Fed Vice Chair Barr emphasizes swift regulatory response, FedNow integration

WASHINGTON – In an address at The Clearing House conference, Federal Reserve Vice Chair Michael Barr highlighted the need for rapid and decisive action in bank supervision. This call to action comes in the wake of a critical internal report on the failure of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), underscoring the importance of agility in identifying and responding to banking issues.

Barr emphasized that while the Federal Reserve is tasked with overseeing banking operations, it is ultimately up to bank management to ensure proper risk management. In light of recent events, he advocated for enhanced training to better equip supervisors to address problems swiftly.

During the same conference, Barr also discussed the integration of FedNow into the U.S. payment system. Despite acknowledging the typically slow adoption rates for new payment innovations, he expressed confidence in the potential synergy between public and private payment systems, such as FedNow and The Clearing House’s (TCH) RTP network. He anticipates that banks will develop strategies that cater to consumer demand, leveraging both systems to provide innovative services.

In addition to his conference remarks, Barr has had a busy schedule over the past week, including Congressional testimonies and a presentation on Treasury market oversight at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The integration of FedNow is seen as a significant step in modernizing the U.S. payment landscape, offering robust infrastructure for banks to create novel customer services in response to evolving market demands. Barr’s comments reflect a broader strategy where public and private initiatives complement each other to enhance financial services.

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