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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined banks' call-report systems to determine whether they were using automation to make call reports available to bank regulators and the public. GAO found that: (1) by reducing call report processing time with electronic systems, federal regulators could obtain vital financial indicator information quickly, which would help to minimize Bank Insurance Fund losses; (2) bank regulators, including the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), have announced several proposals to improve processing time by urging banks to file their reports electronically; (3) many banks have objected to electronic reporting; (4) FFIEC plans to further investigate the costs, benefits, and alternatives to electronic call report processing, due to banks' concerns that the costs outweigh the benefits; (5) FFIEC plans to continue pursuing mandatory electronic filing and will study the feasibility of regulatory agencies incurring the cost of the electronic equipment.

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