(Bloomberg) — U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren railed against Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White’s performance, saying her tenure at Wall Street’s top regulator has been marked by weak enforcement and sluggish rulemaking.
“Your leadership of the commission has been extremely disappointing,” Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, wrote in a letter dated June 2.
White has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months as the agency struggles to finish rules that were required by Congress more than five years ago. According to Warren, White has continued a pattern of letting banks settle fraud cases without admitting wrongdoing and with little disruption to their businesses.
White has also failed to address conflict-of-interest concerns related to her husband’s work as an attorney for Wall Street firms, Warren wrote. The senator asked White for a list of enforcement cases she was recused from because her husband worked on them as an outside attorney.
John White, a partner at Cravath, Swain & Moore, counsels companies on their disclosure and accounting requirements, according to the firm’s website. Mary Jo White told the Senate Banking Committee in March 2013 that her husband’s legal work wouldn’t interfere much with her own duties as chair.
In response, she said Tuesday that the agency has advanced more than 30 regulations required by Congress and last year levied more than $4 billion in penalties against defendants accused of misconduct.
“Senator Warren’s mischaracterization of my statements and the agency’s accomplishments is unfortunate, but it will not detract from the work we have done, and will continue to do, on behalf of investors,” White said.