Democrat Barney Frank Was Board Member at Collapsed Signature Bank

Democrat former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) was a member of the board at the collapsed Signature Bank.

As Slay News reported, New York-based Signature was shut down by regulators on Sunday in the wake of the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) collapse on Friday.

Now it has emerged that the former Democrat congressman, author of the 2010 Dodd-Frank bill, was a board member at the imploded bank.

In a joint statement on Sunday, the U.S. Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced the plan to manage the fallout of SVB’s collapse as well as the demise of Signature Bank.

“Today we are taking decisive actions to protect the U.S. economy by strengthening public confidence in our banking system,” the joint statement read.

“This step will ensure that the U.S. banking system continues to perform its vital roles of protecting deposits and providing access to credit to households and businesses in a manner that promotes strong and sustainable economic growth.”

“We are also announcing a similar systemic risk exception for Signature Bank, New York, New York, which was closed today by its state chartering authority,” it added.

“All depositors of this institution will be made whole.

“As with the resolution of Silicon Valley Bank, no losses will be borne by the taxpayer.”

SVB collapsed last Friday after depositors rushed to withdraw money in fear of its impending fall.

It was the 16th largest bank in the country its implosion marked the second-largest U.S. bank collapse in history.

According to Fox Business, Signature Bank became “popular among crypto companies” and provided “deposit services for its clients’ digital assets but did not make loans collateralized by them.”

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Prior to the SVB collapse, Signature said it had been trying to limit such deposits.

The bank promised that it was in a “well-diversified financial position” and had “limited digital-asset related deposit balances in the wake of industry developments.”

“We want to make it clear again that Signature Bank is a well-diversified, full-service commercial bank with more than two decades of history and solid performance serving middle market businesses,” Joseph J. DePaolo, Signature Bank Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer said in a statement.

“We have built a strong reputation serving commercial clients through nine business lines and reached in excess of $100 billion in assets by continually executing our single-point-of-contact, relationship-based model where banking teams are capable of meeting all client needs,” he added.

Frank, who sat on Signature Bank’s board, strongly supported legislation in 2018 that curtailed some of the regulations that his own law Dodd-Frank put in place.

“Dodd-Frank imposed additional regulatory safeguards on banks with more than $50 billion in assets, but the rollback that passed this week, among other things, raises that threshold to $250 billion,” the Washington Post reported in 2018.

“Signature Bank has more than $40 billion in assets and can now grow significantly without automatically facing additional regulation,” the report added.

“Frank has served on Signature’s board for three years and has received more than $1 million in payments from the bank during that time.”

When pressed at the time, Frank said while indeed stood to benefit from the rollback, his position at Signature Bank did not influence his decision.

“My being on the board has not changed my position on this at all,” Frank said.

“These efforts began well before I began at Signature Bank.”

In 2009, Frank, who was then the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was giving a speech at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government when he was asked if he shared any responsibility for the global financial meltdown of 2008.

Per the Los Angeles Times:

Frank, perhaps defensive over charges that he fought Bush administration efforts to reign in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in 2001, dismissed the question as ‘a right-wing attack,’ and challenged the student to make clear what else a Democratic congressman from Massachusetts might have done to prevent the crisis.

The student, Joel Pollak, replied that perhaps Frank could have done more to patrol executive bonuses to AIG and other giants bailed out with $700 billion in taxpayer funds.

The exchange got pretty heated — another student came to Pollak’s rescue, imploring Frank not to label the student as a conservative but to answer his question.

But Frank insisted that he had not been chairman of the committee before 2007, and was hardly to blame for policies before that.

Speaking with Greta Van Susteren of Fox News after the exchange, Pollak said Frank had been putting too much blame on Republicans.

“When I heard his speech and I heard him blame everyone from Ronald Reagan to the conservatives of the 1930s for opposing whatever it was he was pushing, I thought to myself, ‘Hang on a second’,” said Pollak.

“This guy is someone in a position of responsibility and authority.

“This guy is the one who’s making the regulations,” he added.

“He’s responsible, essentially, for recreating and redesigning our financial system, and he’s not taking any responsibility for what happened at all.”

READ MORE: First Republic Bank Plunges 66%, Western Alliance Down 62%, Customers Begin Lining Up

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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