Biden Calls on Congress to Hold Senior Bank Executives Accountable for Collapsed Institutions

On Monday, President Joe Biden called on Congress to impose tougher penalties for senior bank executives whose mismanagement contributed to the collapse of financial institutions.[0] Biden said current law limits the administration’s authority to hold such executives accountable and that Congress should strengthen the tool by lowering the legal standard for imposing prohibitions when a bank is put into FDIC receivership.[1]

“No one is above the law — and strengthening accountability is an important deterrent to prevent mismanagement in the future,” Biden said in a statement.[2]

The nation’s top bank regulators announced the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) and Federal Reserve would fully cover deposits at both failed banks, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, and rely on Wall Street and large financial institutions — not taxpayers — to foot the bill.[3]

Biden wants bank executives to expand the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) oversight capabilities in four ways: He wants to make it easier for the FDIC to claw back compensation from mid-sized banks; for regulators to impose civil penalties; and for executives to be banned from working in the banking industry again if their institutions fail.[3] [4]

The president’s populist-driven request to Congress reflects his initial concerns about aiding the Silicon Valley Bank, stemming in part from his belief that the federal government had been too friendly to big banks during the 2008 crisis.[1]

Biden also wants Congress to make it easier for the FDIC to levy fines, particularly against “negligent executives of failed banks when their actions contribute to the failure of their firms.”[4]

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) stated that, “Working people and small businesses have been forced to pay the price for executives’ arrogance and recklessness too many times before. We need stronger rules to rein in risky behavior and catch incompetence,”[5]

The rollback of regulations in 2018 allowed Silicon Valley Bank to be treated as a midsize bank, despite its size. Now, moderate Senate Democrats who voted to loosen regulations on midsize banks in 2018 are standing by their votes in the wake of Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse, joining Republicans in resisting enhanced scrutiny for financial institutions.[6]

Biden said no losses will be borne by the taxpayers, and money will come from the fees that banks pay into the Deposit Insurance Fund.[7]

0. “Biden Wants to Expand a Federal Agency’s Power to Go After Failed Bank Execs”, 17 Mar. 2023,

1. “Biden asks Congress to impose tougher penalties on executives of failed banks” The Washington Post, 17 Mar. 2023,

2. “Biden to Congress: Ban execs of failed banks from the industry” Axios, 18 Mar. 2023,

3. “Biden calls on Congress to tighten laws to claw back executive pay, levy penalties in bank failures” CNBC, 17 Mar. 2023,

4. “Biden wants Congress to boost penalties for executives when mid-sized banks fail” NPR, 17 Mar. 2023,

5. “Biden to seek more punishments for leaders of failed banks” NewsNation Now, 17 Mar. 2023,

6. “Senate Democrats Who Voted For 2018 Bank Deregulations Say They Have No Regrets” Forbes, 15 Mar. 2023,

7. “Amid crisis, Biden tells Americans ‘banking system is safe’” ABC News, 13 Mar. 2023,