WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump will be able to overhaul many of the Wall Street reforms put in place after the 2007-2009 financial crisis without the blessing of Congress, where Senate Democrats could throw up procedural roadblocks.
The Treasury Department on Monday released a long list of suggested changes to banking rules, and said most of them could be carried out by agencies now, or soon to be, headed by Trump appointees. The 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law gave those agencies great leeway in how to interpret the rules.
The only speed bump is the lack of appointees in place.
Just one of Trump’s financial regulatory nominees has been approved by Congress, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Jay Clayton. Other agencies are operating under “acting” chiefs or have leaders appointed by Trump’s Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.
Here are some of the changes suggested in Monday’s report that could be done without Congress.
* Change the timing of the tests to a two-year cycle and the scenarios used to assess if banks can weather a crisis
* End assumption that firms will continue to make capital distributions in distressed times
* Make models and other parameters in the test subject to public comment and de-emphasize the qualitative review at the Federal Reserve
* Clarify the capital buffers banks would have in the severely adverse scenario and make the method of calculating operational risk capital requirements more transparent
AGENCIES: Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
* Change the timing of submitting the plans for how a bank would unwind in a crisis without a bailout to once every two years
* Develop specific guidance for submissions
* Make the assessment framework subject to public comment
AGENCIES: Federal Reserve, FDIC
* Only banks with at least $10 billion in trading assets and liabilities will have to prove compliance with this rule
* Match compliance requirements to the risk profiles of banks’ activities
* Eliminate unnecessary reporting requirements
* Simplify the definition of “covered funds”
AGENCIES: Fed, OCC, FDIC, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
* Issue rules or guidance for public comment rather than create rules via enforcement
* Only levy fines on violators that have received reasonable notice they broke the law
* Make no-action letters easier to obtain
* Prosecute charges in federal district court instead of administrative proceedings
AGENCY: Consumer Finance Protection Agency (CFPB)
*Change some loan qualifications and standards for determining borrowers’ debt and income levels
* Raise the loan amount that can have its points and fees capped to encourage smaller balance loans
* Ease the way to correct errors found after a sale has closed
*Make the loan-originator compensation rule more flexible,
* Place a moratorium on new rules for mortgage servicing
* Help secondary market investors understand their assignee liability
* Change the risk assessment of securitized products
* Revisit rules on the additional capital charges on major U.S. banks and the mandatory minimum debt ratio
* Establish a global risk-based capital floor
* Consider the implications for the United States of implementing Basel III’s approach for credit risk
* Lead efforts to narrow the scope of new standard-setting initiatives and advocate for standards that align with domestic regulatory objectives
AGENCIES: Federal Reserve, OCC, FDIC
(This version of the story corrects ‘LIVING WILLS’ section to delete reference to removing FDIC from reviewing living wills, which requires congressional approval).
Editing by Carmel Crimmins and Lisa Shumaker