WASHINGTON — Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is asking regulators to provide better oversight of independent consultants hired by financial institutions after the state of New York cracked down on Deloitte Financial Advisory Services earlier this week.

The state's Department of Financial Services fined Deloitte $10 million for some of its earlier anti-money laundering work with Standard Chartered. The move comes as lawmakers and regulators across the country dial up scrutiny of consultants' practices connected with a number of efforts, including the failed independent foreclosure review earlier this year.

In a June 21 letter to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke and Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry, Brown praises new standards New York is developing for independent consultants, and urges federal regulators to adopt similar guidelines. He notes in the letter that regulators at a Senate Banking Committee hearing in April testified they did not have such standards in place, though the OCC said it was looking into whether they are needed.

"DFS's common-sense proposals will bring needed oversight to independent, profit-seeking companies that play a crucial role in our regulatory system. But these new standards will only bring transparency to the small segment of consultants working with New York regulators," Brown wrote. "I urge the OCC and the Federal Reserve to act immediately to create a similar set of written standards for independent consultants."

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