the Conference of Bank Supervisors speech.
On Tuesday, Mr. Meyer also called for more disclosure about banks' internal affairs, saying the information should be made available to the market.
"I think there is a thirst for more information out there," he said. "I think if there were more information out there, it would be used by the market."
Bank supervision, he said, stands on three pillars: regulation, supervision, and market discipline. But market discipline is "the most flexible and least intrusive form of this overall framework," he said.