Magazine article American Banker

NY State Regulator, A Veteran of BCCI Scandal, Is Retiring

Magazine article American Banker

NY State Regulator, A Veteran of BCCI Scandal, Is Retiring

Article excerpt

Robert H. McCormick is retiring Friday after a 37-year career supervising New York banks.

From failing thrifts to foreign banks shaken by fraud, Mr. McCormick has seen it all since he signed on as an examiner with the New York State Banking Department in 1963.

In an interview this week, the 60-year-old regulator said he has no definite plan other than to slow down. "This is a very demanding job. I put in enormous hours here," he said. "I'm hoping to stay involved (with industry issues) but on a somewhat less frenzied basis."

Mr. McCormick was named deputy superintendent in 1982 and spent most of the last decade leading the agency's oversight of 290 foreign banks, which have $1 trillion of assets, or 70% of the assets held by foreign banks in this country. The Daiwa and BCCI scandals landed in his lap.

"He has been a major reason why a number of foreign banks, weighing the option of a national license over a state license, have decided to stay" with the state license, said Rodgin Cohen, a partner in the Sullivan & Cromwell law firm in New York who represents many foreign banks. "He is constructive in his thinking. He tries to solve problems."

Mr. McCormick said the calls, cards, and e-mails he has received since announcing his retirement have overwhelmed him. "There has been so much of an outpouring of good words and good will from so many places and people that it's been somewhat humbling," he said. "

Asked if he was ever tempted to cash in and take a private-sector job, he replied, "the grass was never green enough on the other side of the fence to make me jump. …

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