The Federal Reserve said it will conduct a review of its supervision of the largest, most systemically important financial institutions in the United States.
The Fed also asked the central bank’s Office of Inspector General to examine how reserve banks make supervisory assessments and whether officials are aware of “divergent views among an examination team,” the Fed said today in a statement issued in Washington.
A U.S. Senate committee is set to hear testimony tomorrow from New York Fed President William C. Dudley on the reserve bank’s relationship with the firms it regulates. The bank has been accused of being too deferential to banks it supervises, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
“We understand the risks of doing our job poorly and of becoming too close to the firms we supervise,” Dudley will say, according to the text of his remarks released today by the Senate Banking Committee. “We are not perfect. We cannot catch or correct every error by a financial institution, and we sometimes make mistakes.”
Fed General Counsel Scott Alvarez and Michael Gibson, head of the Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation, asked Inspector General Mark Bialek in a Nov. 17 letter released with the statement to review examinations of bank holding companies with total assets exceeding $50 billion.
The pair asked Bialek to determine if examinations obtain “all material information necessary to ensure that decisions and supervisory conclusions resulting from the examination of large banking organizations are appropriate, supported by the record, and consistent with supervisory policies.”
They also asked whether there were “channels, both within and outside the immediate chain of command, for decision-makers to be aware of divergent views about material issues regarding large banking organizations addressed by the members of the dedicated examination team.”
The Fed watchdog last month said the New York Fed botched oversight of the JPMorgan Chase & Co. unit that suffered $6.2 billion in trading losses, attributed to the so-called London Whale, when it missed opportunities in 2008, 2009, and 2010 to uncover excessive risk-taking.
The review also follows a report that Goldman Sachs fired two bankers after one of them allegedly shared confidential documents from the the New York Fed within the firm, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News. Goldman Sachs spokesman Jake Siewert confirmed the memo contents.