WASHINGTON — A Senate Banking subcommittee will examine the role of independent consultants in the financial services industry, including Promontory Financial Group, at a hearing next week.
Sen. Sherrod Brown is scheduled to chair a financial institutions and consumer protection subcommittee hearing on April 11 that looks at “when it is appropriate for federal regulators to hire independent consultants and how they can best ensure proper oversight.”
The hearing appears centered around regulators’ decision to allow independent consultants to review loan files as part of the independent foreclosure reviews, a move that sparked criticism about potential conflicts of interest.
The panel will hear from Daniel Stepano, the deputy chief counsel of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Richard M. Ashton, the deputy general counsel of the Federal Reserve Board. Also scheduled to appear is Konrad Alt, a managing director with Promontory Financial Group, which has drawn significant attention for its hires of former regulators, including former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro and Julie Williams, the former No. 2 at the OCC (Alt is also a former OCC official, and has also served as staff to the Senate Banking Committee).
James Flanagan, the head of the financial services practice at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, is also scheduled to testify.
House lawmakers are also interested in the role of consultants in the independent foreclosure reviews. Rep. Maxine Waters said late Wednesday that she will introduce legislation next week that would restrict when regulators can rely on third-parties during enforcement actions.