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A post-TARP proposal: Make CEOs certify banks are fraud-free

Joe Mont | October 27, 2016

Bank executives, critics might say, were coated in Teflon throughout the financial crisis of 2008 and its aftermath. Attempts to level crimnal charges and personal liability against them for risky bets that contributed to the crisis and post-recession sins have never quite stuck.

Now, amid an increased call for criminal liability in the wake of a scandal that saw Wells Fargo employees opening nearly 2.5 million unauthorized customer accounts and credit cards, there is a renewed focus on punishing executives for compliance failures and criminal activity that gestate under their watch. The latest pitch: forcing top executives to certify that their institutions are free of criminal conduct and civil fraud.

The proposal, by Christy Romero, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, was detailed in a quarterly report to Congress that was made public on Oc....

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