washingtonpost.com — At least 30 banks since 2000 have escaped federal regulatory action by walking away from their federal regulators and moving under state supervision, taking advantage of a long-standing system that allows banks to choose between federal and state oversight, according to a review of government records. The moves, known as charter conversions, highlight the tremendous leverage that banks hold in their relationships with government supervisors. The financial crisis has pushed regulatory reform high up the agenda of the Obama administration and congressional leaders. Timothy F. Geithner, the Treasury secretary nominee, sounded the theme at his confirmation hearing yesterday, calling for a "stronger, more resilient system." Some regulatory experts say that eliminating the opportunity to switch regulators is critical to strengthening oversight.
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