The Trump administration will peel back parts of the massive Dodd-Frank financial regulations that were enacted in response to the Great Recession, Steve Mnuchin told CNBC on Wednesday after being selected to head the Treasury Department.
In addition to simplifying the law, "we want to strip back parts of Dodd-Frank that prevent banks from lending," Mnuchin said in an interview on "Squawk Box."
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was created to prevent the collapse of financial institutions and to shield loan-seeking consumers from abusive and risky lending and mortgage practices.
The act created a number of federal councils tasked to oversee big financial institutions to make sure they were keeping with the government's new, stricter standards for how banks should operate.
Mnuchin said he and Wilbur Ross, the billionaire whom Trump tapped to be Commerce secretary, will work to loosen the restrictions that have led to a decrease in bank lending to smaller businesses.
"We've been in the business of regional banking and we understand what it is to make loans. That's the engine of growth to small- and medium-sized businesses," Mnuchin said.
"So we want to strip back parts of Dodd-Frank that prevent banks from lending, and that will be the number one priority on the regulatory side," he said.