U.S. financial groups, wary of crackdown, feel out Biden transition team

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By Michelle Price and Pete Schroeder
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Financial lobbyists, kept at arm’s length by Joe Biden’s campaign, have begun engaging with the Democratic president-elect’s transition team on issues including economic stimulus, pandemic aid programs, and appointees, according to more than a dozen executives at banks and financial lobby groups.
Some industry executives had worried they may struggle to access Biden’s transition team after his campaign had largely warned off lobbyists pushing policy asks and pledged to crack down on influence-peddling if he won. But recently Biden’s transition team has approached financial groups and lobbyists to discuss policy and regulation issues, three people said.
In addition to these formal meetings, other industry executives said they had been able to chat informally with long-established contacts, including policy experts and academics, now acting as unpaid advisers to the transition team.
With progressives pushing Biden to reverse Trump’s corporate giveaways, install hard-charging financial regulators and ramp-up consumer protections and climate-risk measures, financial executives hope the access may help avert an industry crackdown.
Richard Hunt, chief executive of the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA), which represents big lenders including Bank of America Corp , Citigroup Inc , and Wells Fargo & Co, said Biden’s team recently approached …

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