Magazine article American Banker

Sweeping Reg Relief? Bankers Aren't Counting on It

Magazine article American Banker

Sweeping Reg Relief? Bankers Aren't Counting on It

Article excerpt

Byline: Allison Prang

Bankers aren't holding their breath for sweeping regulatory reform.

While nearly 60% of bankers believe Washington will make changes in the next two years, nearly three-fourths of them expect only moderate improvements, a survey by Promontory Interfinancial Network concluded. The firm polled nearly 200 bankers in the fourth quarter.

Only 20% of the respondents projected significant improvement in the regulatory landscape.

Industry optimism, which has been relatively high since the presidential election, received a boost last month when President Trump and several key advisers met with a number of community bankers at the White House. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with 16 bankers on Wednesday to comply with a February executive order directing the agency to review existing regulation.

"The survey is consistent with what's transpiring in Washington," said Paul Merski, executive vice president for congressional relations for the Independent Community Bankers of America. Merski said he believes the process could take between a year and a half and two years.

"A lot of the work on regulatory reform and ... relief has been teed up over the years, particularly legislative changes," Merski said. "You're not really starting from scratch on a lot of the ideas and initiatives."

Additionally, key posts at all of the primary regulatory agencies are scheduled to change in coming years.

"Once those new appointees are put into place ... they will have a different approach to the implementation of regulation," Merski said. …

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