The Financial Stability Oversight Council is likely to reveal early next year where its regulation of the asset management industry is headed, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Monday.
Lew serves as chair of the FSOC, the collective of financial regulatory agency heads established by the Dodd-Frank financial reform act to try to bring collective thinking and action to prevent another crisis in the financial system.
At an FSOC session, Lew and Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen defended the council’s entry into asset management oversight.
Yellen said it is appropriate for FSOC to explore the risk of asset management companies and activities since the industry is playing an increasing larger role in the financial sector.
Lew noted that just because FSOC is looking for dangerous systemic risks within asset managers, it doesn’t mean the agency will find any.
If the agency didn’t probe for systemic risk in the sector, it would be shirking its responsibility, he argued.
Congressional Republicans and members of their party on the commission have argued that the FSOC has barged into the Security and Exchange Commission’s turf on asset management oversight. They argue that the SEC is the regulator of mutual and private funds and that the agency’s staff has more expertise on the industry than do the other regulators.
In late October, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing that was basically an hours-long attack on FSOC for the alleged improper intrusion.
Both the sole Republican on the commission, Michael Piwowar, and the recently departed Republican commissioner, Daniel Gallagher, have repeatedly criticized the FSOC for usurping SEC authority in this area.
On cyber security, another issue addressed at the FSOC session, Amias Gerety, acting assistant treasury secretary for financial institutions, said the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council will be releasing an “exercise” in a box early next year that will help large and small companies test their cyber protection readiness.