Fed's Tarullo warns against 'backsliding' on bank regulations

U.S. Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo delivers remarks at the Center for American Progress in Washington, U.S. July 12, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. banking regulators must defend tough rules governing Wall Street and resist efforts to dilute regulations that might prevent a future financial crisis, Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo said on Friday.

“It is critical that we not forget our still quite recent history,” Tarullo told a meeting of financial market researchers in Washington, referring to the 2008 housing bust that pushed global financial markets to near-collapse.

Some financial rules may be due a review, he said, “but in considering these and other changes, we will not weaken the essential elements of the existing regime that guard against another financial crisis.”

For the past seven years, Tarullo has played a key role in toughening banking regulations as the most senior rule-writing official at the U.S. central bank.

President-elect Donald Trump has said his administration will grow the economy by rolling back many such rules, including elements of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. Earlier this week, Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, told CNBC that the legislation was too complicated and cut back on lending.

Tarullo said Friday’s meeting in Washington offered “a good moment to caution against backsliding on the considerable progress that has been made.”

In the same speech, Tarullo said the Fed would soon outline how the nation’s largest banks will be required to hold more debt-to-equity investments as a cushion against a future crisis.

The rule, which would govern a bank’s ‘total loss-absorbing capacity,’ will come “in the very near term,” he said.