Nichols: Legislative, Regulatory Changes Can Help Drive Economic Growth

Common-sense changes to the current regulatory and legislative framework can help drive economic growth and allow banks to better serve their customers, clients and communities, ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols said today in an interview on Bloomberg TV.

While Nichols said that ABA is not seeking a wholesale repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act, he highlighted several changes that could be made to current policy, specifically with regard to the arbitrary asset thresholds that the bill put in place. Rather than maintaining the ill-fitting asset-based approach to supervision, Nichols advocated for rules and regulations that are more closely tailored based on an institution’s underlying business activities and risk profile.

In addition to potential legislative changes, he added that personnel changes at the regulatory agencies could also provide bankers more opportunities for regulatory relief as the Trump administration prepares to make appointments to top positions at the FDIC, OCC, Federal Reserve and the CFPB in the months ahead.

Nichols emphasized that any changes to current banking laws and regulations must not undercut the safety and soundness of the financial industry, and acknowledged that bipartisan support will be essential to move banking legislation through Congress. “We should have a thoughtful, bipartisan, deliberative conversation about the things we can do to modernize the supervisory framework, eliminate impediments, but of course not detract from safety and soundness,” he said.

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