Delamaide: SEC official blasts coddling of banks

After the large banks that dominate the world’s financial system have been called “too big to fail” and “too big to jail,” a top U.S. regulator says her agency considers them “too big to bar” from easy access to securities markets.

In a rare public dissent, Kara Stein, one of the three Democratic commissioners on the five-member Securities and Exchange Commission, blasted her agency for granting a waiver last week to the Royal Bank of Scotland to sell its securities without SEC review despite a criminal conviction that should automatically disqualify it from this privilege.

“I fear that the Commission’s action to waive our own automatic disqualification provisions arising from RBS’s criminal misconduct may have enshrined a new policy,” Stein wrote in her dissent this week, “that some firms are just too big to bar.”

RBS is one of the banks at the center of the global investigation into a widespread manipulation of LIBOR, a key benchmark interest rate used to set rates on countless securities and loans around the world.

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