Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) today told bankers that “we can’t allow Silicon Valley to play by different rules” as more technology firms attempt to expand financial services offerings. Speaking to attendees at ABA’s virtual Washington Summit, Brown acknowledged that banks “operate at a disadvantage” relative to other nonbank financial service providers that are not subject to banking regulations such as the Community Reinvestment Act. “That’s why I want more of my constituents in your banks,” he said.
Brown also noted that banks have an important role to play when it comes to one of his top priorities for the Banking Committee during the 117th Congress: ensuring equitable access to housing. “If people don’t own homes, we know how hard it is for them to join the middle class, build inter-generational wealth and pass something on to their children,” Brown said. “We need you and your banks to be part of the solution. You’re the first place most people go if they’re looking for a mortgage.”
While Brown acknowledged that his increased focus on housing and urban affairs issues in the committee’s remit means that banks “won’t like everything we do,” he added that “I hope we can work together on those solutions. I hope you’ll keep an open mind, I hope you’ll always look at ways we can do things better.”