Obama to Introduce Plan to Reform Financial Industry Oversight

Washington, D.C (RPRN) 6/17/2009–U.S. President Barack Obama will unveil plans Wednesday to overhaul the U.S. financial regulatory system, in the most sweeping reform proposal since the Great Depression.The president will recommend granting the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, greater powers to supervise large banks and financial institutions whose failure could undermine the U.S. economy.

Mr. Obama also will propose a council of government regulators to monitor risks that could threaten the financial system. The council would be headed by the Treasury Department and include the Federal Reserve.

Mr. Obama will also propose the creation of a so-called Consumer Financial Protection Agency that would regulate such products as mortgages and credit cards.

He will also call for the merger of the Treasury Department unit which regulates federal and state-chartered savings institutions (Office of Thrift Supervision) into the agency that regulates and supervises all national banks (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) to create a single agency to oversee banks with national charters.

Mr. Obama said in an interview with Bloomberg television Tuesday that “sensible new rules” are needed to restore confidence in American markets. He has said that a lack of oversight allowed financial institutions to take too many risks and helped send the economy into a financial crisis.

The president says his administration aims to streamline regulatory agencies so that they can move to prevent future crises quickly.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.