Thursday, 24 October, 2019

House votes to roll back post-2008 financial rules

Debra Rodriguez | 21 June, 2017, 01:47

The bill passed nearly entirely along party lines, 233 to 186. No Democratic lawmakers supported the measure; only one Republican opposed it. They argue that Dodd-Frank, which became law after the 2008-09 economic meltdown, has brought financial security to millions of Americans and that undoing it will encourage the kind of risky lending practices that invites future economic shocks.

The bill would weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's authority to regulate banks and payday lenders. The bill passed today repeals "too big to fail, ' and makes taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street a thing of the past". Dodd-Frank, passed in 2010, was a massive 2,300-page rewrite of America's financial laws that imposed significant costs on the economy, financial institutions, and American consumers, investors, and small businesses.

The bill would also eliminate the Labor Department's controversial fiduciary rule, which requires brokers to act in the best interest of their clients when providing investment advice about retirement.

The bill, known as the Financial Choice Act, has little chance of passing in its current form through the Senate, where Republican leadership would need to attract Democratic support.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), who introduced the FCA, said that the legislation is created to help community banks and small businesses. The bill will be especially useful for smaller, community banks who have traditionally lent money to small business startups.

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Financial stocks soared after the vote, which some say could push Republicans in the Senate to pursue more aggressive reform. It could provide a blueprint for regulators to rewrite the rules. The consolidation trend, however, far precedes Dodd-Frank.

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, whose central Kentucky district includes Lexington, voted in favor of the bill, which he says rolls back "unnecessary regulatory overreaches".

The almost 600-page Choice Act would repeal Dodd-Frank's Volcker Rule, which blocks government-insured banks from making risky bets with investments.

In addition, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would be converted into a consumer law enforcement agency, curbing designated powers from the 2010 law. "In the House, we just threw it off", said Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and the lead author of the bill. Dodd-Frank has hurt everyone from small businesses to homebuyers. But it is critical part of the Trump administration's multifront effort to ease banking industry regulations and could set the terms of a potentially explosive debate on whether almost a decade after the 2008 financial crisis the banking industry is being too constrained.

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