NH Bankers Association Thanks Senators Shaheen and Hassan for Supporting Passage of Key Banking Reform

The New Hampshire Bankers Association praised passage of a key banking reform measure in the U.S. Senate yesterday, with the support of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Sen. Maggie Hassan.

The measure will relieve community banks from some of the harshest reforms put into place by the Dodd Frank Act of 2010, allowing them greater latitude in decisions on home mortgages, reducing burdensome capital requirements and easing paperwork burdens. The bill, S. 2155, enjoyed bipartisan sponsors and support in the Senate and passed by a vote of 67-31 late Wednesday.

Since the Dodd Frank Act took effect, the number of banks has steadily declined nationally and in New Hampshire. One third of New Hampshire-based institutions have merged or affiliated with larger institutions as the cost of complying with thousands of pages of new regulations mounted since 2010. NH Bankers chairman and Optima Bank & Trust President and CEO Dan Morrison said communities, businesses and residents will benefit by passage of the bill, S. 2155.

“Most small business lending in the US is done by community banks. The number of community banks in the US is shrinking rapidly, due in large part to the burdens and costs of excessive regulation. As communities lose their community banks, they also lose many of their small businesses that rely on those community banks,” he said. “Senate Bill 2155 will provide some relief to community banks, possibly allowing some banks to survive in communities where they otherwise might not. Those communities, their small businesses, and all of their residents will clearly benefit from the passage of this bill.”

NH Bankers President and CEO Christiana Thornton praised Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Senator Maggie Hassan stating, “Community bankers in New Hampshire appreciate the leadership our Senators provided to pave the way for commonsense bank regulation. Local bankers have shared their ongoing concerns about some of the unintended consequences of the Dodd-Frank Act, that have impacted consumers and small businesses. The provisions supported by Senators Shaheen and Hassan will help to right-size banking laws, while still protecting consumers.”