The Financial Stability Oversight Council may push regulators to impose more stringent industry-wide oversight, as opposed to labeling individual asset managers systemically important. According to a Treasury release, FSOC staff will “undertake a more focused analysis of industry-wide products and activities to assess potential risks associated with the asset management industry.” Industry groups, legislators, and SEC Commissioner Gallagher have expressed opposition to the designation of individual firms.
A systemically important designation would require a firm to maintain higher capital and liquidity standards, as opposed to targeting areas considered specifically risky. Blackrock and Fidelity were seen as the asset management firms most likely to receive the designation, but industry advocates argued that such action would be misplaced given the lack of leverage and the fact that it is the client’s assets that are at risk as opposed to the firm’s.
The FSOC also discussed the SEC’s recent money market fund reforms at the July 31 meeting, noting the Council’s intention to monitor the effects of the reforms, specifically focusing on “unintended consequences of liquidity fees and gates,” and retail money market funds.