Jones Walker held its inaugural Financial Services conference on February 4 in Washington, D.C. Among other notable attendees, the event drew two of Congress’s most powerful voices on banking issues, Sen. Richard Shelby, Chair of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services. Throughout the day-long event, the Congressmen and an array of other prominent speakers addressed the multiple challenges that financial institutions are facing including: regulatory constraints, competitive pressures, governance issues, and cyber security threats.

Affordable Housing Team Leader and former U.S. Representative, Rick Lazio, served as host of the conference. The conference featured several key panel presentations including a “Preview of Residential Lending in 2015.” During this panel discussion, housing industry experts shared perspectives and outlined trends. The panel was led by Brian Gardner of KBW and featured Donna DeMaio, CEO of United Guaranty; Laurie Goodman, Director of the Housing Finance Policy Center; and Alfred Pollard, General Counsel of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The panelists addressed the roles of public and private entities in the mortgage market. Touching on a wide range of topics, the panelists’ many insights included:

  • Laurie Goodman’s assertion that the biggest themes in residential lending today are expanding credit availability and bringing back private capital.
  • Alfred Pollard’s comment that the severe contraction in the infrastructure for mortgages remains a substantial concern.
  • Donna DeMaio’s identification of a disconnect in the desire to see more private equity in the marketplace, while seeing very little risk assumed by private sector.