Our Position

Preserving the Independence of the Federal Banking Agencies and the Dual Banking System

Position

  • ICBA opposes any action that erodes the independence of the federal banking agencies.
  • ICBA supports bipartisan board oversight at the federal banking agencies.
  • ICBA strongly supports the independence of each federal bank supervisor but encourages enhanced and improved cooperation and consultation among the agencies.
  • ICBA supports preservation of the dual banking system which allows for a diversity of financial institutions and a balanced regulatory approach.

Background

Independence. Bank regulators should be objective, nonpartisan and protected from political influence. Independence helps prevent the politicization of bank supervision and regulation and avoids politically motivated direction of policies. It is essential for promoting consumer confidence in the banking system, the smooth functioning and safe and sound operation of the banking system, and in turn, the health of the national economy.

Bipartisan Oversight. Bipartisan oversight of the federal financial agencies is an important check-and-balance mechanism that provides stability between changing political administrations and prevents frequent, polarizing shifts in regulatory policies. Bipartisan boards encourage robust dialogue, diverse viewpoints, and thoughtful deliberation in policy development, and have been a core tenet of community bank oversight since 1933 when Congress created the FDIC.

Agency Cooperation and Coordination. While regulatory choice is important, interagency cooperation and coordination of efforts among the federal banking agencies is equally necessary. Congress has increasingly directed the agencies to adopt concurrent rules and policies and the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) helps foster cooperation and coordination amongst its member agencies.

While concurrent rules may take more time and effort to develop, interagency or concurrent rules offer greater acceptability and legitimacy—especially for complex or controversial issues—when the expertise and experience of each agency is brought to bear. Further, interagency rulemaking ensures institutions of similar size and complexity are subject to consistent regulation, regardless of charter.

The Dual Banking System. The dual-banking system should be preserved because it allows for a diversity of financial institutions, is sensitive to financial institutions of various complexity and size and promotes consumer choice. The dual-banking system has served our nation well for generations and helped create a unique banking structure.

Staff Contact

Christopher Cole

EVP, Senior Regulatory Counsel

ICBA

[email protected]

Jenna Burke

EVP, General Counsel, Government Relations & Public Policy

ICBA

[email protected]

Letters to Regulators and Congress

Title Recipient Date
OCC, Federal Reserve, and FDIC 01/16/24
Regulators 01/03/24
Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission 09/18/23
FDIC, Fed 01/23/23
DOJ 02/15/22
DOJ 09/30/20