Financial Update (Third Quarter 2003)



FEATURES

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Federal Financial Regulators Seek to Reduce Regulatory Burden

What should we do differently? That’s a question federal financial regulatory agencies asked their constituents in June as they announced a joint notice and request for comment on a plan to eliminate outdated, unnecessary or unduly burdensome regulations.

The request is made as part of the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act (EGRPRA) of 1996. The federal financial regulatory agencies participating in the request are the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision. The National Credit Union Administration issued a separate request.

The Federal Reserve reviews all of its regulations every five years to revise or rescind those that are unnecessary or out-of-date; other banking regulatory agencies take a similar approach. The current EGRPRA regulatory review supplements these periodic reviews by the agencies. As part of the review, the agencies will seek comments for various regulatory categories twice a year. At present, they are seeking comment on Applications and Reporting, Powers and Activities, and International Operations.

To encourage full participation in the EGRPRA review, the regulatory agencies have scheduled several roundtable discussions with bankers and other interested parties. At the end of July, sessions had been held in Orlando, St. Louis and Denver. Sessions are also scheduled for San Francisco on Sept. 18 and for New York City on Oct. 15.

In a speech at the St. Louis roundtable discussion in June, Federal Reserve Governor Mark Olson said that “some improvements can be made by the agencies; others will require congressional legislative action. Both regulatory and congressional efforts to eliminate rules that are not needed to protect the taxpayer are worthwhile.”

Institutions or individuals wanting to provide specific comments to this request can do so in writing by Sept. 15, 2003. Instructions for submitting comments are listed in the attachment to the press release.

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