Bank of America's CEO says lending to start-ups, homebuyers would expand if deregulation happens

BoA's Moynihan: Businesses are optimistic
BoA's Moynihan: Businesses are optimistic

Brian Moynihan, Bank of America's chairman and chief executive officer, said if President Donald Trump and Congress roll back banking regulations, there are plenty of areas where lending would expand.

Mortgage lending "still has room to run in the economy," said Moynihan, along with "loans to start-up companies."

The CEO said Bank of America often can't lend as much as it would like to start-ups because the loans are considered "highly leveraged" or too risky because many of the companies don't have earnings. Moynihan also noted that loans to small businesses would likely expand too.

Critics have said the demand for more bank lending is not there even if regulations do get rolled back by Washington, but that's not true according to Moynihan, who noted that he hopes Congress takes action quickly.

"We believe that the regulatory relief for smaller financial institutions has to be real and fast" because they just can't afford it, he said.

Moynihan's comments came during a live interview for The Washington Post's website.

Bank of America's shares were up 39 percent since the election through Monday's close, almost quadruple the return of the S&P 500, in part on the hope President Trump would usher in an era of deregulation for the banking sector. The president said he would destroy these "horrible" regulations in a speech to business leaders Tuesday.

Expectations for rising interest rates have also boosted banking stocks.

Moynihan, who said he doesn't believe Washington dysfunction is any worse than it has been in the past, pointed out that the bank has three times the amount of capital it had before the financial crisis.

Watch: Moynihan on Dodd-Frank

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