House panel advances bill to require annual G-SIB reports to the Fed

WASHINGTON — The House Financial Services Committee advanced legislation Wednesday that would require the largest U.S. banks to submit annual reports to the Federal Reserve about their activities, compensation structures, and environmental, social and corporate governance initiatives.

The committee voted 28-22 along party lines to advance the Greater Supervision in Banking Act, sponsored by Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass. The bill would require a host of new disclosures for all U.S. global systemically important banks.

Democrats on the committee said the legislation would give the public a better understanding of banks’ activities, while Republicans blasted the bill as a political weapon against U.S. megabanks.

“This bill puts … information in one place alongside the reports of other G-SIBs as a point of comparison,” said House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif. “Overall, this bill provides the public with clarity about the impact that these massive institutions have and whether their rhetoric matches their actions.”

Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., the top Republican on the panel, said that the bill would require banks to report new, unnecessary information.

“This is a grab bag of stuff that is really ripe politics for my progressive friends, but doesn’t actually have anything connecting it together other than sort of a shared hatred of big banks,” McHenry said. “It is not valuable to the public. … There is no similarity with these disclosures to any other regime on the planet.”

The bill would require banks to report to the Fed a host of disclosures, including information about their size and geographic footprint, trading activities, employee compensation structures, employee and board diversity, enforcement actions, whistleblower complaints, cybersecurity protocols and activities contributing to climate change, among other things.

Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., callled the new reporting requirements in the bill “redundant.”

“The data required in the bill are largely already publicly available through SEC filings, regulatory reports and other publications by the banks,” Barr said, referring to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

But Pressley said that she believes the largest U.S. banks have the resources to submit the annual reports required in the legislation.

“They have teams of lawyers on hand to track and comply with enforcement actions; they are more than equipped to comply with this provision,” Pressley said. “I have no doubt that these lawyers can copy and paste information and collect and assemble new data and make it available with very little trouble.”

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