The Federal Structure for Examining Financial Institutions Can Be Improved

Gao ID: GGD-81-21 April 24, 1981

Congress took a giant step to improve coordination among federal regulators by establishing the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. GAO reviewed the field office structure of the bank regulatory agencies to determine if there were inherent problems with each agency having its own national network of examiners.

GAO identified problems with the present field office structure which include: (1) there are no field offices in some cities and separate field offices in other cities because the agencies do not share their examining capabilities or colocate their field offices; (2) high costs are incurred in examining some banks because of the scattered distribution of financial institutions which each agency examines; (3) the agencies have experienced some difficulties in managing their examination work load; and (4) many examiners have to travel quite extensively. This frequent travel creates an undesirable quality of life which results in high turnover and makes it difficult to maintain an experienced staff. GAO believes that consolidation of the federal regulatory agencies' examiner forces is a reasonable solution to overcome the inherent problems of each agency maintaining separate networks of examiners.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

Director: Craig A. Simmons Team: General Accounting Office: General Government Division Phone: (202) 512-8678

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