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Fed’s Bowman backs ‘targeted’ bank rules reform but not ‘radical’ change


Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman on Friday repeated her call for the U.S. central bank to hire an outside party to analyze the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, and against using that failure as a “pretext” for making broad changes to bank regulation.

“We should consider whether there are necessary – and targeted – adjustments we should make to banking regulation,” Bowman said in remarks prepared for delivery to a Texas Bankers Association event, listing topics such as deposit insurance reform that are outside the purview of the Fed and which would require legislation to change.

“Radical reform of the bank regulatory framework – as opposed to targeted changes to address identified root causes of banking system stress – is incompatible with the fundamental strength of the banking system,” she said.

Bowman has emerged as strong critic inside the Fed of the stricter bank rules that Vice Chair of Supervision Michael Barr has signaled he plans to roll out, even before the failures of two U.S. regional banks in March triggered widespread financial market stress.

During testimony to Congress this week, Barr was repeatedly asked about Bowman’s views, which were first laid out in detail last week. He said he welcomed any third-party independent reviews to follow his own review of the failure of Santa Clara, California-based SVB. Barr’s review, which was published in late April, found problems in the Fed’s own approach to supervision that he said needed fixing.

Barr, who started his job last summer, has also said he plans to consider new rules for banks, including lowering the threshold for intense supervision to banks with $100 billion or more in assets, from the $250 billion cutoff established under his predecessor.

Bowman did not touch on monetary policy or the economic outlook in her prepared remarks.

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