The Biden administration has scored a win for its financial regulatory team, as Michael Barr was finally confirmed as the vice chair for supervision of the Federal Reserve Wednesday (July 13) by the Senate.
Barr’s confirmation will give the central bank a full seven-member board for the first time in nearly a decade. It also adds to the Biden admin’s bank overseers, who could look more into financial regulations that were eased during the Trump administration.
The Wall Street Journal noted that the supervision role will see Barr responsible for putting together a vision for how big banks and other finances will be regulated. He’ll look into policy recommendations for the Fed board and for overseeing the regulatory staff, which oversees big banks like J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America and others, per the report.
Barr is also expected to look into a Biden administration push to review how regulators assess big bank mergers. The report noted that those who know him think that he’ll likely take a “collaborative and pragmatic” approach if he does try to make changes to the Fed.
Also a dean of public policy at the University of Michigan, Barr was confirmed with bipartisan support for the role, which will last for four years. The vote was 66 to 28, which got past the 50 votes needed for the confirmation.
He’ll succeed Randal Quarles, who last held the Fed supervision post — and who focused on simplifying the financial regulations enacted after the 2008 financial crisis.
Supporters said those moves had helped to clarify the central bank’s rules, though some Democrats said they softened the impact of the Wall Street rulebook. Quarles left the post in December.
In June, PYMNTS wrote that Barr was moving closer to being fully nominated, with the Senate Banking Committee voting at that time 17-7 for his confirmation.
Barr was supported by several Republicans, which helped him as opposed to the trouble the previous Biden nominee, Sarah Bloom Raskin, faced. She withdrew her nomination after not being able to win enough votes in the process.