SEC chair Mary Jo White has addressed criticisms the regulator isn’t as harsh with the big banks as it should be, reports the New York Times’ DealB%k.

Read: SEC suspends trading in 128 companies

“The debate centers on criticism — from Congressional Democrats and even some of the S.E.C.’s own commissioners — that the agency routinely provided banks valuable ‘waivers’ from so-called bad actor bans that arise when a bank settles an S.E.C. case or pleads guilty to a crime. The waivers, critics say, offer a free pass from bans that would disqualify banks from most private offerings of securities.”

Adds the report: “White emphasized that banks were no more likely to receive a waiver than any other public company, saying, ‘We should and do treat large financial institutions exactly the same as any other firm or person when considering whether a waiver is appropriate — no better, and no worse.’”

Read more here.

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