FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2018
Americans for Financial Reform
Statement from AFR on Senate Vote on S. 2155
“Congress ought to spend its time addressing the student loan crisis, cracking down on serial lawbreakers like Wells Fargo, and ensuring companies like Equifax pay a meaningful price for massive data breeches — not deregulating the financial services industry,” said Lisa Donner, executive director, Americans for Financial Reform. “Too many Senators seem willing to ignore the lessons of the financial crisis, and what happens when we let big banks write the rules of the economy. Millions of Americans know the costs all too well and will take notice of how members vote on passage of this harmful legislation.”
If it is enacted, S. 2155 would be the largest banking deregulation measure to become law since the 2008 financial crisis by repealing parts of the Dodd-Frank act. The bill, which has bipartisan support in the Senate, would reduce oversight on 25 of the 38 largest banks in the United States. It would also curb important consumer-protection measures in housing.
Ten years after a financial crisis that nearly brought on a second Great Depression, public sentiment runs strongly against the direction of this bill and Dodd-Frank remains popular. A new survey from Public Policy Polling tested arguments for and against the bill, and found 64 percent of respondents opposed, with only 25 percent in support. Backing is strong across demographics. This result is consistent with 5 years of public opinion research by AFR that has found solid support for tough regulation and enforcement of rules on Wall Street. Grassroots pushback to the legislation has been fierce, with groups such as Indivisible, MoveOn, Credo, and Organizing for Action (since Dodd-Frank is an important Obama legacy) lobbying Democratic senators to oppose the bill.
The marquee provision of this bill would eliminate the enhanced supervision that Congress imposed on banks with assets between $50 and $250 billion. Some people call them the “stadium banks” because so many of these banks purchased naming rights: M&T in Baltimore, Comerica in Detroit, Citizens Bank in Philadelphia, and more). Financial institutions between $50 and $250 billion in size, such as Countrywide, were significant contributors to the 2008 financial crisis. Wall Street giants including Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase would benefit from other provisions as well.
# # #