Banks Say Fed Should Lead in CyberSecurity for Industry

May 7, 2013

Jeff Kearns

U.S. banks urged the Federal Reserve to take the lead in defending the financial services industry from cyber attacks by working with federal counterterrorism, intelligence and law enforcement agencies, documents show.

Bank representatives on the Federal Advisory Council said at their last gathering on Feb. 8 in Washington that the Fed should collect and distribute threat information to lenders, law enforcement, securities exchanges and clearinghouses, according to meeting minutes obtained today through a Freedom of Information Act request by Bloomberg News.

Lenders said cybersecurity is “a critical issue for the industry and the financial system” and that they are stepping up plans to mitigate incursions after recent attacks, minutes showed. Some institutions received assistance from the Treasury Department and National Security Agency, the records show.

“The Fed is already well equipped to play a role in sharing sensitive information among banks without disclosing commercially sensitive data,” bankers said, according to the minutes. The Fed should offer “advisory services as a trusted interlocutor between banks and other government agencies in relaying selected threat information to the banking community.”