FDIC’s McWilliams Focusing on Promoting Innovation, Simplifying Supervision

The FDIC is pivoting to focus on innovation and simplicity in supervision, FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams told attendees at the American Bankers Association’s Annual Convention in New York today. She announced that the agency will join other federal regulators in opening an innovation office to focus on helping bankers stay on the technological forefront.

“How can we bring that [back] within the banking sector?” she asked, adding that when financial innovation happens outside of the regulated banking sector, it becomes harder to understand broader systemic risk. “We can’t talk about financial stability or systemic risk without looking at the system as a whole.”

McWilliams also discussed her efforts to streamline supervision, which “we have made very complicated for banks that are not.” She said she expects the agencies to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking or an advance NPR on the long-awaited leverage ratio for highly capitalized banks by the end of the year. She added that she has streamlined the FDIC management reporting structure and that the agency has withdrawn hundreds of financial institution letters that have been made obsolete.