Who will pay for new federal oversight?

A bank sign

TEXT OF STORY

KAI RYSSDAL: Now here's a question that reaches right to the heart of how to stop the financial crisis we are still working through from ever happening again: Who is going to foot the bill for stricter enforcement of Wall Street rules and regulations?

Marketplace's Steve Henn reports.


Steve Henn: So the Obama administration wants to ensure much tougher regulations of all financial services firms and create an entirely new regulatory agency dedicated to protecting you -- the consumer. The problem: How do you pay for it?

Jill Hershey: We are certainly willing to pay our fair share for consumer protection.

Jill Hershey is at the Financial Services Roundtable and represents the biggest banks. She's not a fan of the administration's plan to hike fees on banks that have more than $10 billion in assets. She'd like any increase in fees to hit small banks and big banks alike.

Hershey: Truly it's a cost of doing business to protect consumers and we are all in that business together.

Not surprisingly, small banks disagree. Cam Fine is at the Independent Community Bankers Association.

Cam Fine: Community Banks didn't cause the train wreck that we are in right now, this financial crisis. So why should they be the ones that should have to pay some disproportionate share to get us out of this mess?

Hershey, the big bank's lobbyist, is willing to accept some blame.

Hershey: Absolutely. Yes, mistakes were made. Having said that, they weren't only made or just made by larger institutions.

She says most of the banks that have failed in the past year have been smaller. But finger pointing aside there is one thing bankers generally agree on: They hate the idea of a new agency dedicated solely to protecting consumers. And they're working together on Capitol Hill to kill that piece of President Obama's banking overhaul.

In Washington, I'm Steve Henn for Marketplace.

About the author

Steve Henn was Marketplace’s technology and innovation reporter for the entire portfolio of Marketplace programs until December 2011.

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