President Donald Trump met with a small group of the nation’s community bankers Thursday to discuss how regulations are affecting business as well as promising to continue his financial reform efforts.
Trump also pledged his support for small businesses and increasing access to capital for small business owners.
“Nearly half of all private-sector workers are employed by small businesses,” Trump told the group. “We must ensure access to capital to small businesses and for small businesses to grow. Community banks are the backbone of small business in America.”
The executives from nine community banks discussed the role of community banks in rural areas as well as the difficulties facing smaller banks. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, American Bankers Association CEO Robert Nichols and Camden Fine, president of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) also attended the meeting.
The President addressed the Dodd-Frank reform act and his efforts to dismantle the rules that many in the community banking industry have referred to as burdensome. Community banks have argued that the regulations that apply to big banks shouldn’t govern smaller institutions with lower risks. Smaller banks want to raise the $50 billion asset threshold to ease compliance costs and workloads.
The ICBA has proposed creating a tailored system of regulations that take into account a bank’s size, business model and risk factors.
“One-size-fits-all regulations are imposing unnecessary burdens on community banks that stifle lending and growth in local communities,” said Rebeca Romero Rainey, chairman of the ICBA.
While Trump promises to remain focused on regulatory relief, Republicans have been honing in on health care reform and rewriting tax laws. Congress has yet to reveal a plan for reforming financial rules that garners support from Democrats.