In the wake of high-profile banking scandals and the 2008 financial crisis, US lawmakers have proposed several bills aimed at increasing accountability for top bank executives and addressing risks in the banking system. These bills seek to close regulatory loopholes and strengthen the ability of regulators to hold banks and their executives accountable for misconduct and failures.
Strengthening the Bank Secrecy Act
The first bill, known as the “Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020,” aims to strengthen the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and improve the ability of law enforcement agencies to detect and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. The bill would increase penalties for BSA violations and require banks to maintain beneficial ownership information for certain types of accounts. It would also establish a whistleblower program to encourage individuals to report suspicious activity.
Holding Executives Accountable
The second bill, called the “Ending Too Big to Jail Act,” seeks to hold bank executives accountable for criminal conduct by eliminating the ability of banks to pay fines on behalf of their employees. Under the current system, banks can pay fines for their executives without admitting guilt or facing any significant consequences. The bill would require individuals to be held responsible for their actions and subject to criminal penalties.
Addressing Systemic Risks
The third bill, known as the “Financial Systemic Risk Oversight Council Improvement Act,” aims to improve the ability of regulators to identify and address systemic risks in the financial system. The bill would provide additional resources to the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) and require it to conduct stress tests on nonbank financial companies.
Strengthening Consumer Protections
The fourth bill, called the “Investor Protection and Capital Markets Fairness Act,” seeks to strengthen consumer protections and promote fairness in the capital markets. The bill would increase penalties for securities fraud and require companies to disclose more information about their executive compensation and political spending.
These bills represent a significant effort by US lawmakers to increase accountability for bank executives and address risks in the banking system. If passed, they would provide regulators with greater tools to hold banks and their executives accountable for misconduct and failures, and promote a more stable and fair financial system.