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Mnuchin's proposed reforms a boon for Wall Street

WASHINGTON: The US Treasury Department unveiled a sweeping plan to upend the country's financial regulatory framework, which, if successful, would grant many items on Wall Street's wish list.

The nearly 150-page report suggested more than 100 changes, most of which would be made through regulators rather than Congress, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

"We were very focused on, what we can do by executive order and through regulators," he said.

"We think about 80 per cent of the substance in the report can be accomplished by regulatory changes, and about 20 percent by legislation."

Changes proposed by the Treasury Department include easing up on restrictions big banks now face in their trading operations, lightening the annual stress tests they must undergo, and reducing the powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has been aggressively pursuing bad behaviour by financial institutions.

The plan would also expand the authority of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, which is chaired by Mr Mnuchin, and change the way global capital standards are implemented to give US banks a leg up against foreign rivals.

Smaller banks would get some relief as well: Lenders with US$50 billion (S$69 billion) or less in assets would have to jump through fewer regulatory hoops. - REUTERS

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