Regulatory Reform and the Financial Services Industry

Regardless of one’s political leanings, it is becoming quite clear that it is not “business as usual” in Washington, DC.  Today, February 24, 2017, provided yet more evidence.

Today, President Trump signed an Executive Order titled, “The Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.”  It calls for the creation of a task force and appointment of a regulatory reform officer at each federal agency.  Among other things, the new task force and officers will be responsible for reviewing their respective agency’s regulations in the next 90 days and determining which regulations can be repealed or modified.  

The “reform officers” are also tasked with enforcing President Trump’s regulatory priorities, which include eliminating all regulations that are ”unnecessary, burdensome and harmful to the creation of jobs and business.”  In a prior Executive Order, the President also ordered all federal agencies to eliminate two rules for every new rule they issue.

As a result, the financial services industry will no doubt experience changes to come.  What exactly those changes are is unknown at this point, but the next few months should be quite telling.  Some speculate, for example, we will see a slow down on federal enforcement actions, and perhaps audits of financial service companies.  Others speculate that certain federal agencies might instead actually increase their efforts in order to create at least an appearance of importance.  Such appearances may be relevant if federal agencies take action to reduce the number and location of their branch offices. 

Time will tell, as it usually does.

Written by Daniel D. Hill