Merged bank trade group unveils new name

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WASHINGTON — The group formed by the merger of The Clearing House Association and the Financial Services Roundtable announced Monday that its new name will be the Bank Policy Institute.

Greg Baer, the group’s chief executive, said the BPI aims to have a larger presence with Congress, among the regulators and elsewhere, focusing on key industry issues such as reforming anti-money-laundering laws.

“The old Clearing House didn’t have a political action committee,” said Baer, who was previously president of the Clearing House Association, in an interview. “We need to make sure our message is heard there as well as in the halls of academia and the Federal Reserve and the FDIC.”

“We need to make sure our message is heard there as well as in the halls of academia and the Federal Reserve and the FDIC,” said Greg Baer, CEO of the Bank Policy Institute.

In a press release, Baer said the work of the new group “will rest on a foundation of research and analysis.”

“We will demonstrate that America’s leading banks are extraordinarily resilient and that the right balance of policies and regulations must be maintained to help ensure they continue to play their important role in helping drive economic growth,” he said.

In addition to bolstering its message to lawmakers, BPI will use the Financial Services Roundtable’s business, innovation, technology, and security division, or BITS, to conduct research and push for new policies to keep up with cybersecurity and technology. BITS is led by c-suite executives including CEOs, chief information officers and chief information security officers.

BITS has “really been a business leader when it comes to fraud protection and cybersecurity,” Baer said in the interview. The technology group “will also have a policy component going forward,” he added.

The merger between the two groups comes about two months after President Trump signed the Senate’s regulatory relief bill. Baer said BPI hopes Congress will continue its oversight of financial regulators.

“We are really looking to Congress to perform its oversight function,” Baer said. “There’s a lot that’s going on at the federal agencies … we’re making sure that the Hill is informed about and has the ability to weigh in.”

The merged group said in the press release that it is hoping to continue to testify before Congress and produce “academic-quality” research papers and “data-driven” policy analysis through blog posts, white papers and comment letters.

Members of BPI will include universal and regional banks as well as major foreign banks that do business in the U.S. Staff include economists, researchers, financial analysts and attorneys.

“The CEOs in the BPI represent millions of employees who are helping drive the economy ahead by serving their customers and clients,” said Brian Moynihan, chief executive officer of Bank of America and chairman of BPI, in the press release. “On their behalf, we look forward to working with policymakers and elected officials, who share that objective with us.”

Neil Haggerty

Neil Haggerty is the Congress reporter for American Banker. He previously was a financial regulation reporter at MLex Market Insight.

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