President Donald Trump said reducing Dodd-Frank regulations would benefit SMEs struggling to access financing, according to reports.
Trump, speaking at a meeting Thursday (March 9) with community bankers, along with National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, said community banks are critical to the economic health of their communities and to providing small businesses with access to capital.
“Nearly half of all private-sector workers are employed by small businesses,” Trump said. “We must ensure access to capital to small businesses and for small businesses to grow. Community banks are the backbone of small business in America.”
But community banks, and subsequently their SME customers, are struggling to comply with the complex regulations of Dodd-Frank, he added.
“The type of regulation you need for a $700 million bank and the risks they present are very different than those for a $200 million bank or a $1 trillion bank,” the White House said in a statement before the meeting.
Reports said meeting attendees discusses these particular issues, with some bankers calling for “tailoring regulations to fit the size and complexity of banks,” in the words of Jeffrey Szyperski, chairman and CEO of Chesapeake Financial Shares Inc.
Rebeca Romero Rainey, head of Centinel Bank of Taos in New Mexico, agreed.
“We were very focused, our message on how do we create a tiered and proportionate regulatory environment for community banks,” she said to reporters following the meeting.
The cost of compliance under Dodd-Frank, which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), was a particular pain point focused on by the meeting’s participants, reports said. Congressional Republicans are looking to reposition funding for the CFPB and to restructure management of the bureau, reports noted.