The Senate Banking Committee will mark up a financial regulatory reform bill on May 14 that is expected to include changes to the Dodd-Frank Act. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) is working with Committee Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to put together a legislative package that can win bipartisan support. This is necessary because 60 votes will likely be needed to pass the package on the Senate floor and Republicans have a 54-seat Senate majority. As a result, the Banking Committee’s changes to Dodd-Frank will likely be more consensus-driven and less sweeping than those proposed by a number of House and Senate Republicans and the financial services industry.

The regulatory reform package is likely to include some relief from Dodd-Frank requirements for small and medium sized banks. Chairman Shelby has said these banks did not cause the financial crisis and many enjoy bipartisan support in Congress. A key issue is whether to raise Dodd-Frank’s $50 billion asset threshold that subjects banks to enhanced prudential standards overseen by the Federal Reserve including stress tests, dissolution plans (living wills), and higher capital requirements. During recent hearings, the Banking Committee heard a wide array of proposals to modify the asset threshold, including: raising it to $100 billion, or more; exempting regional banks with over $50 billion in assets from some requirements, such as stress tests and living wills; and restructuring the threshold to tie stricter regulatory oversight to the complexity and riskiness of a bank’s activities, not simply its size. 
Continue Reading Senate Banking Committee Preparing Changes to Dodd-Frank

In recent months, certain small banks have come under increased investigation by FinCEN, federal bank regulators, and in some instances the Department of Justice (DOJ) for alleged non-compliance with the
Continue Reading Recent DOJ and Regulatory Actions Against Smaller Institutions Suggest That Community Banks Should Continue to Carefully Consider BSA/AML Risks