New York state will allow companies to purchase shares in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) through the next few months.
FINRA, which regulates financial companies, was created to allow banks and financial institutions to borrow from other financial institutions without fear of being held liable for losses incurred in the process.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation last week allowing private companies to own securities through the agency.
The move comes amid an increase in financial market volatility and an increasing number of state and federal regulators trying to regulate the financial sector, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
FINRA has a long history of being a haven for financial institutions and other companies to borrow, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
The agency was created by Congress in 1980.
Under the authority of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, financial institutions are allowed to borrow up to $1 billion per day from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, with no restrictions on borrowing.
The Financial Institivity Act was reauthorized in 2010.
As the cost of capital rises, banks and other financial companies are increasingly looking to leverage their holdings to generate profits.
They have been doing so by increasing the number of financial derivatives they trade on, buying up more debt to borrow against, and raising more money in the form of equity stakes in companies to take on the riskier derivatives.
In addition to the state and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the agency regulates mortgage companies, credit card companies, and insurance companies.
It is also responsible for regulating financial products like insurance, consumer loans, and credit card transactions.
Under federal law, states are allowed, however, to prohibit the agency from regulating the financial services industry.
Cuomo’s new legislation allows companies to acquire shares in FINRA through the state’s public-private partnership process.
Companies must have at least $100 million in assets to apply for a share.
Finra was created as part of the 2008 financial crisis to help banks and companies make sure they were safe from a financial crisis.
The government created FINRA to help provide oversight to financial institutions.
The law required the agency to establish standards for the types of financial products that could be sold through the marketplace, as well as for which products could be used to protect investors.
It also created a program called the Financial Services Compensation Corporation (FSCC) to make sure that financial firms were not unfairly penalized by the agency for violating its rules.