A new age for governance

On August 3, 2017, the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) proposed guidance that would significantly revise its expectations for boards of directors by laying out its view of the five key attributes that describe an effective board.  The proposal would also set in motion efforts to better delineate the roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities among senior management and the board by rescinding or revising past guidance and rules.  The proposed guidance on board effectiveness would apply to US bank holding companies (BHCs), savings and loan holding companies (SLHCs), and nonbank financial companies designated by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) as systemically important.  The proposed guidance would not apply to intermediate holding companies (IHCs) of foreign banking organizations or state member banks, but the Fed noted that it anticipates proposing guidance on board effectiveness for IHCs at a later date, and requested feedback on how the guidance should be adapted to apply to IHCs and state member banks. The proposed guidance would also be used as part of the Fed’s supervisory assessment of board effectiveness outlined in a companion proposal on a new rating system for large financial institutions (LFIs).1

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