Mar 21, 2023
Warren Seeks to Tie Higher FDIC Insurance to Tighter Regulation
(Bloomberg) -- Senator Elizabeth Warren said Tuesday she doesn’t think multibillion-dollar banks should get an increase in federal insurance without tighter regulation.
“You bet I’d tie them together,” the Massachusetts Democrat told reporters at the Capitol.
“The big banks cannot have it both ways. They can’t say they want the government to backstop them and they don’t want any additional regulation,” she said. “That’s not the way the world works or at least not the way it should.”
Warren said she’s not as concerned about smaller banks she said are “financially sound and frankly, fairly stiffly regulated.”
“It’s these multibillion-dollar banks that both pose the threat and got away with regulation that was far too weak,” she said.
She warned against simply giving bankers two years of unlimited Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation protection without tougher restrictions in the wake of the failures of Silicon Valley Bank in California and Signature Bank in New York.
“That just puts the taxpayer on the hook and puts even more distortions in the incentives and we can’t do that,” she said.
Warren will have work to do to get others to back her proposals as Republicans and many Democrats who voted for a 2018 law that loosened regulations on smaller and midsized banks say the law itself isn’t to blame.
Conservative Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia separately told reporters that he’s open to considering a higher FDIC insurance limit than the current $250,000 cap for people willing to pay for that insurance.
“It makes sense to ask the question, can’t there be some type of mechanism that allows people that are using the banks for greater deposits and want that protection to pay a different fee?” he said.
Manchin likened it to people having the option of buying more life insurance if they wish.
Yet Manchin, who added that he had spoken to bankers in his state, said he doesn’t think the 2018 law affected the failure of Silicon Valley Bank. Manchin was one of several Democrats who voted for the rollback.
“They went eight months as I’m understanding without having a risk officer,” Manchin said. “It’s hard to legislate against incompetency.”
“Somebody should be held tremendously responsible for this and the people of that bank and basically the San Francisco Fed, all of them should be held very accountable for dereliction of duty, really,” Manchin said.
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