Nichols: S. 2155 an Important First Step for Reg Reform

Ahead of the House vote today that will determine the fate of S. 2155 — the bipartisan Senate regulatory reform package — ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols said that the bill “is a huge, important step forward — we hope the first of additional steps — to modernize and appropriately tailor the supervisory framework.”

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Nichols highlighted the positive effects of the bill will have on consumers and the American economy. “It’s going to be easier for banks to serve their customers, clients and communities — that’s what’s most important,” Nichols said. “Banks do well when their customers do well, when the economy does well, when you have enhanced jobs and prosperity. This is really not about the banking sector — it’s about the customers and clients we serve.”

While the bill includes many reg relief provisions for community banks in particular, more could be done to improve the current regulatory framework while maintaining safety and soundness, Nichols added. “We prefer to see banks supervised based on business model and risk profile, [and] we’d like to see the regulation tailored appropriately. ”

With respect to “next steps,” he pointed to ongoing efforts led by the Federal Reserve to make meaningful changes to the Volcker Rule, in addition to signals from House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling that the House will introduce additional reg relief legislation before the end of the year.