WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on legislation to roll back restraints on banks (all times local):
The Senate is edging forward legislation to roll back some of the restraints on banks that President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress put in place eight years ago to prevent another financial crisis.
The bill has overwhelming Republican support and enough Democratic backing that it’s expected to garner the 60 votes necessary to clear the Senate, possibly later this week. That was reflected in the 66-30 procedural vote Monday, with 16 Democrats and one independent voting to move ahead with the bill.
The legislation would increase fivefold, to $250 billion, the level of assets at which banks are subject to stricter capital and planning requirements. The change would ease regulations on more than two dozen financial companies, including BB&T Corp., SunTrust Banks Inc. and American Express.
Buried within new Senate legislation to roll back restraints on banks is a provision that would exempt an estimated 85 percent of all U.S. banks and credit unions from public reporting requirements, raising fears that discriminatory practices by lenders could go undetected.
The data that would be exempt from reporting includes the financial information of borrowers and loan applicants, along with their race and sex.
Some Democratic lawmakers, community activists and low-income-housing advocates have raised the alarm over the prospect of diminished mortgage disclosures by banks. Removing the spotlight, they say, could allow lenders to unfairly deny loans or charge excessive interest and escape notice.
The overall bill would alter key elements of the Dodd-Frank law enacted to prevent a repeat of the financial crisis 10 years ago.