Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., are asking Attorney General Eric Holder to clarify his admission last week about whether some financial institutions are too big to prosecute.

"Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee last week that he has concerns about the size of some institutions and the impact that has on deciding whether to bring criminal charges to court in some cases. Warner and Corker are now requesting more information from the top Justice Department official about his views and the implications for bank prosecutions in the wake of those candid remarks, which sent shockwaves through the financial community," writes American Banker's Victoria Finkle.

"We would first like to understand precisely what you meant by this response," the senators wrote in a March 12 letter, citing Holder's remarks. "It is truly the position of the Department of Justice that some financial institutions are large enough that their management is above prosecution in the case of a serious crime?"

In the letter, Warner and Corker added that the 2010 Dodd-Frank reform law was supposed to fix the problem of "too big to fail" institutions by providing measures to wind down large banks in times of crisis.

"The intent of the Dodd-Frank reform legislation was to create a regulatory infrastructure that prevents economic damage from the failure of any systemically important institution. If you believe that major impediments to this objective remain or somehow hinder the ability of the Justice Department to pursue criminal prosecutions, we would expect you to clearly articulate your concerns so that we or the appropriate regulators can immediately address them," the letter says. "If the administration believes that the orderly liquidation process is insufficient in some respect, then the administration and Congress should address any necessary changes right away to ensure that no institution is 'too big to jail.'"

For the full piece see "Warner, Corker Ask Holder to Clarify 'Too Big to Jail' Remarks" (may require subscription).