US regulators propose regulation on the role of supervisory guidance

Five federal financial regulatory agencies today invited comment on a proposal outlining and confirming the agencies’ use of supervisory guidance for regulated institutions. The proposal would codify the statement, as amended, that was issued in September 2018 by the agencies that clarified the differences between regulations and guidance.

Unlike a law or regulation, supervisory guidance does not have the force and effect of law and the agencies do not take enforcement actions or issue supervisory criticisms based on non-compliance with supervisory guidance. Rather, supervisory guidance outlines supervisory expectations and priorities, or articulates views regarding appropriate practices for a given subject area.

In contrast to supervisory guidance, regulations do have the force and effect of law and enforcement actions can be taken if regulated institutions are in violation. Regulations are also generally required to go through the notice and comment process.

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