SR 18-5 / CA 18-7:

Interagency Statement Clarifying the Role of Supervisory Guidance

BOARD OF GOVERNORS
OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20551

DIVISION OF
SUPERVISION AND REGULATION

DIVISION OF CONSUMER
AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS

LEGAL DIVISION

SR 18-5 / CA 18-7
September 12, 2018

TO THE OFFICER IN CHARGE OF SUPERVISION AT EACH FEDERAL RESERVE BANK

SUBJECT:

Interagency Statement Clarifying the Role of Supervisory Guidance

Applicability:  This guidance applies to all institutions supervised by the Federal Reserve, including those with $10 billion or less in consolidated assets.

In response to recent inquiries suggesting that the differences between supervisory guidance and laws and regulations may be unclear, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and four other federal agencies1 are issuing the attached statement to explain the role of supervisory guidance and to describe the agencies' approach to using guidance in their supervision of regulated institutions.

The attached statement explains that, unlike a law or regulation, supervisory guidance does not have the force and effect of law and that the agencies do not take enforcement actions based on supervisory guidance.  Rather, supervisory guidance outlines the agencies' supervisory expectations or priorities and articulates the agencies' general views regarding appropriate practices for a given subject area.  During examinations and other supervisory activities, examiners may identify unsafe or unsound practices or other deficiencies in risk management, including compliance risk management, or other areas that do not constitute violations of law or regulation.  In some situations, examiners may reference (including in writing) supervisory guidance to provide examples of safe and sound conduct, appropriate consumer protection and risk management practices, and other actions for addressing compliance with laws or regulations.  Please refer to the statement itself for more specific details.

Reserve Banks are asked to distribute this letter to the supervised organizations in their districts and to appropriate supervisory staff.  Questions regarding this letter should be directed to the following individuals:

  • Division of Supervision and Regulation:  Virginia Gibbs, Manager, Policy Implementation, at (202) 452-2521; or David Palmer, Senior Supervisory Financial Analyst, Risk and Surveillance, at (202) 452-2904.
  • Division of Consumer and Community Affairs:  Dana Miller, Acting Managing Counsel, at (202) 452-2751.
  • Legal Division:  Will Giles, Special Counsel, at (202) 452-3351.

In addition, institutions may send questions via the Board's public website.2

signed by
Michael S. Gibson
Director
Division of
Supervision and Regulation

signed by
Eric S. Belsky
Director
Division of Consumer
and Community Affairs

signed by
Mark E. Van Der Weide
General Counsel
Legal Division

Notes:
  1. The other federal agencies joining the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in issuing the attached statement are the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.  Return to text
  2. See http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/contactus/feedback.aspx.  Return to text
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Last Update: September 13, 2018