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Bob Clarke, Former Comptroller of the Currency, Discusses Global Financial Markets

December 13, 2006

NEW YORK (Dec. 13, 2006) – Bracewell & Giuliani LLP senior partner Robert L. Clarke discussed implementation of the Basel II global bank accord in financial markets in the United States at an Institute of International Bankers seminar Nov. 30 at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

The seminar examined how Basel II -a framework intended to help financial institutions better identify and manage future risks-impacts bank and capital market products and strategies, efforts by banks to deal with operational risk issues, progress in improving home-host coordination and U.S. regulators’ approach to Basel II implementation. 

Among Mr. Clarke's key messages to attendees were: 

  • The Basel II agreement is unnecessarily complex and expensive.
  • It creates competitive disparities between banks that are required or elect to adopt it.
  • The methods by which the U.S. regulators propose to implement it are different from the way it is being implemented in other countries. Retaining the present leverage ratio, for example, will undermine much of the benefit sought to be achieved from the accord as adopted.

Founder of Bracewell’s national and international Financial Services Practice, Mr. Clarke counsels banks in matters involving state and federal banking laws, regulations and supervisory agencies, mergers and acquisitions of financial institutions, strategic planning, new financial services products and management of regulatory risk.

Mr. Clarke served as Comptroller of the Currency for six years under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.  He has been a consultant to the World Bank and has advised the governments of Hungary, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Latvia, Romania, Kazakhstan and Hong Kong in their bank supervisory operations.   He has served on the boards of directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Resolution Trust Corporation. Mr. Clarke currently serves as a director of the Dubai Financial Services Authority.

The Institute of International Bankers is a national association devoted to representing and advancing the interests of the international banking community in the United States. Its membership is comprised of approximately 150 banking organizations that have headquarters in 50 other countries around the world.