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Former Texas Republican Congressman Steve Bartlett announced he will step down as CEO of the Washington-based Financial Services Roundtable at the end of the year. According to news reports, possible replacements include former Congressman Mike Oxley (the Oxley half of Sarbanes-Oxley) and CFTC Commissioner Jill Sommers.
In a letter announcing his resignation, Bartlett wrote the Roundtable has achieved much of what it set out to accomplish since he became CEO in 1999. He cited Class Action Reform, WTO legislation, Bankruptcy Reform, Sarbanes-Oxley, TARP and Dodd-Frank as major milestones for the industry. While the Roundtable “has not ‘won’ every legislative battle,” Bartlett wrote, “we have succeeded more than not.”
Bartlett noted that the 2012 elections will bring new leadership and perhaps new congressional majorities to Washington and that he believed it was better to make a change “at the beginning of a governing cycle.” He also wrote that the financial services industry is “poised to regain [its] reputation” after having “weathered the worst economic crisis in modern times.”
Politico’s Morning Money suggested Bartlett’s departure may be linked to the perception that the Roundtable “mishandled the push to defeat the Durbin amendment to Dodd-Frank limiting debt card interchange fees” – a setback it called “the banking industry’s biggest loss on the Hill in recent years.”