By Kevin Fromer, Forum President and CEO
Today we are officially relaunching the Financial Services Forum with a number of activities, including the unveiling of this, our new website.
The Forum CEOs lead the most diversified global financial institutions headquartered in the United States. They have reconstituted the organization to be the leading voice for their firms, and given me a mandate to effectively communicate the value of their institutions in the economy, to advocate for their positions on key policy matters, and to establish a strong research program that provides information and analysis on key issues and on the contributions of this vital segment of the financial industry.
Much progress has been made over the past seven months. We have hired talented, seasoned staff in our three focus areas – communications, government and industry relations, and policy research. These individuals have decades of experience working on Capitol Hill, at bank regulatory agencies, in the administration, in academia, and in the private sector.
We have reinvigorated our engagement with key stakeholders, including those on Capitol Hill, in the administration, and at independent regulatory agencies as well as with members of the media and thought leaders. We have created a forum for our members and their staffs to collaborate productively on issues of importance.
Working with our member institutions, we have initially focused our policy work on the review of the regulatory framework to achieve better efficiency and effectiveness. This includes reviews of the calibration of overlapping capital requirements and the impacts and implementation of the Volcker Rule. These are important and often complex discussions, but they are necessary to help ensure that we can support economic growth while preserving safety and soundness.
Our eight institutions make unique and vital contributions to the U.S. economy, support our communities, and provide a resilient and strong foundation for our financial system. They are a primary source of all loans provided to businesses and households and meet three-quarters of the funding needs of other financial institutions. They underpin the world’s deepest and most liquid capital markets, which support new investments by U.S. businesses.
Our eight institutions make unique and vital contributions to the U.S. economy, support our communities, and provide a resilient and strong foundation for our financial system.
Our member firms are strong, resilient, and positioned to sustain economic growth and opportunity. We have significantly increased the quantity and quality of capital in the past nine years and we have raised the amount of high-quality liquid assets – assets that can act as a cushion against financial shocks – by 80 percent. We and our regulators have taken other steps that have led to a stronger, more resilient financial system.
We agree with a number of regulators, analysts, and others who have suggested that with the benefit of years of experience and data since implementation, it is appropriate and necessary to step back and evaluate all the regulations and supervisory practices that have been put in place in the past decade. We need to evaluate if these measures are effective and are not unnecessarily raising costs that impede the ability of our organizations to provide credit to support growth of the economy.
It is an important time at the Financial Services Forum and for our members. We look forward to continued progress in the months and years ahead as we represent these institutions that are so important to consumers, businesses, and communities across the United States.