25 April 2019

Bank Deregulatory Bill Becoming Law Soon

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The House is expected Tuesday to vote on Senate-approved legislation aimed at easing the postcrisis financial rulebook. The bill represents the most significant bipartisan effort to relieve small and regional lenders from a number of restrictions tied to the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law.

If it is passed as expected, President Donald Trump could sign the legislation into law as early as this week, marking a significant victory for his administration, which has promised to reduce business regulations.

GOP House leaders agreed to advance the bill only after Senate leaders promised to vote on a follow-up package of bills favored by the House—but not included in the Senate bill—aimed at making it easier for companies to raise cash.

The Senate voted 67-31 in March to approve the bill in question. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Mike Crapo (R., Idaho) and a group of moderate Senate Democrats, includes provisions that could drastically cut the number of banks subject to heightened Federal Reserve oversight by raising a key regulatory threshold to $250 billion in assets from $50 billion. It would also relax a series of technical regulatory requirements for smaller financial firms.

Next, bank regulators will have to implement many of the law’s sections. The law gives the Fed 18 months to decide whether dozens of banks that fall under the $250 billion-asset line should still be subject to stricter rules due to factors other than size, such as the firms’ complexity. Other parts of the bill also require regulatory action, such as provisions offering community and custody banks relief from capital rules.

Lawmakers in both chambers are expected to vote before the midterm elections on the follow-on legislation favored by the House. It is unclear what provisions will be included in that bill or whether it will advance in the Senate.

Moderate Senate Democrats have promised to take a look at the package after the broader regulatory rollback is signed into law.

Click here for the original article from The Wall Street Journal.

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