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Trump moves to rollback financial regulation

IANS | Washington |


President Donald Trump will on Friday move to roll back key reforms enacted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, in what the White House sees as an effort to cut damaging red tape.

Officials say Trump will sign two executive actions asking the Treasury and the Labor Department to look into ways of reforming rules that were designed to make markets safer and give consumers more protection.

One order will ask the Treasury Department to identify possible changes to a package of financial reforms – know as Dodd-Frank – enacted in 2010 by president Barack Obama.

Among other things, the legislation created the consumer financial protection bureau and required banks to keep more capital on hand to prevent over-leveraging.

The review will also target the so-called "Volcker Rule," which curbs some speculative investments.

"(We) believe that Dodd-Frank in many respects was a piece of massive government overreach," said a senior administration official, previewing the orders Trump will sign later Friday.

"It imposed hundreds of new regulations on financial institutions, it established an enormous amount of work and effort for financial firms," the official said.

Republicans have made no secret of their dislike for the consumer financial protections bureau, which looks set to be targeted in the review.

Any substantial repeal of Dodd-Frank would require congressional action, but the Trump White House is keen to send a signal that it is ready to slash red tape.

"We want to have very deep, very vibrant, very open, very transparent markets without having an enormous burden of regulation," said the official.

Another executive order to be signed takes aim at the so-called fiduciary rule, which legally obliges financial advisors to act in their clients' best interest.

"We think this was a complete miss on what they were trying to do," the official said, adding it had been expensive for investment firms.

The rule was scheduled to come into effect in April, but will be deferred, pending review.