AFR wrote a letter to the Federal Reserve Board on a proposal that would liberalize the criteria the Board uses to determine control of a bank. The definition of “control” is critical as it determines whether entities with ownership and influence over banks will be designated as bank holding companies and subject to the appropriate regulation.
“[A] good bit of that progress … could be endangered by a kind of low-intensity deregulation, consisting of an accumulation of non-headline-grabbing changes and an opaque relaxation of supervisory rigor. There are things to be concerned about in many of the individual proposals on such matters as the leverage ratio, resolution planning, and foreign banking organizations. It’s the cumulative effect, though, that is truly worrisome.”
Today’s financial stability report from the Federal Reserve clearly documents that we are at or near the peak of an economic cycle, with inflated asset prices and strong lending growth leading to signs of excessive leverage in the corporate sector. The peak of the cycle is the time to strengthen financial safeguards, not weaken them.
Today’s proposals to restructure capital and liquidity requirements for large banks represent the latest chapter in the gradual chipping away of post-crisis financial reforms. The proposals go well beyond anything required by Congress, and significantly weaken requirements for large banks to hold cash and easily salable liquid assets to satisfy payment requirements in times of economic stress.
Stress tests are forecasts based on models. They stand or fall on the approach of regulators, whose assumptions can seriously underestimate bank losses. Before the 2008 financial crisis regulatory models also showed Wall Street was safe, but that turned out to be fantasy.
AFR in the News: Congress to roll back post-crisis rules as banks post record profits (Washington Post)
“‘When lawmakers vote for banking deregulation even though banks are raking in record profits, it exposes what is really at work,’ said Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform. ‘The bank lobby has flooded the political system with money, and is getting a return on its
investment. The result is legislation that makes the financial system less safe and less fair, and puts consumers at greater risk of abuse.’”
“‘The proposal ‘is an attempt to unravel fundamental elements of the response to the 2008 financial crisis, when banks financed their gambling with taxpayer-insured deposits,’ Marcus Stanley, policy director at Americans for Financial Reform, said in a statement. ‘If implemented, these proposals could turn the Volcker Rule into a dead letter.'”
View or download a PDF version of the letter here. April 12, 2018 Dear Representative: On behalf of Americans for Financial Reform, we are writing to urge you to vote against HR 4790, which is being considered on the House floor this week. This bill
Letter to Congress: AFR Opposes A Dozen Deregulatory Bills Under Consideration at a House Financial Services Committee Markup
AFR sent a letter to the House Financial Services Committee opposing a dozen bills that would deregulate banks and strip away consumer and investor protections.
Letter to Congress: AFR urges opposition to HR 3312 — a deregulatory gift to the largest banks in the country.
“H.R. 3312 dramatically restricts oversight of some of the largest banks in the country, increasing risks to regional economies and to financial stability, and therefore to the prosperity of families and communities.”