Bipartisan Dodd-Frank Fix Being Sought by Lawmakers, Warner Says

A group of Democrats and Republicans are discussing a Dodd-Frank Act “fix-it” bill aimed at forging a compromise between the two parties over the 2010 regulatory law, U.S. Senator Mark Warner said Thursday.

The bipartisan group is looking to improve on legislation proposed by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby that was written with almost no feedback and has no chance of passing, Warner, a Virginia Democrat, said at a Bloomberg breakfast in Washington.

“I like Dick Shelby,” Warner said. “Shelby is a friend of mine. I’ve traveled with Dick Shelby. The way he put together this bill was not serious.”

The banking panel voted 12-10 along party lines in May to advance Shelby’s bill, which could free SunTrust Banks Inc., U.S. Bancorp, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. and other banks from some of Dodd-Frank’s supervision and capital requirements.

Torrie Miller, spokeswoman for the Alabama Republican, referred to a May 21 statement by Shelby that cited public hearings and meetings between Republican and Democratic committee staffers on Dodd-Frank issues.

Under his proposal, the Federal Reserve would need to disclose more information to Congress about monetary policy decisions, and the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York -- which oversees Wall Street firms -- would need to be confirmed by the Senate. A Dodd-Frank provision that subjects banks with more than $50 billion in assets to heightened scrutiny would be raised to as much as $500 billion under Shelby’s bill.

Brown’s Alternative

Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the Banking Committee’s top Democrat, has tried to counter Shelby’s legislation with a narrower bill that would ease regulatory burdens for small community banks.

“There’s a group of reasonable Republicans and Democrats talking about a Dodd-Frank fix-it bill that would be focused, tailored,” Warner said.

Warner said he’s open to eliminating some regulations, such as annual resolution plans required for regional banks.

“We all agree that $50 billion is probably the wrong number,” he said of the threshold for increased oversight without indicating what he thought the right level would be.

“I think it’s less about asset size and more about business product size,” he said.