Summary: As Steve Antonakes explains in this interview, he never planned to become Commissioner of the Massachusetts Division of Banks. Fresh out of college, Steve Antonakes took a job in the early 1990s as a Bank Examiner with the Massachusetts Division of Banks, through which he investigated banks and credit unions to ensure they were following Community Reinvestment Act guidance. Antonakes describes some of his key accomplishments at the Division of Banks, including developing rules to coincide with Massachusetts’ predatory lending law, convening a mortgage summit in the mid-2000s to identify ways to prevent foreclosures in the state, which resulted in comprehensive foreclosure legislation, and playing an integral role in the creating of the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System. Antonakes concludes with reflections on his time at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and his roles as Associate Director of Supervision, Enforcement, and Fair Lending and later as Deputy Director.
Biography: Steven L. Antonakes is the Executive Vice President for Enterprise Risk Management at Eastern Bank, which is based in Boston, Massachusetts. In this capacity, he oversees Eastern’s Enterprise Risk Management function and manages several departments, including BSA/AML, Compliance, Credit Risk Review, Financial and Model Risk Management, Information Security, and Operational Risk, Corporate Security, and Investigations.
Mr. Antonakes previously served as the Deputy Director and the Associate Director for Supervision, Enforcement, and Fair Lending at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He was the Bureau’s second highest ranking official, overseeing the supervision of all banks and non-banks under the Bureau’s jurisdiction, and establishing the Bureau’s consumer protection supervision program for the largest financial institutions in the country, which collectively account for over 80 percent of the nation’s banking assets. He supervised a staff of nearly 800 and administered a budget of over $145 million.
Prior to joining the Bureau, Mr. Antonakes was appointed by successive governors to serve as the Massachusetts Commissioner of Banks from December 2003 to November 2010. Preceding his appointment as Commissioner, Mr. Antonakes served in a variety of managerial positions at the Division of Banks, having joined the agency as an entry-level bank examiner in 1990.
During his 25-year regulatory career, Mr. Antonakes staffed the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), and served as the first state-voting member of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), Vice Chairman of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), and a founding member of the governing board of the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS). In March 2007, he received NeighborWorks America’s Government Service Award for his work in combatting foreclosures.
Mr. Antonakes graduated from Lynn Public Schools and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Penn State University, a Master of Business Administration from Salem State University, and a PhD in Law and Public Policy from Northeastern University.