As Washington regulators develop and finalize hundreds of regulations under the Dodd-Frank reform law, banks and other financial services companies are hiring more lobbyists to influence the process.
Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Co., TD Bank and Fifth Third Bank are among the banks that have added Washington staff in the past year. For instance, Citigroup hired Candida Wolff, an ex-Bush administration legislative affairs liaison, while TD added Edward Silverman, a former Senate Banking Committee staff director, Roll Call reported.
And Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. – a company with a lot at stake in how derivatives regulations are written – hired lobbyist Dan Cohen, to open the company’s first Washington office, the newspaper said. Cohen, who once worked for former Republican Rep. Joseph McDade of Pennsylvania, says the new DTCC office will be expanding to add more staff.
“This will create more jobs than the jobs stimulus bill,” said Richard Hunt, president of the Consumer Bankers Association, whose group has added lawyers and lobbyists and is in the market for more.
Date in charge of CFPB – Raj Date, a top deputy at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will take over daily operations of the new agency when Elizabeth Warren departs at the end of July to return to Harvard Law School.
Date joined the bureau in February as associate director of research, markets and regulation, overseeing key products such as credit cards and mortgages, the Washington Post reports. He formerly worked at Capital One and Deutsche Bank, and left the banking industry in 2009 to start a nonprofit think tank dedicated to financial regulatory issues.
Since September, Warren has orchestrated the creation of the bureau by hiring staffers and meeting with bankers and lawmakers across the country. While she had hoped to stay on as the bureau’s director, President Barack Obama last week nominated former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray for the job. Warren is also said to be considering running for a U.S. Senate seat against incumbent Republican Scott Brown of Massachusetts next year.
SEC’s new tip machine – The Securities and Exchange Commission’s new $21 million Tips, Complaints and Referrals (TCR) database seems to be working well so far as a tool to help detect and stop Wall Street fraud and Ponzi schemes, financial analysts told Reuters.
Launched in March, the TCR database was the SEC’s most significant response to complaints that it fumbled early tips about investment manager Bernard Madoff’s $65 billion fraud. The database is used by the SEC’s Office of Market Intelligence and by the FBI, which are working together to improve how they handle complaints and tips about suspected Wall Street wrongdoing.
Among TCR’s proponents is Harry Markopolos, the Boston-based financial analyst and fraud investigator who repeatedly – and unsuccessfully – asked the SEC to investigate Madoff. He testified to Congress two years ago that the SEC suffered from “investigative ineptitude and financial illiteracy” but says his views have now changed.
“Everything they should have done in the Madoff case they are now doing,” Markopolos said. “They have done a fantastic job of reforming themselves.”
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