Incoming Chair of Banking Committee Says Regulators Should Serve Banks

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One would think that regulators are supposed to oversee the companies they regulate. But the incoming chair of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Spencer Bachus apparently has a different idea.

The incoming chair of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Spencer Bachus, recently gave an interview to a hometown Alabama newspaper. In that interview, he said something that sends shivers up the spine of consumer advocates: that lawmakers and government regulators exist to serve banks. A cut-and-paste from the article in the Birmingham News

Bachus, in an interview Wednesday night, said he brings a “main street” perspective to the committee, as opposed to Wall Street. “In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks,” he said.

He later clarified his comment to say that regulators should set the parameters in which banks operate but not micromanage them.

Together with the Senate Banking Committee, the committee being chaired by Bachus has influence over rules and regulations for banks, capital markets, housing, and consumer credit.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Bachus received more than $750,000 in contributions from financial firms over the last two years.

“Republicans putting Spencer Bachus in charge of financial regulation is voting for the fox to guard the hen house,” said Ryan Rudominer of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

To read more about Bachus, check out this article from the Washington Times.

Stacy Johnson

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