Magazine article American Banker

Washington People

Magazine article American Banker

Washington People

Article excerpt

Almost Right

It is rare that lawmakers acknowledge mistakes in Washington, but Rep. Barney Frank issued a mea culpa recently in a letter to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

In an earlier letter, dated April 19, the Massachusetts Democrat urged the agency to deny deposit insurance for planned industrial loan companies that would not meet a test outlined in a legislative amendment he wrote with Ohio Rep. Paul Gillmor.

In that letter, Rep. Frank said the provision, included in the House regulatory-relief bill, would ban ILC ownership by any company that derives more than 15% of revenue from commercial activities. Under those terms, Rep. Frank said, the FDIC would be forced to reject Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s pending application to charter an ILC in Utah.

The problem? The amendment would not actually ban commercial companies from owning ILCs but would stop ILCs owned by such firms from branching across state lines.

In an April 26 letter, Rep. Frank acknowledged the error, noting that he had "mistakenly stated that the Gillmor-Frank provisions prohibit the 'ownership of' rather than 'branching by' " an ILC.

But the lawmaker argued that his overall point still stands. "I believe that the revenue test is sound policy and should be extended to all pending and new ILC applications for the reasons stated in my April 19 letter," he wrote.

New Initials

Sepideh Behram started today as the new senior compliance counsel at the American Bankers Association. She is responsible for the ABA's policy development, advocacy, and member support for Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money-laundering compliance.

Ms. Behram had worked for E-Trade, where she was global AML officer for E-Trade Financial and deputy chief compliance officer for E-Trade Bank.

Ms. Behram reports to Richard Riese, the director of the ABA's Center for Regulatory Compliance. …

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