Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Fed's New Community Advisory Council to Meet on Friday

The Federal Reserve Board’s newly-established Community Advisory Council (CAC) will meet for the first time on Friday, November 20. The solicitation for statements of interest for membership on the CAC, released earlier this year, describes the council as follows:
“The Board created the Community Advisory Council (CAC) as an advisory committee to the Board on issues affecting consumers and communities. The CAC will comprise a diverse group of experts and representatives of consumer and community development organizations and interests, including from such fields as affordable housing, community and economic development, small business, and asset and wealth building. CAC members will meet semiannually with the members of the Board in Washington, DC to provide a range of perspectives on the economic circumstances and financial services needs of consumers and communities, with a particular focus on the concerns of low- and moderate-income consumers and communities. The CAC will complement two of the Board's other advisory councils--the Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council (CDIAC) and the Federal Advisory Council (FAC)--whose members represent depository institutions. The CAC will serve as a mechanism to gather feedback and perspectives on a wide range of policy matters and emerging issues of interest to the Board of Governors and aligns with the Federal Reserve's mission and current responsibilities. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, banking supervision and regulatory compliance (including the enforcement of consumer protection laws), systemic risk oversight and monetary policy decision-making, and, in conjunction with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), responsibility for implementation of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).”
The fifteen council members will serve staggered three-year terms and meet semi-annually. Members include the President of the Greater Kansas City AFL-CIO, executive director of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, and law professor Catherine Lee Wilson, who teaches courses including bankruptcy and economic justice at University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The Board website notes that a summary will be posted following the meeting. I do wonder why only a summary, and not a transcript or video, will be released. While the Board is not obligated to act on the CAC's advise, in the interest of transparency, I would like full documentation of the concerns and suggestions brought forth by the CAC. That way we can at least observe what the Board decides to address or not.