Nichols: SAFE Banking Act Is ‘Thoughtful, Commonsense Public Policy’

In an interview with Bloomberg TV today, ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols commended House lawmakers for passing the bipartisan SAFE Banking Act—a bill that would enable banks to serve customers in states that have legalized cannabis—earlier this week and expressed optimism for the bill’s prospects in the Senate.

Nichols noted that the industry is already engaged in a “thoughtful dialogue” with Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and other lawmakers about moving the SAFE Banking Act or a similar bill through the Senate in the coming weeks. “Taking care of that discrepancy between state and federal law, that’s exactly what Chairman Crapo is going to do,” Nichols said. “It’s off to a very bipartisan start.”

Nichols also addressed the recent liquidity crunch in the repo markets, noting that some of the post-crisis regulatory reforms have limited banks’ ability to engage in the capital markets, which contributed to liquidity issues. “The good news is, there is at least an appreciation on the part of the regulatory leaders here in Washington that some tailoring and some tweaks could be achieved here.”