US lawmakers propose bills to hold bank execs accountable for failures and address risks

House Financial Services Committee Puts Forward Bills to Tackle Issues at Large Banks

The United States House Financial Services Committee, comprised of Democrats, has put forward a series of bills that they have labelled the “first wave” of measures meant to tackle issues at large banks.

In a June 21 statement, Maxine Waters, the highest-ranking member of the committee, revealed that House Democrats had supported 11 bills created in reaction to the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and First Republic Bank in the United States. These proposed laws – which have not yet been presented to the Republican members of the committee for endorsement – include penalties and prohibit bank executives from engaging in future work in the sector if they “carelessly contribute to the downfall of their bank.”

“Given the failings of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and First Republic Bank, it is imperative that Congress take action to improve the security and reliability of our banking system and hold bank executives accountable,” said Representative Waters. “We cannot remain inactive.”

The House Committee, led by Republican Patrick McHenry, often deliberates on topics related to digital assets, such as the supervision of federal regulatory organizations like the Securities and Exchange Commission. Despite some legislators asserting that digital assets were a factor in the collapses of Signature and Silicon Valley Bank, Representative Waters did not refer to crypto or blockchain in the proposed legislation. The legislator also did not bring up Silvergate Bank – which declared itself to be voluntarily liquidated in March – when introducing the bills.

In the proposed bills, other measures were included that could give regulators the power to stop bank executives from selling stock in certain cases – as was done with Silicon Valley Bank – and require banks to widen their stress testing requirements. One bill proposed limiting bonus payments for bank executives.

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Representative Waters stated that committee Republicans showed willingness to some of the legislation during the markup process, but it is uncertain which bills have a chance of being approved with bipartisan backing. Cointelegraph contacted the California representative, but did not receive a response before the time of writing.

Waters previously urged government agencies and legislators to collaborate in order to address crypto regulation. In February, she expressed to Cointelegraph her continued optimism that a bill concerning stablecoins could pass the committee. As part of a June 13 hearing on digital assets, lawmakers went over a discussion draft of the bill.

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