Yellen Says Fed Is Working on Tailoring Regulations to Bank Size

  • Policy makers focused on limiting burden on community lenders
  • Fed chair delivers opening remarks at St. Louis conference

Janet Yellen

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the U.S. central bank has been working to ensure that regulations are tailored to the size, complexity and roles of the lenders it oversees.

“For community banks, which by and large avoided the risky business practices that contributed to the financial crisis, we have been focused on making sure that much-needed improvements to regulation and supervision since the crisis are appropriate and not unduly burdensome,” Yellen said Wednesday.

Yellen didn’t discuss her outlook for interest rates or the economy in her prepared remarks.

The Fed has “an abiding commitment to consider how our decisions affect institutions and the customers they serve,” she said in a text prepared for delivery at the St. Louis Fed’s annual community banking conference.

Fed officials frequently defend the regulatory overhaul put in place after the financial crisis as essential to protecting against future meltdowns, though Yellen and her colleagues often say requirements on community banks could be eased. That openness to some change is taking on renewed relevance as President Donald Trump pushes to reduce business regulations. His nominee as Fed vice chair for supervision and regulation, Randal Quarles, is headed toward Senate confirmation and could be approved as soon as Thursday.

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