Speaking on December 2 at an Interagency Outreach Meeting on the Economic Growth and Regulatory Reduction Act (EGRPRA), Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry indicated his desire to roll back regulatory burdens on smaller banks and thrifts. Comptroller Curry stated as follows:
First, as Toney Bland, our head of Midsize and Community Bank Supervision program, said in Senate testimony this fall, we think a greater number of healthy, well-managed community institutions ought to qualify for the 18-month examination cycle. By raising the asset threshold from $500 million to $750 million, 300 additional banks and thrifts would qualify…. Another idea that we think is ripe for congressional action is a community bank exemption from the Volcker Rule, as Federal Reserve Board Governor Daniel Tarullo suggested at a Congressional hearing this year. We don’t believe it is necessary to include smaller institutions under the Volcker Rule in order to realize Congressional intent, and we recommend exempting banks and thrifts with less than $10 billion in assets.
Mr. Curry also suggested increased flexibility for banks and thrifts: “We recommend authorizing a basic set of powers that both federal savings associations and national banks can exercise, regardless of their charter.”
EGRPRA requires that regulations prescribed by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System be reviewed by the agencies at least once every 10 years. The purpose of this review is to identify outdated, unnecessary or unduly burdensome regulations and consider how to reduce regulatory burden on insured depository institutions while, at the same time, ensuring their safety and soundness and the safety and soundness of the financial system.