Geithner Challenges Banks on Regs

Treasury Secretary said to ask bankers for specific Dodd-Frank complaints.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has challenged bankers to give him specifics on their longstanding complaint that the Dodd-Frank Act is imposing costly, confusing and burdensome regulations on them, according to four people familiar with the matter.

The Federal Advisory Council, a group of bank executives from each of the 12 Federal Reserve districts, complained to Geithner at a May 10 meeting about overlapping and duplicative rules, according to the people. Geithner urged the bankers to prepare a study with examples of regulatory burden, said the people, who are preparing the report.

Increased Regulation

“The quantity and quality of regulation has been increased so dramatically that it makes it difficult to do business in the financial services area, and a lot of those huge costs are going to be passed on to consumers,” said Tom Vartanian, a Washington-based partner at the law firm Dechert LLP. “The question is, ‘Where’s the balance?”’

Mortgage Lending

“If you took mortgage lending, you have anywhere from six to seven federal, state agencies involved in the creation of new rules or servicing standards,” said Vartanian, who has represented banks including Capital One Financial Corp. and Bank of America. “There is substantive overlap in terms of the requirements of regulations and jurisdictional overlap in terms of how many agencies you have to deal with.”

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