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May 11, 2016

Rickard: Global Regulatory ‘Piling On’ a Gross Distortion of Justice

Writing in Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, ILR President Lisa A. Rickard laments the era of prosecutorial “piling on” in which the collective result is multiple “punishments” that grossly distort justice.

She points to a recent London conference of the world’s top financial regulators in which the global “piling on” phenomenon was on full display. In the United States alone, she writes, “investigators have no obligation to prove a connection between the misconduct they allege and the settlement they demand as “settlement amounts are picked out of thin air.”

Rickard cites the case of Ally Bank, in which the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) extracted a $98 million settlement over allegations of auto loan discrimination. This, despite internal CFPB documents showing the agency believed its own case was weak but that it had ample “leverage for a large settlement.”

“It is high time that we establish fair standards for prosecuting wrongdoing,” Rickard concludes. “It’s a simple matter of justice.”

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