Magazine article American Banker

Bankers Roundtable Hires Lobbyist from Rival Group to Beef Up Efforts

Magazine article American Banker

Bankers Roundtable Hires Lobbyist from Rival Group to Beef Up Efforts

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- The Bankers Roundtable, the new trade group for the nation's big banks, is moving to beef up its legislative operation by hiring the chief lobbyist from a rival trade group.

Alfred, Pollard, lobbyist for Savings and Community Bankers of America, will join the Roundtable on May 1, said Anthony T. Cluff, the group's executive director.

Mr. Cluff said Wednesday that Mr. Pollard's title has not been defined, but added that he would be working alongside the group's legislative director, John Rippey. Mr. Pollard will report directly to Mr. Cluff.

"He will add to out legislative capability," Mr. Cluff said. "He will help in terms of legislative policy development and help us strategize."

Mr. Cluff also denied speculation among industry sources that Mr. Pollard's recruitment is a signal that Mr. Rippey is on his way out as the Roundtable recasts itself after the merger of the two big-bank trade groups that created the association.

"The board and I have asked John to stay on," he said.

"I don't want John to look upon this as a threat," he added. "If there is a change, it is John's to make."

Mr. Cluff said Mr. Rippey would "retain responsibility for interstate branching and will handle other projects that come along."

Branching Advocate

It was Mr. Rippey's role in House passage of the interstate branching bill that helped fuel some of the speculation that he would be leaving.

During negotiations over the measure, Mr. Rippey drafted a memo to follow lobbyists urging them to resist Republican efforts to modify a section of a leadership amendment dealing with branch closings.

The amendement, sponsored by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., would have required regulators to take into account any pattern of branch closings in low-income communities before approving branching applications.

Republicans were unhappy that the amendment was negotiated without their participation and asked bank representatives to comment on it. …

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