Banker Op-Ed: Candidates Should Work for Bipartisan Reg Relief

In an op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel this weekend, Florida Bankers Association president and CEO Alex Sanchez called on political candidates to work for bipartisan regulatory relief that would build up regional and small banks, rather than focusing on the destruction of large institutions they consider “too big to fail.”

“Instead of highlighting the fundamental role the banking industry plays in strengthening the economy, it is often used as a scapegoat to deflect blame for politicians’ failed economic policies,” Sanchez wrote. “The Florida Bankers Association… supports reasonable regulation, recognizing its importance as a cornerstone in maintaining the strongest banking industry in the world. But we adamantly oppose the dismantling of the nation’s ‘big banks.’”

Sanchez pointed to the numerous regulatory measures that have been implemented as a result of Dodd-Frank to ensure that large banks can absorb financial shocks without needing taxpayer bailouts, including stress testing, more stringent capital and liquidity requirements and the creation of “living wills,” which outline a plan for an institution to be resolved in the event of a failure. Breaking up these banks would negatively impact the economy—driving jobs overseas and business to foreign competitors, Sanchez argued. Instead, politicians should focus their attention on making sure that small and regional institutions can thrive.

“Rather than engaging in the art of politics for gain on the campaign trail, presidential candidates should join many bipartisan members of Congress in promoting meaningful Dodd-Frank regulatory reform for community and regional banks,” Sanchez wrote.