Ending "too big to fail"? Great. Establishing a systemic-risk council? Terrific. Contrary to popular belief that bankers oppose financial reform efforts, Robert P. Kelly, the chairman and chief executive of Bank of New York Mellon Corp., said he agrees with close to 90% of what's in the legislation being debated by Congress. What he really objects to, he said, is that the bill doesn't do more to get at what he considers the heart of the crisis: problems in the residential mortgage market.

Rather than focusing on standards for down payments or documentation, he complained, reform efforts are centered on hot-button topics like derivatives trading. "All of this stuff doesn't get to the real issue," Kelly said Monday at the Global Financial Forum, an annual confab in New York organized by BritishAmerican Business, Chatham House and the Foreign Policy Association, and held this year at Citigroup Inc.'s downtown offices.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.