DIRECTOR CURRY: Good morning. It's my pleasure to open up this public hearing on the Financial Services Roundtable's Petition for Rulemaking to Preempt Certain State Laws.
We're very pleased that the FDIC Chairman, Don Powell, has agreed to hold this important hearing. At this point, I'd like to welcome FDIC Chairman Don Powell.
CHAIRMAN POWELL: Thank you, Director Curry. Good morning. Why we're here today: In March of this year, the Financial Services Roundtable petitioned the FDIC to adopt rules establishing which state laws apply to the interstate activities of state banks and their subsidiaries.
Specifically, the roundtable asked that the FDIC issue a regulation providing that a state bank's home state law governs its interstate activities and those of its subsidiaries to the same extent that the National Bank Act governs the national banks' interstate business.
In making this request, the roundtable asserted that such a rule would create parity between state chartered banks and national banks with interstate activities and operations.
The roundtable's request raises important and complex questions of law and policy affecting the dual banking system, consumer protection and the role of the FDIC vis-ŕ-vis Congress and the states. It impacts banks, consumers and state regulation.
We are here today to obtain the public's views on the roundtable's petition. We believe the participation of today's presenters will provide valuable insight into the issues raised by the petition and will assist the FDIC in responding to the rulemaking request.
What do we hope to accomplish with this hearing? We hope to get important input from a cross-section of our stakeholders and, from the looks of today's agenda, that's exactly what we will get.
I'm pleased to note that the presenters today consist of trade group representatives, state banking commissioners, representatives of consumer groups and, of course, bankers. We also have received, and certainly will consider statements from others who were not able to appear today.
The FDIC is unique in having different roles in the banking industry. We insure banks. Along with the states we regulate state non-member banks and we serve as receiver of failed banks.
The roles of the OCC and the OTS are somewhat different. In addition to their roles as federal supervisors, they charter banks and savings associations and grant powers to those entities. Among other comments, we look forward to the views on if and how the FDIC, given its unique status,
should be involved in prescribing the laws applicable to interstate activities of state banks.
Now, with today's activities. Let me turn things over to the presiding officer and FDIC General Counsel, Bill Kroener, who will introduce his fellow hearing officers.