Senate Democrat calls for hearing on megabank enforcement actions

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WASHINGTON — The top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee called on the panel's chairman to hold a hearing examining misconduct by the largest U.S. banks.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, the committee's ranking member, highlighted data compiled by the panel's minority staff showing that 2007 levels of enforcement actions against Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo were similar to those levels in 2012, years after the financial crisis. The committee’s “Misconduct by the Numbers” report underlined that at Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, enforcement actions actually increased during that span.

“A decade after the financial crisis, Wall Street banks are raking in record profits and rewarding CEOs with record buybacks with the help of Republican legislative giveaways and lapdog Trump regulators,” said Brown in a press release Wednesday, the same day the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing with CEOs of seven of the largest banks.

“Time and time again, the watchdogs took one enforcement action only to find that another violation is occurring in a different part of the bank at the same time,” Brown said.

The minority staff's report suggests that the amount of misconduct is not fully reflected by the volume of enforcement actions. "The data aggregated by the Committee demonstrates that while enforcement actions are issued intermittently, at any given time there are multiple misdeeds occurring within any given institution," according to the press release.

“It’s important now, more than ever, for Congress and Trump regulators to hold Wall Street banks to the law, to strengthen economic protections, and to break up large, complicated banks that cannot be managed effectively,” said Brown. "Hardworking Americans face real consequences when they break the law, so should the banks."

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