U.S. News

Bash or Bolster? Bank Bosses on Obama Blueprint


President Obama's proposed financial reform has sparked a debate among lawmakers and members of the financial sector. Some argue that the plan's creation of a separate consumer protection agency will cause unnecessary confusion, while others say it will give the Federal Reserve too much power. CNBC talked to the experts for their opinion on the proposal.

The State of Financials

Banker in the Middle

"The problem with creating an entirely separate consumer examination force is that their objectives are different from the safety and soundness force, and they clash, and they’re going to catch the banker in the middle.”

Camden Fine, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America

Sheila Bair on the Regulation Revamp

A Collaborative Effort

"I commend the President for getting personally involved in this and taking leadership and putting his own considerable influence behind the efforts ... We're still analyzing the white paper and want to work with the administration and Congress constructively on this."

Sheila Bair, FDIC chairman

Reaction to Obama's Regulatory Reform Plan

'Fannie and Freddie Redux'

"If the Federal Reserve is responsible for institutions it deems to be systemically critical, systemically important, then the marketplace is going to adjust to that. Their stocks are going to be more dear, lenders will lend to them on more favored rates ... It's Fannie and Freddie redux."

Emil Henry, former treasury assistant secretary

Functions of the Fed

Consumer Examination Force Could be 'Tricky'

"There's no really separating the good of the consumer ... from the quality of the loan as some people would suggest. I think it's very important if you're going to have good credit that it be properly constructed, that the consumer understand the credit, be able to repay it, so there isn't that conflict that some people suggest ... Layering another oversight body on that could be tricky."

Tom Hoenig, president and CEO of Kansas City Fed

The State of Banking

Reform Will Hit Small Banks Hard

"We have the same quantity of regulation, but we're much smaller companies, and therefore it costs us a great deal more and it puts us under a great deal more pressure."

Mike Menzies, president and CEO of Easton Bank and Trust

An 'Unnecessary Confusion'

"As a banker, we want clarity ... We want to make sure that we know who's regulating us and what the rules are. The consumer protection agency sounds a bit confusing ... I don't really mind the idea of consumer protection, I think it makes sense and it's well timed, I just think that the agency itself might be a little problematic.

Richard Davis, US Bancorp CEO