WASHINGTON — Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is seeking information about the enforcement track record of the government’s financial industry regulators, saying she wants to increase Wall Street accountability.
Warren this week sent letters to the Federal Reserve System, US Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency asking for statistics on prosecutions brought by the government against financial institutions from 2009 to 2012.
This information includes the number of criminal charges and convictions, prison sentences, civil charges, and the amount of money obtained through civil judgment or orders of restitution.
“While we must continue working to create jobs and accelerate our economic recovery, we also must look back to ensure that those who engaged in illegal activity during the crisis and its aftermath are held accountable,” Warren wrote in the letter.
Warren praised the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, an agency responsible for overseeing the bailouts of the financial industry, for its enforcement record. As of mid-July, SIGTARP saved $4.8 billion in court orders and other Troubled Asset Relief Program savings as result of its investigations.
SIGTARP’s enforcement staff and budget from 2009 to 2012 were only a fraction of those at the Fed, SEC and OCC. In 2012, SIGTARP had 164 members of its enforcement staff compared to the 4,071 at the Fed, 1,219 at the SEC, and 3,823 at the OCC, according to the Congressional Research Service.
Warren chaired the Congressional Oversight Panel from 2008 to 2010 and worked with the Government Accountability Office and SIGTARP to oversee the bailouts of the financial industry.
“A great deal of work remains to be done to hold institutions and individuals accountable for breaking the rules and to protect consumers and taxpayers from future violations,” Warren wrote.