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house Bill H.R. 3791

Does the Fed’s Small Bank Policy Statement Need to Apply to Larger Firms?

Argument in favor

Applying the Federal Reserve’s policy statement to bank holding companies with up to $5 billion in assets rather than only those with under $1 billion will allow firms to make more investments with businesses and consumers in the communities they serve.

wsdraperv's Opinion
Anything that goes around Dodd-Frank is alright by me.
Like (5)
Mathew's Opinion
Dodd-Frank already is killing banks, this could be a lifeline.
Like (1)
Gary's Opinion
Small. Business needs all the cash access it can get.

Argument opposed

By expanding the policy statement to cover banks that are five times larger than those it originally covered, this bill could cause covered banks to engage in more risk-taking and ultimately lead to more small bank failures.

GrumpyMSgt's Opinion
No! Let Hillary and the Clinton crime family cover the banks they've received plenty from them. Remember, Hillary is "fighting for us" with $600 haircuts and $1500 handbags.
Like (9)
Alis's Opinion
We certainly do NOT need any more financial risk-taking. Since Congress seems unable to restrain the enormous banks, we must constrain the activity at lower levels or we will have a crash worst than the one George W. precipitated! STOP THIS INSANITY! Economic growth isn't unlimited. We are getting to a point where it is destructive & will eat us alive.
Like (3)
DEGUp's Opinion
O sweet irony. No one holds leverage like the federal government...
Like (1)

What is House Bill H.R. 3791?

This bill would require the Federal Reserve to expand its policy statement on the allowable debt levels of small bank holding companies to apply to firms with less than $5 billion in assets, rather than only firms with less than $1 billion in assets. The change would take effect within six months.

Covered banks would be prohibited from engaging in significantly leveraged (i.e. financed with debt) nonbanking activities, and wouldn’t be able to have a substantial amount of outstanding debt held by the public.

Any small bank holding company that is covered by the Federal Reserve’s policy statement would be exempt from the leverage and risk-based capital requirements established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.


Small bank holding companies; and the Federal Reserve.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3791

The CBO estimates that the net effects of this legislation would be insignificant.

More Information

In-Depth: This legislation was passed by the House Financial Services Committee on a party-line vote of 33-21, and has the support of four Republican cosponsors.

The American Bankers Association has offered its support for this bill in a letter dated December 7, 2015, explaining that:

“This legislation facilitates the ability of community banks to issue debt and raise capital and thus increase their involvement in promoting the growth of their local economies. This is extremely important as regulators have proposed through other regulations to increase capital requirements significantly for both community banks and larger institutions in the coming years.”

Democrats on the Financial Services Committee don’t see it that way, and have expressed concerns that larger banks may have more of a focus on profits than serving customers:

“We are very concerned that a bank with a $5 billion footprint would not provide the same kind of personal service a smaller institution might, and are further concerned that raising the threshold could encourage aggressive growth at a firm that is more concerned with its bottom line than the concerns of the communities it serves.”


Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons user Marinus van Reymerswaele - 9gHUjnOF-8MtlA at Google Cultural Institute maximum zoom level, Public Domain)

Official Title

To raise the consolidated assets threshold under the small bank holding company policy statement, and for other purposes.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
  • The house Passed April 14th, 2016
    Roll Call Vote 247 Yea / 171 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Financial Services
    IntroducedOctober 21st, 2015

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