Local financial institutions say the passage of banking reform last month will help small businesses by reducing the burden of unnecessary regulations that get in the way of lending decisions. In late May, the President signed S. 2155, the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act”, first passed by the US Senate on March 14 and then by the US House on May 22.
According to the US Chamber of Commerce, the new law "right-sizes some of the regulatory overreach enacted in Dodd-Frank that imposed a one-size-fits-all approach to overregulating community and regional banks that had nothing to do with the financial crisis. This new law unclogs the spigot for local lenders and restores credit access for Main Street businesses to keep our economy humming."
"Looking at this from a Community Bank perspective, I believe this is a good bill as it will provide relief to community banks on the increased regulatory costs," said Paul Swartos, VP Commercial Banking and Chippewa Valley Market President, CCF Bank, who is also a member of the Eau Claire Chamber's Governmental Affairs Committee. "By providing relief, this should allow community banks to continue to support the customers and communities they serve."
Praise for the bill also came from Brandon Riechers, President/CEO of Eau Claire-based Royal Credit Union: “S. 2155 provides regulatory relief for community-based financial institutions like Royal Credit Union and offers the opportunity to better serve our Members. We are very excited about one credit union-specific provision that will allow us to classify loans made on one-to-four unit, non-owner occupied residences as real estate loans as opposed to business loans. This simple change will allow credit unions to dedicate more resources to Main Street by providing additional loans to small businesses.”
How our Congressional Delegation voted
US Chamber President/CEO Tom Donahue said the bipartisan vote in both houses was "encouraging because it proves it’s possible for Congress to achieve compromise when good, pro-growth policy is within our grasp." It passed the Senate 67-31 and the House 258-159. Wisconsin's Senators split their votes, with Ron Johnson (R) voting Yes and Tammy Baldwin (D) voting No. Both local Congressmen, Ron Kind (D-3) and Sean Duffy (R-7), voted Yes.
Despite its bipartisan support, there was spirited debate on the Senate floor with what the US Chamber asserted were attempts to muddy the discussion by mis-characterizing what the bill actually does. To counter the misinformation, the US Chamber wrote this explanation: Four Myths about the Banking Bill and Why They’re Wrong. The U.S. Chamber also released a video that tells the story of how one-size-fits-all regulations have hindered banks’ ability to lend to small businesses.
Join us for Eggs & Issues with the US Chamber in August
For more about current federal issues, the atmosphere in Washington and the outlook for the election, join us for our August 17 Eggs & Issues breakfast where we'll get a full update from John Kirchner of the US Chamber. Click here for more details and to register.
Posted by: Scott Rogers, Governmental Affairs & Workforce Director