Bove: Financial Reform will leave 10 million people without bank services
by Dan Weil
Originally posted 15 July 2010
TOP BANKING ANALYST DICK BOVE WARNS THAT THE financial reform bill, which is poised to become law, will cost at least ten million Americans their banking services. That is because the financial penalties the bill imposes on banks will be passed along to their customers as fees. And that means many people won’t be able to afford to use a bank, he told CNBC.
Congress late Thursday sent legislation to President Barack Obama that imposes sweeping new regulations on Wall Street and creates new protections for millions of consumers. The Senate’s 60-39 vote came nearly two years after a financial crisis knocked the economy to its knees.
At a whopping 2,300 pages, the legislation is designed to rein in big banks and protect consumers in hopes of averting a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis. Its ultimate impact, however, will depend on the government regulators assigned to implement it, the Associated Press reported.
The bill places limits on leverage, proprietary trading and investments in private equity and hedge funds for the banks. It also creates a consumer protection agency to oversee areas such a mortgage lending and student loans. All of this will cost banks money, Bove points out. And they will respond by passing on fees to their customers, he warns.
But many of the customers won’t be able to afford these fees, and that’s why at least ten million will no longer have access to a bank, the Rochdale Securities analyst said. But not everyone has a dire view of the financial reform bill. Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson sees plenty to like in it and wishes it was in place when the financial crisis began during his tenure in 2007-08.
The bill’s most important provision may be the one setting up a systemic risk council, he told The New York Times. The council would enable government officials to share information and close troubled institutions when the system is at risk. If that rule had been in place when he was in office, “some things would hopefully have been identified earlier,” Paulson said.