Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2019

On September 24, 2019, the Financial Transparency Act (FTA)  (H.R. 4476) was reintroduced by House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (NC-R) and Subcommittee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-D). This is a very important bill for data standards, with a stated goal:

To amend securities, commodities, and banking laws to make the information reported to financial regulatory agencies electronically searchable, to further enable the development of RegTech and Artificial Intelligence applications, to put the United States on a path towards building a comprehensive Standard Business Reporting program to ultimately harmonize and reduce the private sector’s regulatory compliance burden, while enhancing transparency and accountability and for other purposes.

The bill calls for the eight financial regulatory member agencies of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) to adopt uniform data standards (i.e., a common data format) for the information they currently collect from regulated entities. Member agencies are the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Reserve, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Language in the bill calls for the use of a common nonproprietary legal entity identifier that is available under an open license, and for the use of data standards that render data fully searchable and machine-readable, enable high quality data through accompanying metadata, are documented in machine-readable taxonomies, are nonproprietary or made available under an open license, incorporate standards maintained by voluntary consensus standards bodies and are consistent with applicable accounting and reporting principles.

Watch the bill’s progress here.