Business groups tell regulators to go public on Dodd-Frank rulemaking

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A key piece of that mandate is the FSOC's work in defining how to identify "systemically important financial institutions." Those institutions would be subject to heightened regulations and oversight, as regulators seek to make sure they stay afloat and do not drag down the overall financial system if disaster were to strike.

Any bank with more than $50 billion of assets automatically qualifies for the designation, but the FSOC is charged with coming up with the criteria to identify and designate nonbank financial institutions that are keystones to the financial system. Regulators have said they will look at the amount of risk an institution takes on, existing oversight, and its interconnectedness to other institutions in weighing a designation, among other factors.

The FSOC proposed a rule on designating institutions in October, but it is yet to be finalized. The groups contended that the public deserves to see a fuller debate on the matter, rather than simply the panel vote on finalizing the rule.

"The consideration and resolution of the questions raised by the proposed rule and its appendix will be some of the most critical business before the FSOC this year," they wrote. "It is counter to the spirit of transparency embodied in the policy to expose to the public only the vote on the final proposal."