House Dems seek details on FDIC's crisis plans following IG report
WASHINGTON — House lawmakers are calling for a briefing from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on how it will address an internal watchdog report that found weaknesses in the agency's crisis readiness.
The chairs of the House Financials Services and Oversight committees said in a letter Monday to FDIC Chairwoman Jelena McWilliams that an agency inspector general report last week raises “questions about whether the agency is prepared for the potential financial consequences from the coronavirus crisis.”
“In light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and resulting strains on the global financial system, we urge you to act immediately to establish robust crisis readiness,” wrote Reps. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.
The IG report, which was not conducted in response to the pandemic, said the agency lacks a written policy on readiness with defined roles and responsibilities for the staff tasked to respond to a crisis situation. The agency also did not train personnel to understand crisis readiness plans, the report said.
The report recommends that the agency develop an “all-hazards readiness plan that identifies the critical common functions and tasks” and that the agency document the results of its readiness plan exercises.
The lawmakers noted in their letter that the FDIC’s IG assessments from 2018 and 2019 similarly identified crisis readiness as a “top challenge” for the agency.
A spokesperson for the FDIC said the agency is willing to brief the lawmakers and has acted "with urgency" to protect the health of its staff during the pandemic while carrying out its responsibilities.
"Our 6,000 employees are working every day to protect consumers and ensure the safety and soundness of the nation’s financial system," the spokesperson said in an email.