American Banker: Dems’ brighter 2018 chances could upend bank priorities

by Jeff Sovern

Here (the content appears to be free). Excerpt:

After the GOP captured the U.S. House majority in 2010, Republicans quickly went to work trying to * * * undercut the Dodd-Frank Act and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, among other things.

A Democratic victory in 2018 would likely have a reverse effect, with Congress pushing for more restrictions. The deregulatory push by the current GOP leadership and the Trump administration would hit an obvious hurdle. The administration is likely at some point to choose its own CFPB director, but that person’s initiatives would likely face fierce pushback by Democratic committee chairs, just as current Director Richard Cordray has encountered.

But perhaps the biggest effect is divided power in Washington. * * *  If each chamber is held by a different party, that further reduces the likelihood that lawmakers can agree on legislation, including any comprehensive regulatory relief package (if that has not passed already by next year).

The article points out some Democratic positions that banks prefer to Republican ones, such as preserving Dodd-Frank's orderly liquidation authority, but I found it difficult to read the article without drawing a conclusion about which party is closer to the banks, as the headline implies. A House Financial Services Committee chaired by Maxine Waters would be very different from one chaired by Jeb Hensarling. Even if the committee could not get its legislation enacted, investigation and oversight priorities would surely be different and more friendly towards consumers than banks.

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