Sinema’s Bipartisan Bill Increases Transparency and Congressional Oversight of Bank Regulators

Apr 21, 2023

Following the Federal Reserve’s apparent failure to appropriately supervise Silicon Valley Bank, Sinema’s bipartisan legislation allows Congress to receive information on federal regulators’ activity and conduct regular congressional oversight

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema introduced the bipartisan Financial Regulators Transparency Act – alongside Republican Senator Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) – that increases transparency and allows congressional oversight of the Federal Reserve and other banking regulators’ activities around bank supervision, examination, and regulation. The Senators’ bill follows federal regulators’ apparent failure to identify clear mismanagement ahead of the Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank collapse.
“Following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, it’s clear that federal regulators missed clear signs of bank mismanagement and risky behavior. We’re increasing transparency and congressional oversight of federal banking regulators to ensure they do their jobs, hold bad actors accountable, and restore Americans’ confidence in our banking system,” said Sinema.
The Senators’ bipartisan bill represents a commonsense step to increase oversight of federal regulators to ensure they do their jobs and restore trust in the banking system. Specifically, the bill subjects regional Federal Reserve Banks to congressional FOIA requests, allows members of Congress to obtain ethics-related information from regulators, and makes the Federal Reserve Inspector General a presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed position. The bill accomplishes these goals while clearly preserving the Federal Reserve’s independence when setting monetary policy.
Sinema’s cosponsorship of the Financial Regulators Transparency Act follows her bipartisan letter questioning the Federal Reserve about clear warning signs – including bank leadership’s clear failure to appropriately manage customer deposits – it missed as part of its responsibilities to conduct oversight and examinations ahead of Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse. Sinema also cosponsored the Deliver Executive Profits on Seized Institutions to Taxpayers (DEPOSIT) Act – legislation that would claw back profits made by bank executives on the sale of stocks and compensation bonuses earned within 60 days of a bank failure.