Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Fed's job of regulating the nation's banks gives the central bank more expertise in dealing with financial crises.
In a speech to an economic conference in Chicago, Bernanke argued that the United States gets significant benefits by having its central bank also involved in regulating banks. That differs from the system in place in other countries where the central bank deals only with monetary policy - the setting of interest rates - and leaves bank regulation to other agencies.
The supervisory authority of the Fed has significant collateral benefits in helping it carry out its responsibilities for financial stability," Bernanke said in his speech, copies of which were released in Washington.
The speech also will be broadcast on cnbc.com at 3:30 p.m. New York time.
Bernanke's prepared remarks didn't address the Fed's economic or policy outlook. He wasn't scheduled to answer questions.