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Obama nominates chiefs for SEC, consumer financial protection body


06:58, January 25, 2013

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday announced new nominees to lead two federal agencies in charge of oversight of the financial industry, a move following the recent reshuffle of the new administration.

In his announcement made at the White house, Obama said he had selected Mary Jo White to serve as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Ms. White was experienced at prosecuting large-scale, white- collar crimes in complex securities and financial institution fraud, according to Jay Carney, the White House press secretary.

The SEC plays a central role in fighting against wrongdoing that is related to sophisticated financial products. In the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2012, it filed 734 enforcement actions and collected more than 3 billion U.S. dollars in penalties and disgorgement under the leadership of previous chair Mary Shapiro, who resigned in December.

The U.S. president also renominated Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal body funded by the Federal Reserve and tasked with protecting consumers when they use financial products such as mortgages and credit cards.

Obama made a recess appointment of Cordray to the post in January 2012, as Republicans repeatedly blocked the nomination previously and demanded the agency be transformed into a commission as a way to check the clout of Democrats. After Cordray taking the post, the CFPB has functioned to its full swing and released a series of rules governing credit card companies and mortgage servicers.

Both nominations still need the Senate's confirmation.

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