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The Fed Wants to Make Life Easier for Big-Bank Directors



Amid reports Thursday that Stephen Sanger, chairman of the Wells Fargo board, may step down in the coming months, all eyes are on the bank’s directors and their oversight of the troubled institution.

While some Wells Fargo shareholders are urging the bank’s directors to sharpen their scrutiny in the wake of continuing misconduct, it’s noteworthy that new regulatory guidance put forward by the Federal Reserve Board, the nation’s top financial regulator, would go in the opposite direction. In essence, the Fed says, big-bank board members need to take a load off.

After a multiyear review, the regulator concluded that excessive regulatory duties are hobbling bank boards and distracting directors from the more important work of guiding bank strategy and adopting effective governance at their institutions.

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