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The recent banking crisis has left the US Treasury seeking to tighten nonbank rules to strengthen the financial system’s stability. According to Janet Yellen, the Treasury Secretary, nonbank institutions pose a systemic risk to the US economic stability, hence the urgent need for further regulation.

Nonbank institutions, including hedge funds, private equity firms, and insurance companies, have grown significantly over the past decade. Hence, they now account for a significant portion of operations across the US financial system.

Simplifying Oversight Of Nonbank Financial Institutions

The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) Council Meeting on April 21 saw the United States Treasury and several top financial regulators propose novel regulations that would simplify the process for the Federal Reserve to define nonbank organizations as significant firms. This would make it easier for regulators to supervise and regulate them.

During the meeting, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed concerns over the activities of nonbank financial institutions. Part of her concerns was their lack of oversight and the possibility of a more extensive financial contagion when these firms experience periods of distress.

“nonbank” refers to entities that offer financial services without bank licenses. Examples of nonbanks include crypto companies, venture capital firms, and hedge funds. Unlike traditional banks, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation does not insure these entities.

In 2019, guidance was issued for their designation process, which resulted in unnecessary obstacles. Janet Yellen announced that new guidance measures would eliminate these hurdles and streamline the design of major financial firms as nonbanks, which currently takes up to six years.

Per the statements from the discussion, the revised, straightforward process of regulation and classification will permit the regulators and institutions to have ample time for communication and deliberation on the details. Furthermore, the updated guidelines will substitute the rules of 2019 with an evaluation procedure.

During this evaluation, the council will ascertain whether the “substantial financial precariousness of the company or its undertakings may present a danger to the financial stability of the United States.”

US Banking Sector Remains Strong Despite Recent Crisis – Yellen

Last month, several banks and crypto-friendly financial institutions, including Silvergate Bank, Signature Bank, and Silicon Valley Bank, collapsed. The manner of their collapse caused concern among investors and ordinary citizens.

Surprisingly, Janet Yellen emphasized that the US banking sector is still secure and robust despite the crisis, which has been the worst since 2008. However, she acknowledged the need for greater oversight and emergency provisions, citing the recent banking crisis as a perfect example of why the Fed should have more regulatory authority.

According to Yellen, having a supervisory and regulatory regime is crucial to preventing financial disruptions. Yellen’s statement confirms that more work must be done to stabilize the nation’s fledgling banking sector.

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