Barnard: 'Point Man for Banking Industry?' Georgia's Banker-Turned-Congressman Usually Counted on as Ally

By Kahn, Ephraim | American Banker, February 21, 1984 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Barnard: 'Point Man for Banking Industry?' Georgia's Banker-Turned-Congressman Usually Counted on as Ally

Kahn, Ephraim, American Banker

WASHINGTON -- Doug Barnard Jr. is one banker whose stock has risen. At least in Congress, that is.

In 1977, after 25 years in banking, Mr. Barnard switched careers to become a U.S. representative. Today, because of key appointments to the House Banking and Government Operations committees, the relatively junior Georgia Democrat has become one of the more powerful members on issues affecting banking.

And that is a welcome development to bankers, for Mr. Barnard's convictions have led some to describe him as "the point man for the banking industry."

A check of some of his legislation shows why he is seen as sympathetic to the banking viewpoint.

Mr. Barnard has introduced a bill (HR 1013) that would require the Federal Reserve Board to begin paying interest on the reserves held by banks on certain deposit accounts. He has also offered HR 4484, which would permit banks to better compete with the Fed in check clearing.

And along with Delegate Walter Fauntroy, D-D.C., he has introduced a bill (HR 4008) proposing a limited easing of the geographic restrictions on banks -- so they can take advantage of the "natural marketplace for financial institutions" that exists in the Maryland-Virginia-District of Columbia area.

Mr. Barnard also has been outspoken about the need for Congress to take action that would substitute equality in regulation for the "helter-skelter" developments now taking place in the financial markets.

But not everything he is working on has a pro-banking slant. As chairman of the government operations subcommittee on commerce, consumer, and monetary affairs, Mr. Barnard has instituted an investigation of possible problems in the prosecution of criminal misconduct by bankers.

Mr. Barnard, interviewed in his congressional office, said that according to information obtained by the subcommittee, "It appears that in 60% of the cases of bank failures, there is some criminal element involved. The chief executive officer or some officer of the bank has committed some crime as far as banking law is concerned. The problem is, though, we see few instances of these people being brought to trial and convicted and serving time."

The panel, he added, has discovered that there have been a "tremendous number of referrals [of cases of criminal activity] by the bank regulators to the Justice Department, and yet we find that the Justice Department has actually not sought out the indictment of more than one or two." He said subcommittee hearings on the issue are scheduled for April.

Another issue he is studying is how to improve the ability of the federal insurance funds to collect money from the writers of bankers' blanket bond insurance policies. These policies cover banks for losses stemming from dishonesty of employees and officers, as well as from robberies, burglaries, and other occurrences.

Unlike the House Banking Committee, the government operations subcommittee cannot propose new laws. But as an oversight subcommittee, it has the important power to look into the ways federal agencies related to finance -- the regulators, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission -- are doing their jobs. Exercising Power with Discretion

So far, Mr. Barnard, the former executive vice president for marketing and public relations of the $388 million-deposit Georgia Railroad Bank & Trust in Augusta, has exercised his expanded power on Capitol Hill with political discretion.

"We will certainly coordinate our activities so as not to bring about any duplication with what's going on in the Banking Committee," he said. The committee's chairman, Fernand J. St Germain, D-R.I., was instrumental in Rep. Barnard's appointment to the government operation committee. In short, Rep. Barnard doesn't plan to roil the waters or needlessly offend Rep.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Barnard: 'Point Man for Banking Industry?' Georgia's Banker-Turned-Congressman Usually Counted on as Ally


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?