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September 13, 2010 • Issue 10:09:01

FDIC to seek public input on financial reform rules

On Aug. 12, 2010, The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. stated it will accept public input as it prepares regulations for the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was signed into law on July 21.

Under the complex, 2,100-page law, the FDIC and the Federal Reserve are each given distinct regulatory responsibilities; the Fed, for example, is charged with devising regulations pertaining to Section 1075, "Reasonable Fees for Rules and Payment," which addresses, among other things, debit card interchange.

According to industry insiders, many other provisions of the law may also affect the acquiring section. Said provisions require notice-and-comment rulemaking and action by the FDIC or other duly appointed agencies. This reportedly reflects a level of transparency heretofore unseen, extending beyond the 1946 Administrative Procedure Act, which governs the way federal agencies propose and establish regulations.

"Transparency is always a good thing," said banking expert Travis Powers, Vice President of Partner and ISO Relations at CrossCheck Inc. "I believe consumer advocacy groups will become actively involved in the process. The question in the end will ultimately be whether they actually use that public input to create the policy changes."

According to Andrew Gray, Director of the Office of Public Affairs at the FDIC, variable timelines are associated with the required rulemaking. "We intend to move quickly through the process," he said. "We've already announced a reorganization as part of the legislation and will be moving forward through the formal rulemaking process, allowing for notice and comment, etc."

The FDIC board-approved reorganization includes the creation of a new Office of Complex Financial Institutions and Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection to help carry out its newly mandated responsibilities.

Voicing an opinion where it counts

The primary forums for federal disclosure and public input on reform policy rules are as follows:

  • The FDIC will conduct a series of roundtable discussions with outside parties on implementation issues, which will be made available for public viewing via webcast.

  • The FDIC will release bi-weekly reports listing the names and affiliations of private sector individuals who meet with senior FDIC officials to discuss provisions in the legislation open to independent or joint rulemaking. Topics discussed and new policy developments can by obtained by subscribing to https://service.govdelivery.com/service/multi_subscribe.html?code=USFDIC.

  • The public will have the opportunity to schedule meetings with FDIC staff on implementation issues. Appointments can be arranged by completing the "request a meeting" form available online at https://fdicsurvey.inquisiteasp.com/surveys/S3GJR6.

  • To consolidate public input on reform policy rules, the FDIC created a dedicated mailbox. All public comments will become part of the official record. Those deemed applicable will also be posted to the FDIC website. Email comments about financial reform implementation are being accepted at finreformcomments@fdic.gov.

  • The FDIC will also webcast all open board meetings, including those regarding regulatory reform.

For further information, visit the FDIC's dedicated financial reform page at www.fdic.gov/financialreform. The FDIC will also file chronological posting notices on proposed and final rules pertaining to the legislation at www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/federal/notices.html. end of article

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