Five of the federal government’s most prominent financial regulatory agencies—the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Federal Reserve Board, National Credit Union Administration and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency—have issued a joint statement that clarifies the limitations of a supervisory guidance in regard to regulated institutions.
In this joint statement, the agencies acknowledged that a supervisory guidance is not the same thing as a law that is subject to enforcement actions. “A law or regulation has the force and effect of law. Unlike a law or regulation, supervisory guidance does not have the force and effect of law, and the agencies do not take enforcement actions based on supervisory guidance,” the statement said. “Rather, supervisory guidance outlines the agencies’ supervisory expectations or priorities and articulates the agencies’ general views regarding appropriate practices for a given subject area.”
The agencies added that the regulated institutions “at times request supervisory guidance,” noting that a guidance can provide “examples of practices that the agencies generally consider consistent with safety-and-soundness standards or other applicable laws and regulations, including those designed to protect consumers.”