McWilliams Credits Banks’ Strong Capital, Liquidity for Strong Pandemic Performance  

Speaking at a virtual event today, FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams acknowledged banks’ strong response to the coronavirus pandemic—from their quick pivot to remote operations to meeting the credit needs of the communities they serve.

“Financial institutions have found a way to turn on a dime—in the midst of a global pandemic—and work remotely during one of the most volatile periods in our financial history,” McWilliams said, noting that the crisis emphasized the importance of technology and operational resilience. “Far too often we speak of technology as an operational risk.  But technology is also an operational enabler—providing capacity, redundancy, and access.  We must foster innovation and embrace technological innovation by managing associated risks, not running from them.  Our banks, businesses, and consumers will be the beneficiaries.”

McWilliams also said that “banks’ capital and liquidity strength—and regulatory flexibility—were central to these institutions serving as a source of strength during this year’s volatility,” and noted that the regulatory response to the crisis was aimed at “prudently providing flexibility in the rules without compromising safety and soundness. Banks need robust levels of capital and liquidity to avoid failure, serve their clients and communities, and keep our economy functioning. When shocks come though, they also need flexibility to put those resources to work to stabilize the economy and improve the recovery.”