NY bank regulator vows more consultant oversight

AP News
Posted: Nov 01, 2013 1:13 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's top banking regulator is promising more oversight of bank consultants, including large accounting firms, citing an old, ignored state law that gives his office "the power to drive reform in the industry."

Addressing a conference on corporate responsibility this week at the University at Binghamton, state Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky said consultants are hired by banks to straighten out problems but can be conflicted taking tough stands with the clients who pay them.

He says the Department of Financial Services is starting to find consultants equally compromised as their clients after looking at banks in money-laundering investigations.

Meanwhile, DFS lawyers unearthed a century-old New York banking statute, which Lawsky says requires DFS approval for consultants to access confidential bank information.