The House of Representatives passed the Financial CHOICE (Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers, and Entrepreneurs) Act Thursday, a bill that significantly chips away at about 40 provisions and regulations put in place via Dodd-Frank during the Obama-era.
When the Dodd-Frank Act was enacted, it was sold to the American people as a solution to the financial crisis that would hold Wall Street banks and bad actors in the financial services arena accountable.
In the years since its enactment, however, big banks have grown larger, and small banks and credit unions across the country have suffered. In fact, community financial institutions are disappearing at an average rate of one per day (1,600+ which have either closed or been forced to merge since the implementation of Dodd-Frank). This is because the large Wall Street banks are the only ones with the manpower and resources to navigate the complex Dodd-Frank regulatory environment.
The Financial CHOICE Act, provides desperately needed relief to community financial institutions from the harmful, complex and excessive regulatory environment created by the Dodd-Frank Act. It increases access to, and reduces the cost of, credit for families that want to purchase a home or start a business.
Regulatory relief would alleviate the burdens on lending to small businesses, which account for 70 percent of all new jobs created in the US.
When institutions begin to flourish and thrive again, lower-income and middle-class consumers, as well as small businesses, that rely on the services of community banks will once again have more choices and better access to the products and services they need to live their daily lives and conduct their businesses.
The legislation passed the House by a vote of 233 to 186. CHOICE would end Dodd-Frank’s too-big-to-fail bailouts for financial firms and creditors, deliver stronger consumer-fraud protections for all Americans, and provide much-needed regulatory relief to community banks and other small financial institutions. The CHOICE Act will be sent to the Senate next, where the path to approval could prove more difficult.