FDIC opens its doors to carry out financial reform

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bank regulators on Thursday pledged an “open door” policy for carrying out financial reform, also saying they will inform the public of meetings between senior officials and private sector individuals.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp said it will release every two weeks the names and affiliations of people outside of the government who meet with agency officials to discuss implementing the Dodd-Frank law. The subjects that are discussed will also be made public.

The FDIC’s announcement is part of a larger effort among regulators to be transparent as they undertake the process of writing hundreds of new rules, and to ward off accusations of undue lobbyist influence.

In addition to receiving information about meeting logs, anyone interested in discussing the new law with FDIC officials will be able to request a meeting via the agency’s website. A series of public “round-table discussions” will also be held and broadcast over the Internet.

In recent weeks the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission have announced similar plans.

“I think transparency is a significant issue for each step along the way,” FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said in a statement.

“We owe it to the public to have an open door policy so that people can see for themselves how financial services reform is going to be implemented.”

The law took effect in July, but it leaves to regulators many of the specific decisions about how to carry out policies intended to make financial markets more stable and transparent.

The financial services industry fiercely lobbied Congress during the writing of the law, and its representatives are now shifting their focus to the agencies, as are consumer groups, unions and others who fought to shape the broadest overhaul of financial rules since the Great Depression.

Reporting by Dave Clarke; Editing by Steve Orlofsky