Bank trade group leader Richard Hunt to step down

Bank trade group leader Richard Hunt to step down |

The longtime head of one of Washington’s biggest bank lobbying groups is stepping down.

Richard Hunt, who has led the Consumer Bankers Association since June 2009, told the group’s board of directors Wednesday morning that he plans to leave the organization, which represents 69 big retail banks, next summer after helping with the search for a successor.

When the 55-year-old Hunt joined CBA as president and CEO during the financial crisis, he said he set a goal of staying on for 10 years. After navigating the crisis, a sweeping new regulatory regime under the Dodd-Frank Act — including a new consumer financial regulator — and a global pandemic that tested the resiliency of the banking system, Hunt said he was ready to step back.

“It’s hard to leave something you love — which is why I stayed on a little longer than I expected — but now it’s time for a new leader to take the helm,” he said.

Hunt will continue to serve as president and CEO for the next several months and work with the group’s search committee to find a new leader.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the Consumer Bankers Association over the last 13 years,” he said. “I have loved every minute I have been a part of the CBA family, without whom so much of this organization’s success would not be possible.”

The move comes at a time when the banking industry is facing intense competition from upstart technology companies and is bracing for an overhaul of anti-redlining rules under the Community Reinvestment Act — issues that are front and center for CBA’s membership. The group counts the country’s biggest retail banks among its members, including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, PNC and Capital One.

CBA has been at the center of some of the banking industry’s biggest battles with lawmakers and regulators under Hunt’s leadership, most recently the fight over new IRS reporting requirements in the Biden administration’s social spending bill. The provision, which drew opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin (D.-W.Va.) and some House Democrats, was eventually removed from the latest version released by the White House last month.

Hunt also led a coalition of more than 100 business and lending groups that pushed Congress to streamline rules for forgiveness of emergency small-business loans issued during the pandemic under the Paycheck Protection Program.

A Louisiana native, Hunt is also known by many in Washington for his outsize personality, Southern drawl and irreverent humor, often on display on his Twitter account, which he uses to chide lawmakers or regulators and cheer the Atlanta Braves.

Before joining CBA, Hunt served as senior vice president of federal policy for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. He started his career in Washington in 1989 as a driver for then-Rep. Jim McCrery — a Republican from Hunt’s home state of Louisiana — eventually becoming a district representative and later chief of staff.

“There is no doubt Richard will be sorely missed at CBA, and I am confident his legacy will live on for decades to come,” Michelle Lee, CBA’s board of directors and regional banking executive for branch banking at Wells Fargo, said in a statement Wednesday.


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