WASHINGTON-A recent report out of the Government Accountability Office suggested that the financial services regulatory structure could be brought up to speed with the times. “Congress may wish to consider ways to improve the regulatory structure for financial services, especially the oversight of complex, internationally active firms,” GAO’s report read. While GAO made no specific recommendations, it listed options to consider like “consolidating within regulatory areas and creating an entity primarily to oversee complex, internationally active firms, while leaving the rest of the regulatory structure in place.” The report does not suggest that credit union regulators get lumped in with others. The report was in response to the consolidation of banking, securities, futures, and insurance under the general `financial services’ umbrella following the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999. “While the financial services industry and the international regulatory framework have changed, the regulator structure for overseeing the U.S. financial services industry has not,” the report noted. “Specialized regulators still oversee separate functions-banking, securities, futures, and insurance-and while some regulators do oversee complex institutions at the holding company level, they generally rely on functional regulators for information about the activities of subsidiaries. In addition, no one agency or mechanism looks at risks that cross markets or industry segments or at the system and its risks as a whole.”

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