This bill amends the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council Act of 1978 to: set deadlines for final examination reports and exit interviews of a financial institution by a federal financial regulatory agency, and establish the Office of Independent Examination Review to adjudicate appeals and investigate complaints from financial institutions concerning examination reports. The bill also requires the establishment of an independent internal agency appellate process at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for the review of supervisory determinations made at institutions supervised by the CFPB.
Why This Bill Is Against Our Values:
“H.R. 4545 would enable any bank, regardless of size, to appeal and postpone material supervisory determinations by the bank’s regulator, which include adverse determinations such as a downgrade of a bank’s rating for capital, asset quality, management, earnings, liquidity, and sensitivity to market risks (CAMELS); significant deficiencies in the institution’s Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) program; findings related to violations of various regulations; or a downgrade of a bank’s Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) rating. The bill would create a new Office of Independent Examination Review within the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (“FFIEC”) and allow depository institutions that receive such a determination to be able to appeal the determination to the review office. This bill would make it more likely that megabanks would be able to escape or delay accountability for egregious violations of federal laws protecting consumers and the economy.” (Source: Minority Views, House Report 115-589, Committee on Financial Services)
“On behalf of Americans for Financial Reform, we are writing to urge you to vote in opposition to H.R. 4545, the “Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act,” which is being considered on the House floor this week. “Examination fairness” may sound innocuous, but make no mistake—this legislation would put unprecedented new limits on the powers of bank examiners. The impact of this legislation in weakening bank supervision would be especially great at the nation’s largest banks. Its effect would be to substantially increase the risk of systemic problems, and of unfair and predatory treatment of consumers.
H.R. 4545 would grant banks the right to appeal any supervisory determination made by any bank regulatory agency, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), to a new “Office of Independent Examination Review” that is outside of any regulatory agency. Upon appeal by a supervised bank, this new office would be required to undertake a de novo review of the agency’s supervisory decision. No deference to the initial examination findings or the supervisory agency’s judgment would be required in this review.” (Source: Statement from Americans for Financial Reform)