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A Tale of Two Washingtons Awaits Wall Street Banks

Category: Business,Finance

“We are concerned about Wells Fargo,” said Ms. Waters, who is planning to meet with the bank’s executives and could call them to testify at a hearing.

She said she also plans to look carefully at the efforts of Mick Mulvaney — the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — to weaken the bureau’s enforcement activities and at Mr. Trump’s ties to Deutsche Bank, which has faced legal trouble for laundering money for Russian entities.

“We’ll work on trying to find out more about the relationship with Deutsche Bank, with him and his family and money laundering,” Ms. Waters said, referring to Mr. Trump.

She insisted that, in exercising oversight authority, she is not engaging in retaliation for being disparaged as “low I.Q.” by the president.

“It has nothing to do with what he said about me,” she said. “That’s meaningless.”

Ms. Waters said she hopes to find common ground with Republicans, including on an overhaul of federal flood insurance. But her priorities, for the most part, stand in stark contrast to those of her predecessor, Representative Jeb Hensarling, Republican of Texas, who spent the past two years pushing to water down the new rules created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank law and to neuter the consumer finance watchdog set up by the Obama administration.

This year, Mr. Hensarling helped shepherd through a bill that relaxed some of those rules.

The 2010 law, for example, established stricter regulations for banks with at least $50 billion in assets. The new legislation raised the threshold to $100 billion and instructed the Fed to consider leniencies for even larger banks. Last month, the Fed complied, proposing to divide the biggest banks into four categories. Under the proposal, only a few top-tier behemoths like JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America would still be subject to the toughest rules.

Under Ms. Waters, the committee — which has oversight of the Fed as well as the banking industry — is likely to scrutinize the Fed’s plans to soften regulations.

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