Senators introduce bill to increase transparency in bank exams

Two senators today introduced legislation they said would create a fair appeals process for banks and increase transparency in the bank examination process. The Fair Audits and Inspections for Regulators’ Exams Act, sponsored by Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), would establish an appeals process to resolve disagreements between banks and regulators by hiring an independent director to review appeals. Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) have signed on as co-sponsors.

The FAIR Exams Act would require regulatory agencies to issue timely responses to bankers during the examination process, according to the sponsors. It would require the Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council to make available upon request the information relied upon for determinations. It would also create an independent examination review director within the FFIEC to address examination complaints and procedures as well as provide financial institutions with the right to seek review of supervisory determinations with the director.

In a statement, American Bankers Association President and CEO Rob Nichols said the FAIR Exams Act was a bipartisan bill that would bring clarity to the examination process and provide due process for community banks. “By ensuring greater transparency for banks and greater accountability for examiners, this bill will make the examination process fairer and our financial system stronger,” he said.