Fed’s Quarles: Basel Participation Facilitates Tailored Regulation

The U.S. financial system, including community banks, benefits from its regulators’ participation in the Financial Stability Board, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles told the Utah Bankers Association today. The FSB is a Basel, Switzerland-based group of regulators from around the globe that coordinates principles for systemic risk supervision.

Prior to the financial crisis, regulators had little information about “systemic financial vulnerabilities . . . particularly for conditions outside the United States,” Quarles said. “We also failed to appreciate the ways in which the shadow banking system that had grown up outside the institutions we oversaw had become interconnected with those institutions.”

Today’s FSB processes provide a much more robust view of risk, Quarles added, and clearer information facilitates tailored regulation. “Appropriately reducing the regulatory burden for community banks is possible when we can get an accurate picture of the risks and vulnerabilities in the broader financial system,” he said. “Tailoring does not mean abandoning our responsibility to promote a stable financial system, but embracing it, assisted by FSB efforts to ensure that reforms are having the intended effects and supported by the global standards that the FSB and other international standard-setting bodies are able to establish and promote.”