U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres Introduces Three New Pieces of Legislation Following Failures of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank

Mar 17, 2023
Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Building on his proven leadership as a member of the House Committee on Financial Services, U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres (NY-15) today announced he is filing three new pieces of federal legislation following the failures of Silicon Valley Bank in California and Signature Bank in his home state of New York – the Critical Bank Review Act, the Financial Stability Mandate Act, and the “Emergency Liquidity Act”.

The “Critical Bank Review Act” requires the U.S. Treasury Department, in consultation with banking regulators, to take inventory of and designate certain financial institutions as “sectorially critical”. Those identified institutions, under the legislation, would receive a higher level of federal oversight and regulatory supervision to help safeguard and insulate America’s critical sectors from a potential future bank collapse.

Currently, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) classifies 16 critical infrastructure sectors whose assets, systems, and networks, whether physical or virtual, as so vital to the U.S. that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof. Those sectors include but are not limited to defense industrial base, emergency services, nuclear reactors, materials, and waste, and communications.

“One of the lessons learned from the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, I believe, is that we need to be thinking of risk to the American economy not just in terms of the size and scope of a financial institution, but also in terms of sector,” said Rep. Torres. “It’s in the interest of both our national security and strategic competitiveness to track the level of importance particular banks have in connection to our country’s most critical sectors.”

The “Financial Stability Mandate Act” requires the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and the Federal Open Market Committee to consider the country’s overall financial stability, in addition to inflation and employment rates under the Fed’s current “dual mandate”, when setting interest rates.

The “Emergency Liquidity Act” requires the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve to
establish and maintain a permanent emergency lending program to provide member banks and
other depository institutions with short-term liquidity against long-term assets.

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