May 23, 2017 / 1:16 AM / 2 years ago

Trump budget calls for Wall Street regulators to face restructuring

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two Wall Street financial regulators would face cuts or major structural changes under President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal

FILE PHOTO - President Donald Trump's FY2018 budget is seen printed at the Government Publishing Office in Washington, U.S. on May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

According to an Office of Management and Budget document on Monday, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank reform law to protect borrowers from predatory lending, would undergo a “restructure.” This would reduce the federal deficit by $145 million in the 2018 fiscal year, it said.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, which polices securities markets, would have its reserve fund, established under Dodd-Frank, used to supplement its budget.

In recent years, the fund has been used to overhaul the SEC’s information technology, including upgrades to the filing system for public companies and initiatives to help police fraud and track equities trading patterns.

The White House document said the elimination of the fund would reduce the deficit by $50 million a year, which is the maximum amount the SEC is allowed to deposit annually.

Currently, both the SEC and CFPB budgets do not impact the federal deficit.

The CFPB’s $605.9 million budget is funded by the Federal Reserve, which is not subject to congressional appropriations.

Congress does decide the SEC’s $1.6 billion budget, but it is deficit neutral because the fees it collects from Wall Street firms are matched by the amount Congress sets aside.

The reserve fund, which is separate from the rest of the SEC’s general budget, is funded through registration fees.

An OMB spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment about how a restructuring of the CFPB or the elimination of the SEC’s reserve fund would reduce the federal deficit.

The CFPB’s structure has been under political fire for years.

Republicans complain it is not held accountable because it is led by a single director who cannot be fired by the president at will, and it falls outside of congressional budget control.

Last year, a U.S. appeals court found the CFPB’s structure violated the U.S. Constitution. The bureau is slated to fight that decision on Wednesday, when the full panel of appellate judges will reconsider the ruling.

Legislation proposed recently by House Republicans would subject the CFPB to appropriations. A report by the Congressional Budget Office estimated that such a change could help reduce direct spending by $6.9 billion between 2018-2027.

The SEC’s reserve fund has long been a target of congressional Republicans, who have led efforts to prevent the SEC from using portions of the money.

In July 2015, the SEC’s inspector general predicted that a cancellation of the fund would stall IT modernization and harm the agency.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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