Wall Street banks seeking to quash US regulators’ bid to increase capital requirements are getting help from key Republican lawmakers.
(Bloomberg) — Wall Street banks seeking to quash US regulators’ bid to increase capital requirements are getting help from key Republican lawmakers.
Patrick McHenry, a North Carolina lawmaker who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, and more than two dozen of his GOP colleagues are demanding that Washington’s top banking watchdogs rescind the plan they released in July. Industry groups argue the proposal, which would boost the amount of capital that banks with at least $100 billion in assets need to set aside by an estimated 16%, will hurt lending and competition.
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The Republican lawmakers claim that the plan from the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is flawed in its scope and substance. Echoing some of the complaints from industry, they also took issue with the process that officials followed.
“The proposal should be replaced with one based on sound, objective analysis supported by data, not one plagued by politics,” they said in a letter to Michael Barr, the Fed’s vice chair for supervision, FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg and Michael Hsu, who serves as the acting comptroller of the currency. All three regulators were nominated to those posts under President Joe Biden, a Democrat.
Although the measures to impose even tighter capital rules on big banks have been controversial with industry from the start, the campaign against them is now picking up steam. Earlier this week, half-dozen powerful trade groups representing Wall Street firms said the proposed rules should be redone because they improperly rely on data and analyses that the agencies haven’t made publicly available.
Read More: Wall Street Asks Fed to Please Take Back US Bank Capital Rules
The long-awaited US reforms are tied to Basel III, an international overhaul that started more than a decade ago in response to the financial crisis of 2008. The issue became more stark this year with the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in March, and First Republic Bank in May.
A panel on the House Financial Services Committee is holding a hearing on the proposals on Thursday. The witnesses include industry advocates.
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–With assistance from Steven T. Dennis.
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