Idaho community bank sees brighter days ahead following deregulation

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The lives of Idaho consumers could soon get easier. A bipartisan group of lawmakers passed legislation that eases some rules placed on community banks after the 2008 financial crisis. For local banks like D.L. Evans they say they see brighter days ahead.

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) says he wishes his legislation went further in rolling back Dodd-Frank legislation.

“We think it will have a great impact immediately,” said John V. Evans JR., president and CEO of D.L. Evans Bank in Idaho.

Evans says greener pastures are ahead for his bank, thanks to regulation rollbacks.

“We’ll be able to go on, make good loans, help our communities, help our customers,” said Evans.

Dodd-Frank legislation passed in the wake of the crisis put strict regulations on banks across the U.S. in hopes of preventing another economic meltdown. Evans says his bank’s attempt to comply with the law made it harder to give loans to local businesses and families.

“We’re just optimistic that it’s really going to speed things up and get things going a little bit better,” said Evans.

Evans says he got help from Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. Crapo’s bill, now law, is taking some of the burden off D.L. Evans. Crapo says the regulations never should have applied to community banks.

“We are going to start seeing a new view, a new attitude, a new bold willingness now on the part of our smaller financial institutions,” said Crapo.

Crapo’s legislation had support from 16 Democratic senators. While it could help community banks, there is concern it loosens the federal grip on some bigger institutions.

“Nobody gets everything they wanted in this bill and that’s probably a good thing,” said James Angel, a professor at Georgetown University.

Angel says the biggest banks with more than $250 billion in assets will remain under the tightest scrutiny from the Dodd-Frank law. But controversy surrounding Crapo’s law comes from exempting a number of banks that fall under that threshold.

“Some of those banks that now have less stringent rules are still pretty big banks,” said Angel.

While some fear deregulation will lead to another crisis, Crapo says he wants to take the Dodd-Frank rollback even further in the future.