President-elect Joe Biden will pick Gary Gensler to lead the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Rohit Chopra to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to a statement from his transition team.
The two veteran regulators have the backing of progressive Democrats to lead the two Wall Street watchdogs. The appointments signal Biden's plans for tough oversight after four years of light-touch policies under outgoing President Donald Trump.
"Gensler was the toughest regulator under Obama. That'll now be the norm in the Biden administration," former Democratic Rep. Barney Frank said in remarks quoted by CNN Business.
Gensler, 63, is a financial regulator known for taking on big financial institutions' trading groups after the Dodd-Frank financial reforms were introduced after the 2008 financial upheaval.
Chopra, 38, is an associate of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and helped her launch the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau before she ran for office.
Chopra was nominated, supporters say, because he can begin reversing some of Trump's policies as soon as he gets to work - ensuring the protection bureau returns to helping consumers deal with the financial system.
Both nominees are subject to confirmation by the Senate and the protection bureau and commission are likely to be under provisional leadership until that is finalized.
Under the Obama administration, the commission was criticized for not being tough enough following the 2008 financial crisis. "Its record was pretty disappointing," Better Markets chief executive officer Dennis Kelleher said.
Kelleher hoped Gensler wouldn't repeat the "fatal flaws" of the Obama-era commission by hiring the services of Wall Street attorneys for important agency posts.
Democrats will expect Gensler and Chopra to push for a more rigid implementation and bigger penalties for financial companies and executives accused of irregularities.