FDIC’s Gruenberg Flags Shift in Agency’s 2022 To-Do List

Following the departure of Jelena McWilliams from the FDIC, Acting Chairman Martin Gruenberg today outlined his agency’s shift in priorities for the year ahead. Gruenberg identified five primary focus areas for the FDIC in 2022: “strengthening and enhancing” the Community Reinvestment Act through an interagency process; addressing the financial risks posed by climate change; reviewing the bank merger process, which according to Gruenberg hasn’t been addressed in 25 years; evaluating crypto-asset risk to determine the extent to which banking organizations can safely engage in crypto-asset-related activities; and implementing the capital framework commonly known as “Basel IV,” which was delayed due to the pandemic.

“While there are many pressing issues the FDIC will have to address this year,” he said, these priorities “will require close collaboration among the federal banking agencies.”

With respect to climate change, Gruenberg said the agency will seek “public comment on guidance designed to help banks prudently manage these risks, [establish]an FDIC interdivisional, interdisciplinary working group on climate-related financial risks, and [join]the international Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System.”