Senate takes first steps to reform Dodd-Frank
The Senate advanced a bill that would provide regulatory relief for smaller banks and start to scale back regulations under Dodd-Frank law. In response to the financial crisis of 2007-2008, Senator Warren and far-left liberals pressed for a one-size-fits-all approach by creating regulations for almost every part of the nation’s financial service industry. The Dodd-Frank reform bill is a bipartisan effort to limit unnecessary government oversight for financial institutions.
The legislation would be the most significant legislative revision to the Dodd-Frank financial reform law since former President Barack Obama signed it in 2010. Nevertheless, it is much more modest than the wholesale replacement of Dodd-Frank sought by President Trump and House Republicans.
The most significant provision of the bill is an increase in the size threshold at which banks are subjected to stricter oversight by the Federal Reserve. Today, banks with more than $50 billion in assets face the tougher regulation. The Crapo bill would raise the threshold to $250 billion, providing relief for regional banks like Suntrust and Fifth Third Bank.
Those banks present themselves as essentially big community banks, without the size or complexity of megabanks.
Liberal critics, however, have said that those banks, too, could pose a threat to the financial system if they failed, and say other provisions of the bill would aid bigger banks like JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup.
The bill’s other provisions are a grab-bag of revisions long sought by banks. Under the bill, smaller banks would get relief from new mortgage regulations for home loans they held in their own books, and would mostly escape the “Volcker Rule” that prevents banks from speculating with deposits backed by the government.
Relieving smaller banks like free community banks and credit unions of unnecessary government oversight and burdening regulations is a long-overdue step. Smaller banks could barely stay float under the Dodd-Frank law holding them to the same standards as larger banks — and that may change very soon.