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Bernanke Says Dodd-Frank Law Is ‘Major Step Forward’

Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank is working “expeditiously” to enact the overhaul of U.S. financial regulation signed into law last year.

“The Dodd-Frank Act is a major step forward for financial regulation,” Bernanke said in the text of testimony prepared for a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee tomorrow and obtained by Bloomberg News. The Fed is working “to ensure that the law is implemented expeditiously and in a manner that best protects the stability of our financial system and economy.”

Bernanke doesn’t discuss the outlook for monetary policy or the economy.

Bernanke will appear with other top financial regulators such as Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro to testify on their progress implementing the financial regulation law signed by President Barack Obama in July.

Bernanke’s remarks were primarily a summary of previously published actions the Fed has taken to implement provisions of the legislation, a task he said involved more than 300 central bank staff.

The law, known as the Dodd-Frank Act, creates a consumer bureau housed at the Fed, a council of regulators to monitor firms for systemic risk to the economy and a mechanism for liquidating large financial firms whose collapse could threaten economic stability.

The new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection will take over many responsibilities the Fed had for consumer regulation. “We have finalized funding for agreements and provided initial funding” to the new bureau, Bernanke said. “We have made substantial progress toward a framework for transferring Federal Reserve staff members.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Joshua Zumbrun in Washington at jzumbrun@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net

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