With Choice Act Up for Vote and Treasury Report Expected, Nichols Tees Up Week Ahead

The week ahead is expected to be a busy one for financial reform in Washington, D.C. In an essay posted this morning on Medium, American Bankers Association President and CEO Rob Nichols teed up the expected release of the Treasury Department’s report responding to President Trump’s call to streamline financial regulations, as well as Rep. Jeb Hensarling’s Financial Choice Act, which comes up for a vote later this week.

Nichols emphasized that all Americans have a stake in the future of financial reform. “This busy week in D.C. will be a significant start on the regulatory reforms we need to accelerate this economy, grow jobs and create opportunity,” he wrote. “If you’re concerned about job creation, local economic growth and access to affordable credit, you might want to pay attention to this other Washington story this week.”

Nichols was interviewed on NPR’s “All Things Considered” on Friday about the Financial Choice Act, which includes many provisions advocated by ABA as part of its Blueprint for Growth. He emphasized that ABA is not seeking a total repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act. “We are not seeking to roll back all of Dodd-Frank,” he told NPR. “Our intention is to acknowledge what many regulators and legislators will tell you, publicly and privately, which is: aspects of Dodd-Frank overshot.”

Examples of ABA-supported provisions in the Choice Act include a Qualified Mortgage safe harbor for mortgage loans held in portfolio, more tailored supervision based on an institution’s risk profile and business model, greater flexibility for savings associations, relief from various reporting requirements, and repeal of the Volcker Rule.