Senate Democrats to Reassess Major Wall Street Settlements
Senator Sherrod Brown (D – OH), ranking minority member on the influential Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, recently launched an inquiry into Wall Street settlements with federal regulators going all the way back to 2005. On September 30, 2015, Brown sent a letter to over a dozen big banks requesting details on legal settlements and their resulting compliance policy changes. The inquiry covers nearly every regulator that engages with the financial services industry, totaling to 15 federal agencies, including the Federal Reserve, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Treasury Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The probe will focus on enforcement actions related to violations of “antitrust, banking, consumer, fraud, housing, securities [and] tax laws,” according to Brown’s letter. The inquiry could open new investigations and comes at the same time that former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has called for greater accountability on the individual level in cases of misconduct. Congressional staffer Bob Roach, who has led previous bank investigations, will manage the inquiry.