By Emily Stephenson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two U.S. Democratic lawmakers said in a letter on Tuesday that the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors should have to sign off on major enforcement actions against banks.
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland said in the letter to Fed Chair Janet Yellen that the board only voted on 11 of about 1,000 enforcement actions taken during the last 10 years.
They cited a recent letter they received from Yellen's predecessor, Ben Bernanke.
In fact, the pair said Fed employees sometimes reach enforcement decisions without even needing approval from the agency's senior staff, let alone the board.
"While the board votes on every important decision the Fed makes on monetary policy, the board rarely votes on the Fed's important supervisory and enforcement policy decisions," the lawmakers said in the letter.
The two have been particularly upset that top Fed officials did not scrutinize a settlement with big mortgage servicers over foreclosure abuses committed in 2009 and 2010.