President Donald Trump has signed into law a measure loosening key restraints for banks that came in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession.
The measure, which passed the House earlier this week, leaves the central structure of the post-financial-crisis rules in place, but it makes the most significant changes to weaken the Dodd-Frank banking regulations since they were passed in 2010.
The House passed S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act 258-159, featuring mostly Republican votes for the legislation.
The Democratic-led Dodd-Frank was created with the goal of stopping banks from becoming "too big to fail".
A day after the House voted to approve the bill, Trump tweeted Wednesday: "Big legislation will be signed by me shortly". Such banks are subject to stricter capital and planning requirements. "At a time of intense political polarization, we have proven that we can work together to get things done for Main Street and the American people".
"What those regulations did is it helped protect against further financial collapse and put some protections in place so the big banks weren't taking too many risky bets with our hard-earned money".
Speaking at the White House Thursday, the president said Dodd-Frank regulations are crushing community banks and credit unions nationwide.
Signature Bank Chairman Scott Shay and Independent Community Bankers of America President Rebeca Romero Rainey discusses how the recently signed Dodd-Frank rollback bill will impact American workers and regional banks. That reduces the number of banks automatically subject to Dodd-Frank's enhanced supervisory regime from 38 to 12.
The law gives regional and community banks relief from rules that they've decried as burdensome and costly. The bill would raise that threshold to $250 billion in assets, potentially allowing several high-profile financial institutions, including American Express and Ally Financial, to escape the extra regulatory scrutiny. "If you're in trouble and you're a bank, the regulators are already on you for compliance issues".
Eventually, the exempted banks will no longer have to undergo an annual stress test conducted by the Federal Reserve. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, among the 16 Democrats who voted for the legislation when it passed the Senate in March.
Many experts believe those banks have been unduly burdened by the Obama-era package of rules known as Dodd-Frank.