House nears reg relief vote; rules panel meets Monday

A Senate-passed “regulatory relief” package that would exempt more banks from the Volcker rule, ease certain mortgage rules and more is slated for action in the House next week. The House Rules Committee meets Monday to determine rules for how to proceed on the bill.

S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, was approved by the Senate in March on a vote of 67-31. Democrats in the Senate said the bill would not survive if the House amended it to add additional provisions. Last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said he expected the House would complete action on the bill before the Memorial Day recess.

Ryan added that the House would also consider a second package of regulatory relief, also prior to the upcoming recess, to include additional relief measures not included in the Senate bill.

S. 2155, if enacted, would:

  • Exempt banks with assets of less than $10 billion from the “Volcker rule,” which prohibits banking agencies from engaging in proprietary trading or entering into certain relationships with hedge funds and private equity funds. Certain banks are also exempted by the bill from specified capital and leverage ratios, with federal banking agencies directed to promulgate new requirements.
  • Allow institutions with less than $10 billion in assets to waive ability-to-repay requirements under the Truth in Lending Act for certain residential-mortgage loans. Other mortgage lending provisions related to appraisals, mortgage data, employment of loan originators, manufactured homes, and transaction waiting periods are also modified.
  • Modify enhanced prudential regulation of financial institutions, such as those related to stress testing, leverage requirements, and the use of municipal bonds for purposes of meeting liquidity requirements.
  • Require credit reporting agencies to provide credit-freeze alerts.

The legislation also includes consumer credit provisions related to senior citizens, minors, and veterans.