Biden chooses Gensler as SEC chairman, FTC’s Chopra as CFPB chief

Gary Gensler in 2013.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg

President-elect Joe Biden has chosen a pair of veteran regulators heavily backed by Progressive Democrats to lead two key Wall Street watchdogs, signaling his administration is planning rigorous oversight after four years of light politics under President Donald Trump’s appointment .

Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler will be appointed to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission and Rohit Chopra, member of the Federal Trade Commission, is called upon to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to people familiar with the decision.

The selections follow weeks of intra-party wrangling over financial regulatory positions between moderate Democrats and those on the party’s left wing who want to see a radical change from pro-business policies advanced under the administration Trump. This is bad news for the banking industry, which has been bracing for the prospect of stricter rules since Biden’s election in November.

Gensler, 63, is a senior Partner of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. which gained a reputation as the bane of Wall Street when it engaged in deadly battles while advancing derivatives regulation at the CFTC under the Obama administration. Chopra, 38, is a sidekick of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren who helped her set up the CFPB before running for office.

Both candidates will be subject to Senate confirmation, and the SEC and CFPB will likely be run on an interim basis until this process is complete.

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