Today the PRAC’s Financial Sector Oversight working group released a new video of a stakeholder listening forum entitled, “Pandemic Response: Perspectives from the Banking Industry.” The working group is comprised of Inspectors General (IGs) with oversight responsibilities in the areas of banking, lending, and housing – representing the Offices of Inspectors General at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Reserve Board/Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development, and the Treasury, as well as the Special IG for Pandemic Response.
These IGs organized a series of virtual panels with experts from the financial services sector to gather their input and insights concerning the operation, efficiency, effectiveness, and areas for enhanced oversight related to the pandemic response efforts of the federal government and the Federal Reserve.
The first panel in this series included speakers representing the perspective of lenders and financial institutions concerning their experiences with the operation and administration of CARES Act programs and other pandemic response efforts of the federal government. The virtual panel was recorded and is posted on PandemicOversight.gov and on the PRAC YouTube channel.
The panel was moderated by:
- Mark Bialek, Inspector General for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- Jay Lerner, Inspector General for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Panelists that provided input included:
- Naomi Gendler Camper, Chief Policy Officer, American Bankers Association
- Paul Benda, Senior Vice President for Risk Management Policy, American Bankers Association
- Karen M. Thomas, Senior Executive Vice President, Government Relations and Public Policy, Independent Community Bankers of America
- Ron Haynie, Senior Vice President of Mortgage Finance Policy, Independent Community Bankers of America
- Robert James II, Chairman, National Bankers Association
“Hearing from banking industry stakeholders about what is happening on the ground will ensure more effective Inspector General oversight of the government’s pandemic response. This listening event provided valuable first-hand insight from expert panelists into how these programs are operating, their effectiveness, and areas for Inspectors General to provide additional attention to prevent fraud and abuse. Their perspectives and recommendations will help inform the oversight activities of financial sector Inspectors General as we recover from this unprecedented pandemic,” said Mr. Bialek.
The panel discussion covered topics such as:
- recommendations to improve federal pandemic relief programs
- experiences with the Paycheck Protection Program loans and Economic Impact Payments
- how the pandemic has further revealed disparities in financial sector participation among minority and immigrant communities
- effectiveness of federal regulatory efforts
- evolving needs of financial sector clients during the pandemic; and
- fraud, waste, and abuse in pandemic response programs.
“We appreciated the candid insights and dialogue provided by our knowledgeable panelists representing the banking community. The conversation underscored the need for strong independent oversight of the government’s response to the pandemic. The IG community remains committed to deter, detect, and minimize fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement. We will continue our diligent work to help ensure accountability and preserve the integrity of the banking sector,” said Mr. Lerner.
The PRAC was established by the CARES Act to promote transparency and support independent oversight of the funds provided by the CARES Act and other related emergency spending bills. In addition to its coordination and oversight responsibilities, the PRAC is tasked with supporting efforts to “prevent and detect fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement [and] mitigate major risks that cut across program and agency boundaries.”
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