Senate Banking Chair Sees ‘Fair Chance’ of Smaller Bank Relief

By Rob Tricchinelli

The chairman of the Senate Banking Committee said “there’s a fair chance” Congress will enact regulatory relief for small and mid-size banks from the Volcker Rule and other Dodd-Frank Act requirements.

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) June 13 endorsed several pieces of a Treasury Department report released one day earlier that provides an initial roadmap for a financial regulatory rollback.

He backed the report’s conclusion that banks with less than $50 billion in total assets should be exempt from stress tests, and that banks with less than $10 billion should be exempt from the Volcker Rule, a ban on proprietary trading.

“There’s a fair chance to make progress in those areas,” Crapo said at an event in Washington cosponsored by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and The Clearing House. He didn’t give a timetable for legislation.

Extra Regulation

Crapo also reiterated his support for raising the $50 billion asset threshold that subjects banks to additional regulation and for restructuring the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The $50 billion asset threshold is likely to play a big part in a June 15 hearing that Crapo’s committee is holding on regional banks.

Representatives from the Regional Bank Coalition and Mid-Size Bank Coalition of America are scheduled to testify. Both groups have called for raising that threshold.

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