What to Know in Washington: Bank Lobby Puts Shields Up in D.C.

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Banking industry lobbyists, grappling with fallout on Capitol Hill from high-profile bank failures, say they’re taking a largely skeptical approach to possible legislation, worried about new regulations especially on smaller institutions.

The issue will be at the forefront of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee agenda this month, including a hearing today on “holding executives accountable” after the recent failures of First Republic, Silicon Valley, and other banks.

Executives from some of those banks will appear before the panel May 16: Gregory W. Becker, Silicon Valley Bank’s former CEO, Scott Shay, a co-founder of Signature Bank, and Eric Howell, Signature’s former president.

Photographer: Ting Shen/Bloomberg
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, which is holding hearings on recent bank failures.

As scrutiny grows, banks can deploy large, well-connected lobbying teams, including JPMorgan with Tim Berry, a former chief of staff to Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

Lobbyist Michael Williams of the Williams Group, who represents the National Bankers Association, a group of minority-owned and operated banks, said the group’s message to lawmakers is: “Please do no harm to us.” The smaller, minority-owned banks, specifically, do not want to pay for the FDIC’s shortfall, he said.

Most lawmakers, he added, are still working to figure out what went wrong with the failed banks.

The coming months will test the clout of the banking industry, whose initial strategy could be upended with more banking failures. Read the full story from Kate Ackley.

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To contact the reporters on this story: Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com; Michaela Ross in Washington at mross@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kayla Sharpe at ksharpe@bloombergindustry.com; Giuseppe Macri at gmacri@bgov.com

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