CEI Commends House Passage of Modest Banking Reforms, Urges Congress to Go Further

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Today, the House considered and passed The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act aimed at scaling back a few bad Dodd-Frank bank regulations. The legislation, S. 2155, already passed the Senate in March 2018. 

CEI Senior Fellow John Berlau released a statement echoing the importance of getting regulatory relief to smaller banks but urged Congress to go further in reforming the worst burdens of Dodd-Frank.

“The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act contains modest yet important relief that will benefit main street credit unions, regional banks, and community banks. The bill’s major accomplishment is some much-needed tailoring of regulation to a financial institution’s size so that hometown banks and credit unions are no longer regulated like Wall Street behemoths.

“The legislation, however, unfortunately leaves intact the bulk of Dodd-Frank, including its most crushing burdens on consumers, investors, and entrepreneurs. The bill, for instance, makes no changes to Dodd-Frank’s Durbin Amendment price controls on debit card interchange fees, which has sharply reduced free checking for low-income consumers. It doesn’t get rid of Dodd-Frank’s costly and counterproductive mandates that have nothing to do with the financial crisis, such as forcing public companies to document whether they may have made use of ‘conflict minerals’ somewhere in their manufacturing process.

“Although some Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules are pared back, the bill does nothing to change the structure of the CFPB to make it more accountable to the president and Congress and, hence, American voters. Finally, 10 years after the financial crisis, the bill does nothing to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored housing enterprises that were at the root of the housing bust.

“To provide real financial relief for Americans, much more is required of Congress, the president, and regulatory agencies.”

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