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Lawmakers Urge Regulators to Make Financial Data More Accessible

Bank Execs Expected to Push Back Against Capital Hikes

Members of Congress from both houses and both parties sent a letter Tuesday (May 14) to the heads of eight federal financial regulatory agencies, urging them to implement the Financial Data Transparency Act (FDTA).

The letter was signed by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry, Ranking Member Maxine Waters, Sen. Mike Crapo and Sen. Mark Warner.

Implementing the law will make federal financial data more accessible, uniform and useful for the public; facilitate the use of artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies; and lead to greater transparency and market efficiencies, according to a press release issued Thursday (May 16) by the House Financial Service Committee.

“Adopting open-source data standards, common identifiers, while at the same time implementing features like machine readability, search capability and interoperability across financial regulators will be a major step towards harmonizing regulatory reporting,” the letter said. “It will also improve the collection and dissemination of federal financial data. This will spur innovation and facilitate the responsible use of technology to fully utilize the publicly available data your agencies publish.”

The letter was addressed to the heads of the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the National Credit Union Administration, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The letter added that the development of technologies like AI has increased the need for these regulators to implement the FDTA.

“Publishing machine-readable data in a consistent format will facilitate the use of these technologies, leading to increased transparency and greater market efficiencies,” the letter said.

The FDTA was passed as a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act in December 2022, according to a statement issued at the time by Warner.

It aims to modernize data collection by the federal financial regulators by requiring them to develop common data formatting standards for the financial data they already collect from regulated institutions, making that data easier to process and use, the statement said.