BofA muni-bond banker Fink to seek House seat in New York

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Washington dealt a major blow to Wall Street’s municipal-bond industry with its 2017 tax changes. Now, one banker from New York says he wants to fight back from inside the walls of Congress.

Christopher Fink, a managing director at Bank of America Corp., the biggest underwriter of state and local government debt, said he plans to mount a Democratic primary challenge against longtime Representative Eliot Engel. If Fink wins, he said he’d help reverse the tax-law changes that crimped bond sales by pulling subsidies from a key type of debt refinancing.

Fink, who lives in New York’s Westchester County town of Pelham, made the election announcement on Tuesday at an industry conference hosted by The Bond Buyer. “Hopefully I’ll come back a year from now and tell everybody that we’ve reinstated the advance refunding rules,” he said to laughs.

It won’t be an easy election. Engel has been a congressman since 1989 and is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The seat is also being challenged by a middle school principal from the Bronx who is supported by the Justice Democrats, the insurgent group that backed Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, according to The New York Times.

Fink’s campaign website says he’ll pull on his banking experience to help improve infrastructure and public transportation. But he’s also focused on issues with broader scope, including gun control, protecting women’s reproductive rights and pushing back against President Donald Trump’s administration.

Bloomberg News
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