Dampening industry hopes that the bipartisan Senate bill (see Client Report SIFI25) might advance without a floor fight, progressive Democrats today pushed Treasury Secretary Mnuchin hard to defend the $250 billion threshold, indirectly putting still more pressure on those Democrats that joined Republicans supporting Dodd-Frank relief. Sen. Warren (D-MA) forcefully argued that regional banks under $250 billion pose systemic risks and cited Countrywide as an example. Ranking Member Brown (D-OH) blasted the bill for providing relief not only to BHCs between $50 billion and $250 billion, but also for nonbanks and foreign banking organizations (FBOs). Sen. Heitkamp (D-ND) defended the legislation by noting that regulators can opt to designate firms under $250 billion. When pressed by Sen. Tillis (R-NC) on the bill’s benefits, Mr. Mnuchin targeted the biggest banks by saying that the largest banks hold too many assets, undermining small-bank competitiveness.
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