Yellen: Fed committed to easing regulations on smaller banks

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen delivers opening remarks during a community banking conference Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen delivers opening remarks during a community banking conference Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday that the Fed is committed to making sure that the regulations it imposes on the nation's community banks are not overly burdensome, noting a proposed rule issued last week to simplify requirements governing how much capital these banks must hold.

In remarks to a community banking conference in St. Louis, Yellen said the proposed new rule on capital requirements was the latest effort by regulators to ease burdens on smaller banks. She says the Fed is seeking to increase the number of community banks eligible for less frequent examinations and loosen requirements for property appraisals on commercial real estate transactions.

Yellen has defended the tougher regulations imposed following the 2008 banking crisis but has said there is room to ease regulatory burdens on smaller banks.

"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 are appropriate," Yellen told the conference.

During last year's election campaign, Donald Trump attacked the Dodd-Frank Act passed by Congress in 2010 to prevent future crises as a disaster that he said had stifled the economy by limiting bank lending. Yellen, however, has said that the major parts of Dodd-Frank have made the financial system safer and should be retained.

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