Key officials and lawmakers are reaching a growing consensus on the need for a strong mechanism that would allow the government to dismantle troubled financial giants, the chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp said on Monday.
Sheila Bair said administration officials, top bank regulators and lawmakers all agree that so-called resolution authority needs to be a priority so financial firms do not take on excessive risk, thinking the government will save them.
We need to end 'too big to fail,' Bair said in remarks to the American Bankers Association annual convention.
The Obama administration plans to send new language to lawmakers shortly on resolution authority, which is seen as a potential deterrent to banks growing too big and complex.
The new draft bill is expected to take a tougher stance toward troubled financial firms than the administration's original plan, and may remove some language that would allow for temporary bailouts.
The strategy would make it easier for the government to oust managers, wipe out shareholders and restructure the firm's outstanding loans, an administration official said.
Bair also said she wants bank regulators to have input in the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which would have broad power to protect consumers from risky financial products such as high-interest mortgages and credit cards with excessive fees.
I'm hoping that bank regulators can have some say in those rules, Bair said.
The CFPA, as proposed, would have the power to write and enforce rules for both banks and nonbanks that provide financial services. It would strip the current bank regulators of their consumer protection roles, which Bair has opposed.
(Reporting by Karey Wutkowski, editing by Matthew Lewis)