Magazine article American Banker

SEC Looks into Stock Trades of OCC Employee

Magazine article American Banker

SEC Looks into Stock Trades of OCC Employee

Article excerpt

SEC Looks Into Stock Trades of OCC Employee

WASHINGTON -- The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating possible violations of insider-trading rules by a midlevel employee of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

OCC spokeswoman Lee Cross confirmed the investigation but declined to name the individual, who works in the Washington office. He has been placed on administrative leave with pay, Ms. Cross said.

The matter has been referred to the Treasury Department's Office of the Inspector General, which audits and investigates Treasury programs.

Clarke Under Fire

News of the investigation could not come at a worse time for Comptroller Robert L. Clarke, who is facing a tough confirmation hearing on Thursday before the Senate Banking Committee. The panel has been critical of Mr. Clarke's own investment habits as well as his management of the agency that regulates national banks.

Mr. Clarke put his money in a blind trust earlier this summer because of the controversy, even though an ethics probe found no evidence of wrongdoing. Despite his action, the Senate Banking Committee is expected to raise the issue again on Thursday.

Sen. Donald W. Riegle, D-Mich., chairman of the banking committee, asked Mr. Clarke 17 questions about his financial activities, and Mr. Clarke responded in detail on Monday.

He revealed for the first time publicly that Joe F. Lynch, a business associate, is involved in litigation with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., over a "personal investment," and that companies in which Mr. Clarke has been either an active or passive investor have received millions of dollars in loans from national banks.

The banks include, Washington-based American Security Bank; Allied Champions2 Bank of Houston, which subsequently became a national bank, First Interstate Bank of Texas; and Citizens and Southern, now C&S/Sovran, of Atlanta. …

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