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FSOC Releases FAQ on Nonbank Designation

The Financial Stability Oversight Council last week posted a new set of frequently asked questions concerning the nonbank designation process. The 22 questions and answers cover a wide range of topics, from FSOC composition to details of the designation process. However, the document is unlikely to quell recent calls for increased transparency (such as those from Congress and the GAO), as the document appears to be a rehashing of currently available information. An analysis from The Cadwalader Cabinet argues that the document “essentially legitimize[s] FSOC's authority to make decisions in a completely one-off manner” when the FSOC stated that “[g]iven the diversity of nonbank financial companies, applying identical analyses to all firms would not be an effective approach.” Cadwalader also notes that when the FSOC asserted that it consults a firm’s primary financial regulator during the analysis process, it failed to note that its insurance regulator member opposed designation of two insurance companies.