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The seal of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency displayed outside the organization's headquarters in Washington, D.C., on March 20, 2019. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key financial regulator, calling climate change a risk to banks and the financial system, is out with draft guidelines for how large banks should address the topic.

Why it matters: The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's guidance "marks the most significant step yet by regulators under President Joe Biden’s administration to push banks to address climate risks," Reuters reports.

The big picture: "Weaknesses in how banks identify, measure, monitor, and control the potential physical and transition risks associated with a changing climate could adversely affect a bank’s safety and soundness, as well as the overall financial system," the OCC document states.

  • Physical risks refer to threats like floods and heat waves, while transition risk refers to how the movement toward a lower-carbon economy could affect banks' assets and portfolios, including fossil fuel clients.

How it works: The draft plan calls on banks with over $100 billion in assets to fold climate risk into underwriting policies, assessing the level of liquid assets they should carry and much more.

Yes, but: Environmentalists are pushing financial regulators and the Federal Reserve to take much more direct and aggressive steps that steer banks away from supporting fossil fuels.

Go deeper

Nathan Bomey, author of Closer
Jan 14, 2022 - Economy & Business

Even banks can't outrun inflation

Photo: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

For the nation’s largest banks, inflation may be too much of a good (for them) thing.

Driving the news: JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup shares fell today — despite delivering solid quarterly revenue and profit — amid concerns that the banks won’t be able to outrun inflation.

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker