September 16, 2013


Laena Fallon, (202) 457-8783

WASHINGTON, DC – Financial Services Forum President and CEO Rob Nichols issued the following statement today regarding the strength of the U.S. financial system five years since the height of the financial crisis:

“Since the financial crisis began five years ago, the financial services industry, Congress, and regulators have taken a number of significant steps to improve the safety and soundness of the financial industry, reduce the likelihood of a future market turmoil, and boost the long-term strength of the U.S. economy.  The industry is strongly committed to ensuring that no institution is too-big-to-fail and preventing taxpayer dollars from being put at risk in a future crisis.

“While some may claim that nothing has changed since the crisis, this assertion is demonstrably incorrect.  The U.S. financial sector has undergone the most significant legislative, regulatory, and internal overhaul in modern history.  For example, bank capital and liquidity are double pre-crisis levels; leverage has been reduced, in some cases by half; balance sheets are much more solid; risk management and governance structures have been dramatically improved; and compensation structures have been reformed to closely align the personal incentives of executives with the long-term performance and safety and soundness of the employing institution.  In addition, banks have passed multiple stress tests administered by the Federal Reserve to ensure their ability to weather severe economic conditions.  Bankshave also submitted ‘living wills,’ which detail the structure of each bank company and explain how companies could be dismantled in the event of failure. For these reasons, our financial institutions are in a different and far better place than before the crisis.

“In order to continue our economic recovery and for the U.S. to maintain its status as a global economic leader, we need banks of all sizes and business models including small community banks, midsized regional banks and large, globally active banks.  Large banks provide the necessary credit, a wide variety of products and services, and have the geographic reach to serve both globally active companies and Americans as a whole.  Building on the improvements made within the industry and the continued implementation of new laws and regulations, the financial industry is on sounder footing, and is in a stronger position to support American businesses and consumers, aid job growth, and expand our economy.”

The Financial Services Forum is a non-partisan financial and economic policy organization comprising the CEOs of 19 of the largest and most diversified financial services institutions doing business in the United States. The purpose of the Forum is to pursue policies that encourage savings and investment, promote an open and competitive global marketplace, and ensure the opportunity of people everywhere to participate fully and productively in the 21st-century global economy.