June 25, 2018

Berger: Loosening Volcker rule for big banks is 'risky'

B. Dan Berger

NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger is urging federal banking regulators to not move forward with a rulemaking to loosen Volcker rule requirements as doing so "would revive the risky trading practices that contributed to the Great Recession and fundamentally degrade the stability and liquidity of capital markets."

Berger made his request in a letter sent Friday to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Berger noted that the agencies' proposed rulemaking goes much further than recent relief given to community banks by Congress. He also argued that the Volcker rule was a "critical reform" coming out of the Great Recession because "banks should not be able to gamble with consumer deposits on speculative investments that could imperil and safety and soundness of the financial system."

In defense of the Volcker rule, Berger highlighted that it promotes stability, exempts smaller banks from unnecessary compliance and reporting requirements and provides flexibility as compliance is based on a tiered structure. He also pointed out that large banks continue to accumulate large profits even with the rule in place, despite claims of significant burden.

Berger's full letter is available here.