WASHINGTON — In a speech that amounted to a repudiation of congressional efforts to transform the regulatory system for banks, Federal Reserve Board Gov. Kevin Warsh suggested Wednesday that lawmakers were preoccupied by side issues.

In particular, Warsh said that lawmakers are spending too much time attempting to combine regulators instead of focusing on more critical concerns. "There are doubtless efficiencies to be gained in sharing best practices, integrating operations and minimizing regulatory gaps among regulators," he said during a speech to the New York Association for Business Economics. "But it is far from obvious that real regulatory reform hinges on figuring the optimal number of regulators or the precise composition of an oversight council."

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