Some bank stress test data to be made public

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some information on the results of bank stress tests will be publicly disclosed, a top bank regulator said on Tuesday.

U.S. Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan said regulators are “making good progress” on the stress tests that are being done to determine how the 19 largest banks will perform under more adverse economic conditions than are expected to occur. The stress tests are supposed to be completed by the end of April.

“I think when we’re done with it, there will be definitely be some information that will be provided at the end of it, but exactly what that will be, and when it will be provided, will come forth later,” said Dugan, who supervises some of the nation’s largest banks.

Dugan spoke to reporters on the sidelines of an American Bankers Association conference.

He told the conference that he has doubts about the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp getting the authority to wind down troubled large non-bank financial firms, such as bank holding companies and insurers.

The U.S. Treasury Department has a legislative proposal that would give that power to the FDIC, which currently only has the authority to wind down depository banks.

“I worry that the FDIC -- that is very focused on banks, as it should be -- is not necessarily the right institution to do that,” Dugan said.

He later told reporters that it is an issue that should be debated before the decision is finalized.

Dugan also told the conference that lawmakers should consider consolidating the bank regulatory system, noting that the United States does not have four Food and Drug Administrations.

“I think there is a credible case to be made that there should be some consolidation of that system,” Dugan said.

Policymakers have floated the idea of consolidating the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which regulates some of the largest U.S. banks, with the Office of Thrift Supervision, which primarily regulates mortgage lenders.

However, Dugan said it is important to keep a system of dedicated prudential supervision in place, in which financial firms have a hands-on regulator to monitor day-to-day operations.

Reporting by Karey Wutkowski and John Poirier; editing by Tim Dobbyn