Nichols Writes to Senators in Support of Reg Reform Bill

ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols wrote to Senate leaders yesterday to offer the association’s support for S. 2155, the bipartisan regulatory reform bill championed by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.). The bill is scheduled for consideration by the Senate next week.

The bill — which is co-sponsored by 26 lawmakers from both sides of the aisle — includes several provisions that are part of ABA’s Blueprint for Growth, including a Qualified Mortgage designation for mortgages held in portfolio and relief from stress tests and exam requirements for certain institutions.

“S. 2155 will address some issues stemming from the thousands of pages of new regulations that have been imposed on banks in the past ten years,” Nichols wrote. “These rules have been particularly hard for community banks to absorb and have been an enormous driver of their decisions to sell or merge. This legislation amounts to a right-sizing of financial rules that will allow these smaller institutions to best serve their customers and communities without compromising safety and soundness.”

While supportive of the bipartisan legislation, Nichols flagged concerns about the bills “continued reliance on arbitrary asset thresholds,” and noted ABA’s strong support for transitioning to a tailored, “risk-based” approach to regulation.

With a vote on this legislation imminent, ABA is urging all bankers to call their senators and ask them to vote for the bill. The association also continues its efforts to build momentum for the bill ahead of the vote. ABA is engaging in an aggressive digital and print media campaign in support of the bill, and will continue to work with the alliance of state associations and with other trade associations to advocate for the legislation.