H.R. 4545 amends the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council Act of 1978 to require federal financial regulatory agencies provide a final examination report to a financial institution within 60 days after either the exit interview for an examination of the institution or the provision of additional information by the institution relating to the examination, whichever happens later.
In addition, the bill establishes an Office of Independent Examination Review in the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) headed by an independent Director. Financial institutions are entitled to appeal a material supervisory determination contained in a final report of examination to the Office of Independent Examination Review, and the Director is required to determine the merits of the appeal. The Director is also required to grant a financial institution the right to petition for judicial review of the Director's decision. The FFIEC has authority to review, under certain circumstances, the appeal if there is substantial evidence that the Director's decision would pose an imminent threat to the safety and soundness of the financial institution.
Under this legislation, federal financial regulatory agencies are prohibited from retaliating against a financial institution for exercising their right to appeal a material supervisory determination contained in a final report of examination.
Finally, the bill amends the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994 to require the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to establish an independent intra-agency appellate process in connection with the regulatory appeals process.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 15, 2018.
Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council Act of 1978 to apply specified procedures related to reporting and review, as established by the bill, to a nondepository covered person that is subject to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) supervision.
(Sec. 3) The bill sets deadlines for final examination reports and exit interviews of a financial institution by a federal financial regulatory agency.
(Sec. 4) The Office of Independent Examination Review is established to adjudicate appeals and investigate complaints from financial institutions concerning examination reports.
(Sec. 5) Financial institutions have the right to an independent review of a material supervisory determination. The bill also establishes a limited review by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) if there is evidence that the final decision reached by the office would pose an imminent threat to the financial institution's safety and soundness. Certain retaliatory actions by regulatory agencies with respect to such review are prohibited.
(Sec. 6) The bill also requires the establishment of an independent internal agency appellate process at the CFPB for the review of supervisory determinations made at institutions supervised by the CFPB. The proportion of FFIEC costs covered by regulatory agencies is raised.
(Sec. 7) The bill amends the Federal Reserve Act to lower the maximum allowable amount of surplus funds of the Federal Reserve banks.