New FDIC Chairwoman Signals Openness to Revamp Capital Rules

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairwoman Jelena McWilliams is adding momentum to the push to revisit rules adopted after the financial crisis, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article.

In her first interview since being sworn in June 2018, McWilliams stated that she is ready to re-evaluate rules on bank capital, small-dollar loans and investments in low-income areas. Her top priorities are examining the regulatory burden on small banks, speeding up her agency’s review of bank-charter applications and helping banks introduce new financial products for underserved communities, Wall Street Journal reports.

“I think it is appropriate for the three banking agencies to sit down and take a look at the capital [rules] with a new eye,” she said, adding that rules for both small and big banks should be on the table. “Is it doing what we intended for it to do?”

She declined to take positions on rule changes proposed before her arrival, such as an April 2018 proposal to loosen the leverage ratio capital rule, which requires banks to maintain minimum levels of equity funding as percentage of assets.

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