NorthJersey.com

Financial Overhaul Plan Gets Mixed Reviews

The Record (NorthJersey.com) — Tuesday, April 1, 2008

BY RICHARD NEWMAN
STAFF WRITER

New Jersey bankers, a Washington analyst and a consumer watchdog weighed in Monday on the government's sweeping plan to consolidate regulatory functions.

"There are big turf and jurisdiction issues here. In this political environment, it is tough to see this passing in 2008.''

— Brian Gardner, Washington analyst for New York City-based investment bank Keefe Bruyette & Woods.

"I welcome the idea that insurance companies, state regulations and mortgage brokers be brought under one umbrella. If New Jersey is smart, they'll see it as a way to cut costs. Why do states regulate insurance companies? ... What I'm saying is, let's get rid of it [New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.]''

— Ronald Hermance, chief executive officer of Hudson City Bancorp

"We need strong mandates here. And they should not lose sight of the fact that hundreds of thousands of [homeowners] are being put out on the street."

— Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, executive director of New Jersey Citizen Action

"I disagree with doing away with the Office of Thrift Supervision, which is my regulator. We're the third-largest mutual in the country, and the OTS understands the uniqueness of mutual banks.''

— Raymond Hallock, chief executive officer of Fair Lawn-based Columbia Bank

"Mortgage bankers and brokers need to be better regulated. It's that whole issue of having skin in the game. We lend on our books. They cut [loans] up, securitize them and sell them all over the world."

— Frank Sorrentino, chief executive officer of North Jersey Community Bank in Englewood Cliffs

"We are opposed to consolidating the OTS with the OCC (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency). OTS does an effective job and that should continue.''

— John McWeeney, chief executive officer of the New Jersey Bankers Association

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