U.S. Office of Financial Research

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U.S. Office of Financial Research
Founded 2010
Headquarters Washington, DC
Key People Ken Phelan, Acting Director

The Office of Financial Research (OFR) was established by Title I of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, in order to "improve the quality of financial data available to policymakers and facilitate more robust and sophisticated analysis of the financial system."[1] The OFR, which is housed within the U.S. Department of the Treasury, works in conjunction with the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) and regulators such as the SEC and CFTC to standardize data and identify systemic vulnerabilities. [2]

The OFR also includes the Research and Analysis Center, which leads, monitors, and disseminates research to support the regulation of financial sector.

In January 2013, the OFR appointed Richard Berner as its first director. Berner left the agency at the end of 2017, to be replaced by Acting Director Ken Phelan, who took over on Jan. 1, 2018.[3]

The office has been a target of congressional Republicans since it was created, and some Republican lawmakers have sought to disband it. President Donald Trump’s administration proposed in June of 2017 that Congress move the agency fully inside the Treasury, which would essentially undo the political buffers that Congress put in place in the Dodd-Frank legislation. That followed shortly after the Treasury in May suggested cutting the OFR's workforce about 38% in its annual budget proposal. The OFR director has final say over the agency’s budget but must consult with the Treasury.[4]

On August 8, 2018, the Trump administration notified about 40 staff members that they would be laid off. Staff at the OFR were told in January that jobs would be eliminated as the administration sought to cut the OFR’s budget by 25 percent to around $76 million.[5]