Warren questions Williams’ fit at N.Y. Fed; U.S. banks’ big U.K. pay gaps

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The Wells taint: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is demanding that if Federal Reserve Bank of Sen Francisco president John C. Williams is tapped for the top slot at the New York Fed, he testify before the Senate Banking Committee before being approved. While the position doesn’t require Senate confirmation, Warren wants the committee, where she is a member, to have the opportunity to grill him on his record.

Williams’s “track record raises several questions, including about his fitness to supervise Wall Street banks given the San Francisco Fed’s inadequate supervision of Wells Fargo during its many consumer scandals,” Warren said in a statement.

Whoever is chosen, the New York Times wants William C. Dudley’s successor to continue his attempts to “improve the culture at the firms he oversaw, a key initiative of his tenure of at the institution. The example of Wells Fargo is pertinent” for Williams, it says.

The Journal compares Williams and Dudley.

American Banker sits down with Dudley for a story and a podcast.

The Washington Post looks at the diversity — or lack of it — at the Fed’s regional banks. “To be sure, that is partly because central banking candidates are drawn from the top echelons of the financial sector and the economics profession — realms that themselves are pretty white and male,” it says. “But even given that constraint, diversity is limited by the byzantine rules and electoral politics involved in selecting Fed leaders.”

The yawning gap: Female employees of the biggest American investment banks in London — Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley — are paid around half as much as their male counterparts, according to required disclosures by the banks. Those gender pay gaps are “some of the biggest” in the U.K., “reflecting long-established cultures of men dominating top trading and advisory roles and women working in junior posts or as administrators.”

Among the 10 biggest London investment banks, the median pay gap was 29% and the median bonus gap was more than 50%. Financial Times, American Banker here and here

American International Group handed out big pay last year, shelling out $67.3 million to its chief executive officers: $24.2 million to Peter Hancock, who left under pressure in March, and $43.1 million to Brian Duperreault, the man who replaced him. More than half of the latter’s compensation was inducement to get him to leave his previous employer.

Shopping around: Deutsche Bank has already started to look for possible successors to CEO, John Cryan, whose contract doesn’t end until 2020. Paul Achleitner, the chairman of the big German bank, has begun to reach out to potential candidates, according to reports. “Pressure has risen on Mr. Cryan and other Deutsche Bank executives after the lender recently missed cost-cutting targets” and its CFO warned about weak first quarter investment-banking revenue, the Journal said. “Morale and retention are bruised,” and the bank’s stock is down 29% this year. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times, American Banker

Wall Street Journal

Under the microscope: The 20 employees at Banco Santander’s blockchain lab in Madrid “are experimenting with how the online ledger technology could be used for international payments as well as compliance, audits and transactions within capital markets.”

Tough task: Sherborne Investors, which recently bought a minority stake in Barclays, faces several “obstacles that [will be] hard to overcome” depending on what its intentions are regarding the big British bank, the Heard on the Street column says.


“If Mr. Williams is selected, the Fed’s Board of Governors should not approve his selection until Mr. Williams and the co-chairs of the New York Fed’s search committee testify before the Senate Banking Committee about his qualifications and the process that led to his selection.” — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., about the possibility of John Williams being selected to head the New York Fed.

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