As the financial industry watches what the Trump administration will do with regulations adopted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the head of the London-based bank said he believes the changes should be directed toward providing a robust system.
"The rules of the road for banks are changing dramatically, but everyone realizes finance is the oxygen of commerce," Staley said at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit in New York. "You shut off the avenue of finance and you immediately are going to have a reaction. Whether we like it or not, we are going to need the banks."
Trump has directed his Treasury and Labor departments to study banking regulations, primarily those instituted by the Dodd-Frank law that was implemented as a reaction to the worst crisis since the Great Depression.
Among the major reforms are greater capital requirements, changes in the ways advisors interact with clients and the implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to oversee the system.
While Trump has talked about rolling back Dodd-Frank, Staley doesn't see it happening.
"I think Dodd-Frank is going to stay in its broad architecture," he said. "The interpretation of Dodd-Frank by regulators — that may be where we see a different approach by the Trump administration to the previous administration."
"To a certain extent, a law like Dodd-Frank is established so regulators have a volume control," he added. "What you'll see is some change in that volume control, and also watch how markets perform and how regulators manage that performance."
Staley said his bank has changed the way it does business since the crisis, putting up a wall between its consumer and wholesale operations, and is closing its retail bank branches everywhere but in the United Kingdom.
"There will always be economic cycles. No matter how hard we try we will have another financial crisis," he said. "My experience is going into a financial crisis, or living through one, where you want to be, the safest place is in a large, diversified bank."