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Better Markets Applauds the NYDFS Agreement on Symphony; Others on Wall Street and Elsewhere Should Follow Goldman’s Lead

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 14, 2015
Contact: Jeff Gohringer, 202-618-6430 or jgohringer@bettermarkets.com

Better Markets Applauds the NYDFS Agreement on Symphony; Others on Wall Street and Elsewhere Should Follow Goldman’s Lead

Washington, DC — Better Markets President and CEO Dennis Kelleher released this statement on the agreement announced today ​between the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) and Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, and Bank of New York Mellon regarding their use of Symphony, a new chat and messaging platform:

“Encrypted chat rooms and messaging platforms are the 21st century equivalent of the masks and disguises that criminals have used for years to hide their identities and crimes. Indeed, they have been the preferred means for many working on Wall Street and at the globe’s biggest banks to commit egregious, systemic criminal fraud as proved by the shocking manipulation of the international LIBOR and foreign exchange markets.

“Symphony, the latest Wall Street ‘innovation’ created by and spun out from Goldman Sachs, appears to have a number of useful features, but it shouldn’t allow banks and other regulated entities to frustrate law enforcement investigations, prevent accountability and avoid the rule of law. Confidential access to messaging systems has enabled prosecutors to identify, investigate and hold wrongdoers accountable in dozens of court cases in recent years.

“We applaud the New York State Department of Financial Services’ agreement with four of the fifteen financial firms sponsoring Symphony, including Goldman Sachs, which will help ensure that regulators and prosecutors have access to the information they need to help bring accountability and oversight to Wall Street. The eleven other financial firms not party to the agreement should follow Goldman’s lead and join the agreement. Moreover, the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators should scrutinize Symphony, those eleven firms, and any others seeking to use Symphony or similar services to ensure that their investigative tools are not crippled by Wall Street’s latest innovation.”

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Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.com

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