Bank Lobby Loves Reg Reform

One way to gauge a proposal like President Obama's plan for overhauling regulation of the financial system is to look at who likes it and who objects.

In this case, the bankers like it — a lot. From the Financial Services Roundtable, which represents a hundred of America's largest banking institutions:

The Financial Services Roundtable applauds the Administration's announcement of a proposal for modernizing regulation of the financial services industry. Our economic recovery depends on these reforms. The Roundtable has long advocated regulatory reform, and believes reform must be comprehensive, creative and bold.

"It is important to strengthen the system to protect the consumer, the industry and the economy," said Steve Bartlett, President and CEO for the Roundtable.

The Roundtable supports many of the Administration's proposals, like the creation of a systemic risk oversight authority that is able to look at the entire financial structure, and can target systemically important practices and activities. The past two years have clearly demonstrated what happens when risk is not properly assessed in our industry. As such, we also support the creation of a national resolution authority to adequately prepare for the orderly resolution of failing institutions. The financial services industry does not necessarily need more regulation, but rather more effective regulation.

The six principles set forth in the Administration proposal represent a strong recognition of the need to modernize insurance regulation. The Roundtable applauds the initial legislative proposal of an Office of National Insurance, but believes we must go farther. The ideals of consolidated supervision, consistent consumer protection, uniform regulatory treatment, among others, necessitate the enactment of a comprehensive, uniform federal charter. State regulation has simply failed to keep pace with what, today, is a national and international business. Taxpayers and insurance consumers can no longer afford the price of this failure.

The Roundtable is opposed to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency because it will not adequately serve the best interests of consumers and their financial institutions. The Roundtable opposes separating the regulation of the entity from the regulation of the products, as each regulator will only have half of the information. Under the Roundtable's regulatory plan, an existing regulator could better serve both needs. Additionally, the possibility of fifty state regimes will needlessly increase confusion and the cost of products. When a financial services company is regulated for safety and soundness, the consumer is always best served.

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