House passes bills to require more reports from bank regulators

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WASHINGTON — The House passed a bill requiring prudential banking regulators to give annual testimony to the Financial Services Committee, as well as a bill that aims to bolster cybersecurity at the regulators and the financial institutions they supervise.

The Prudential Regulator Oversight Act, which was authored by Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., would also require prudential banking regulators to submit semiannual reports on supervisory and regulatory activities. The bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio, Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, and Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga.

Unlike the Federal Reserve Board, there is no current statutory requirement for officials at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the National Credit Union Administration to testify before lawmakers on a regular basis.

“These agencies are responsible for monitoring the safety and soundness of our financial system, as well as compliance with federal banking laws approved by this Committee,” said Phillips when he introduced the bill to the House Financial Services Committee in October.

The Cybersecurity and Financial System Resilience Act of 2019 was introduced by Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, and would require regulators from the Fed, the OCC, FDIC and NCUA to provide an annual report and briefings to congressional lawmakers on each of their respective cybersecurity efforts.

“While I appreciate our regulators’ growing sensitivity to cyber-related risks, we can and must do more,” McHenry said on the House floor Monday. “As the Fed acknowledged in its most recent Financial Stability Report, cyber resiliency is a potential risk for financial stability that doesn’t yet fit neatly into existing risk frameworks. This bill will help our regulators, including the Fed, incorporate cybersecurity into those risk assessments more effectively.”

Both bills passed the House by voice vote late Monday.

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