Trump To Take Aim At Dodd-Frank Act

President wants looser financial regulations

The Record ( — February 4, 2017


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is taking his first steps aimed at scaling back financial services regulations, and the Republican-run Congress cast a vote early Friday signaling that it's eager to help.

The president signed an executive order that will direct the Treasury secretary to review a 2010 financial oversight law, which reshaped financial regulation after the 2008-09 financial crisis.

Trump also signed a presidential memorandum that instructs the Labor Department to delay implementing an Obama-era rule that requires financial professionals who charge commissions to put their clients' best interests first when giving advice on retirement investments.

While the financial oversight order won't have any immediate impact, the administration's intent is clear.

"Any relaxation of the burdensome regulations will be greatly appreciated by the bank," Gerald Lipkin, chairman and chief executive officer of Valley National Bank, said in a statement.

John McWeeney Jr., president and CEO of the New Jersey Bankers Association, said his industry is not looking to be regulated. "We're just looking for smart regulation that allows banks to serve their customers better," he said.

Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, executive director of New Jersey Citizen Action in Newark, bemoaned the effort to scale back Dodd-Frank.

"We worked so hard, as did our members and our affiliated organizations, to get Dodd-Frank passed, she said. "It would be absolutely tragic to see DoddFrank rolled back. This is the first significant financial reform that we've seen and coming off the 2008 disaster that affected so many people, it's just another example Wall Street winning over Main Street, and we can't let that happen."

"We will fight to protect Wall Street reform and the highly successful Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency at the front lines of consumer protection that has been targeted by big Wall Street banks, debt collectors and even payday lenders because it works for consumers, not them," Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director for the Public Research Interest Group, said in a statement.

Trump pledged during his campaign to repeal and replace the Dodd-Frank law, which also created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

"Dodd-Frank is a disaster," Trump said earlier this week during a meeting with small business owners. "We're going to be doing a big number on DoddFrank." The shorthand name for the law refers to its Democratic sponsors, former Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut and former Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts.

Trump's order won't have any immediate impact. But it directs the Treasury secretary to consult with members of different regulatory agencies and the Financial Stability Oversight Council and report back on potential changes.

Trump administration officials, like other critics, argue Dodd-Frank did not achieve what it set out to do and portray it as an example of massive government overreach.

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