July 25, 2019

Berger in Fox Business: Americans should be concerned about risky banks

As the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing yesterday to examine a proposed merger between SunTrust and BB&T, NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger – in an op-ed for Fox Business – encouraged lawmakers to focus on big bank riskiness.dan

"Ahead of the August recess, what lawmakers should be discussing [is] the economic impact of excessive, unbridled risk-taking by Wall Street banks," wrote Berger.

Berger also pressed lawmakers to discuss the potential benefits of a modern Glass-Steagall Act, as well as the economic concerns posed should big banks succeed in pushing for the removal of common sense restrictions that prevent improper, speculative trading under the Volcker Rule. 

"Certain banks are hoping Congress will ignore the moral hazard of using taxpayers as a backstop for their speculative bets [in the absence of Glass-Steagall] and want regulators to reinterpret the [Volcker Rule] to loosen requirements, thereby reviving the same risky trading practices that contributed to the financial crisis and fundamentally degraded the stability and liquidity of our capital markets," Berger argued. 

Last fall, Berger also appeared on The Hill TV's morning show "Rising" to request lawmakers consider a modern Glass-Steagall. 

You can read Berger's full op-ed here.

In addition, NAFCU's Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt sent a letter to the committee ahead of the hearing echoing many of Berger's comments, while also noting credit unions' "long track record" of good work serving their members and communities.