Speak for Yourself, Wall Street

Regional banks, including Birmingham-based Regions, are speaking out on their own behalf, distancing themselves from Wall Street and mega-banks and the major players’ role in the nation’s and world’s financial fiasco.

As Congress debates its new Dodd-Frank regulations, most of those speaking out represented very big or very small banks, Bloomberg Businessweek reported in early November.

Now the middle-sized banks — including Regions that’s based in Alabama, PNC Financial Services Group with major operations in Alabama, and others — are hiring their own lobbyists, Businessweek reports, doubling and tripling their lobbying expenses.

The middle-sized group says its banks focus on “traditional deposits and lending, ” not the “higher-risk activities” of giants like JPMorgan Chase or Goldman Sachs.
Mark Oesterle, a SunTrust lobbyist and former aide to Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, is quoted by Businessweek: “We are not Wall Street banks but we face the same regulatory regime as a Wall Street bank.”

While the new law is in place and most regional banks fall under it because they surpass the $50 billion asset mark, they may be able to win distinctions in the regulations that carry out the law, Businessweek says.

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Nedra Bloom

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