President Joe Biden intends to reverse a bank deregulation bill passed under the leadership of former President Donald Trump, in response to two banks failing, but without repealing the legislation, according to a White House official quoted in the HuffPost. The 2018 bill relaxed rules that had been put in place after the financial crisis a decade ago, with warnings it would increase the risk of bank failures. The White House now aims to urge regulatory bodies, including the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, to reintroduce the “enhanced prudential standards” that Congress made optional for mid-sized banks in 2018. The stricter oversight – liquidity requirements, stress tests, and the mandate for banks to hire chief risk officers – would only be mandatory for banks with assets of over $250bn, rather than $50bn as previously, with regulators at their discretion continuing them on any banks with assets above $100bn, perceived as risky.
Biden seeks mid-regulation to ensure prudential standards for the banking sector
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Possible legislation to address the recent failure of Signature Bank and Silicon Valley Bank comes in the form of Senators Elizabeth Warren and Josh Hawley’s proposal to give the government the ability to claw back bank executives’ bonuses following the collapse of their banks and stop them from working in the industry in the future, but it is uncertain if the proposal will be prioritized by the current Congress.
It appears major congressional action in response to the most recent crisis in the banking sector seems unlikely to pass, HuffPost reports. Despite Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren and other progressives’ desire to overturn the 2018 bank deregulation entirely, many Democrats who supported the legislation have so far dismissed the idea that it contributed to the collapse of both bank statements. Republicans are maintaining their opposition to any additional banking regulations.
The 2018 deregulation law, which gave regulators more dispensation to determine the tightness of supervision over mid-level banks, was passed under the Trump administration. Opponents of the law say the option to impose additional regulations on larger banks was still available, underlining the need for improved regulations but arguing regulation is not the cause of bank failures, but a lack of execution of regulation or its absence in seemingly sound banks.
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Officials at the Federal Reserve maintain they have the power to adjust and streamline regulations to account for specific changes in markets or behaviors among financial institutions, including determining what rules are appropriate for mid-level banks.