McHenry, Maloney Introduce Bipartisan Financial Transparency Act

September 27, 2019 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – Reps. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., and Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., have introduced legislation to make financial data more easily available online and less opaque.

McHenry, ranking Republican of the House Financial Services Committee, said with technology playing such a large role in American’s financial lives, it just makes sense for financial regulators to use the same technology to make public data more easily accessible.

“I was glad to partner with Rep. Maloney to introduce this commonsense solution that will streamline data sets, benefiting everyone from financial institutions to tech startups,” he said.

Maloney, chair of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets, said H.R. 4476, also called the Financial Transparency Act, will “bring financial reporting into the 21st Century.”

She said it would do so by making information easier to access, while reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens for businesses across the country.

“This bill is a true win-win because it helps investors, businesses, and the government,” Maloney said. “I’ve long been an advocate for structured data in financial reporting, and I’m proud to introduce this bill with Ranking Member McHenry.”

The Financial Transparency Act would require all eight of the country’s financial regulators to adopt a set of data collection and dispersion standards for the information they collect under current law, including the adoption of electronic forms to replace paper-based forms.

All data would be made available in an open source format that is electronically searchable, downloadable in bulk and without license restrictions.

But H.R. 4476 wasn’t the only bill related to finance that McHenry introduced this week.

On Tuesday, he introduced H.R. 4458, the Cybersecurity and Financial System Resilience Act of 2019, to combat cybersecurity threats facing the Federal Reserve System.

 “This legislation works to ensure the Federal Reserve is prioritizing cybersecurity and modernization to combat the growing threat of cyberattacks to our financial system,” McHenry said in a statement.

The bill would give the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System 180 days from enactment of the legislation to provide a report and briefings to the House Financial Services Committee and Senate Banking Committee on its cybersecurity efforts.

Following the initial report, the Board would be required to update Congress annually.

In the report, the Federal Reserve would be required to detail its policies and procedures that guard against:

  • Efforts to deny access to or degrade, disrupt, or destroy an information and communications technology system or network;
  • Efforts to filtrate information from such a system or network without authorization;
  • Malware attacks;
  • Denial of service activities; and
  • Any other efforts that, in the determination of the Board, may threaten the functions of the Federal Reserve System by undermining cybersecurity.

Additionally, the report would detail activities the Federal Reserve has undertaken to strengthen cybersecurity in coordination with departments and agencies of the Federal Government, foreign central banks, and other partners.

“We need to ensure the Fed is working with financial institutions, regulators, third-party service providers, and government partners to ensure that all parties are appropriately prioritizing and safeguarding American’s most sensitive information and our financial system,” McHenry said.

“My bill ensures Congress is read-in on the Fed’s cybersecurity countermeasures, and its oversight functions of financial institutions, to help us better protect consumers from the threats of tomorrow,” he added.

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