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Financial Regulation: Review of Regulators’ Oversight of Risk Management Systems at a Limited Number of Large, Complex Instiututions: Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investments, Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Aff
Orice M. Williams (au)
Statement of Orice M. Williams, Dir., Financial Markets and Community Investment, GAO. Financial regulators have an important role in assessing risk mgt. systems at financial institutions. Analyses have identified inadequate risk mgt. at large, complex financial institutions as one of the causes of the current financial crisis. The failure of the institutions to appropriately identify, measure, and manage their risks has raised questions not only about corporate governance but also about the adequacy of regulatory oversight of risk mgt. systems. GAO's objectives were to review (1) how regulators oversee risk mgt. at these institutions, (2) the extent to which regulators identified shortcomings in risk mgt. at certain institutions prior to the summer of 2007, and (3) how some aspects of the regulatory system may have contributed to or hindered the oversight of risk mgt. GAO built upon its existing body of work, evaluated the examination guidance used by examiners at U.S. banking and securities regulators, and reviewed examination reports and work papers from 2006-2008 for a selected sample of large institutions, and horizontal exams that included additional institutions. In Jan. 2009, GAO designated the need to modernize the financial regulatory system as a high risk area needing congressional attention. Regulatory oversight of risk mgt. at large, financial institutions, particularly at the holding company level, should be considered part of that effort.
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