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January 26, 2012

Auditor urges Treasury toughness on banks

A federal auditor has warned that the Obama administration’s failure to crack down on recalcitrant banks risks harming distressed borrowers.

The warning, offered in a report released early Thursday, contrasts with comments earlier in the week by Barack Obama, US president, who chided banks for giving borrowers the “runaround” when it came to lowering their mortgage payments through refinancings.

The US Treasury department has the authority to penalise banks for their noncompliance with the administration’s Making Home Affordable programme, but it has not been using that authority to ensure banks are not harming homeowners and improperly benefiting from taxpayer-provided aid, according to the Special Inspector General for the Troubled asset relief programme (Sigtarp).

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