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Financial Services Representatives Say Broad, Unfocused Regs Are Biggest Concern

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
By Richard Hill

Several trade group representatives at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's annual Capital Markets Summit April 10 expressed concern that financial reform efforts by foreign and domestic regulatory bodies were producing rules that are unfocused, ambiguous, and too broad.

Richard Baker, head of the Managed Funds Association, said “uncertainty and broad generalization” is his number one concern.

Specifically, he pointed to deliberations in the European Union that will impact the United States, saying the unwieldy confederation lends itself to an inefficient regulatory and legislative process. “It makes the [U.S.] congressional process seem efficient,” Baker, a former congressman, said. “We have a real challenge ahead of us with regard to regulatory uncertainty.”

Ken Bentsen, acting president and chief executive officer of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and also a former lawmaker, identified uncertainty and “the haste to get things done” as his chief concerns. The result, he predicted, will be “fragmentation and friction, both domestically and globally across markets.”


Balance
Marie Hollein, president and CEO of Financial Executives International and Financial Executives Research Foundation, asked “where is the balance? There is no one-size-fits-all” path to regulation. She added that she was “really concerned with some of the unintended consequences” of regulatory actions.

Tim Pawlenty, president and CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, said a recent survey conducted by his group found respondents less worried about economic conditions as barriers to growth than the “cumulative effect of regulations. … We look at lack of clarity and certainty [with respect] to the timing, nature, and magnitude” of multiple rules initiatives.

He added that “globally, over the next 24 months, there is a lot of uncertainty. When you're deploying capital at the magnitude our members deploy, uncertainty's not your friend.”

Leigh Ann Pusey, president and CEO of the American Insurance Association, meanwhile, echoed Pawlenty's concerns regarding too many regulations. She also cited “mission creep” by the government--regulators going beyond the scope of mandated regulatory reform requirements. “It's gone beyond what they could do within [the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer protection Act],” she said.

By Richard Hill

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