Acknowledging negative developments on Capitol Hill at the end of 2015 and “misguided and unfortunate” anti-bank rhetoric from presidential candidates, ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols yesterday told the Exchequer Club in Washington, D.C., that the banking industry needs to unify in preparation for achieving meaningful regulatory relief in 2017. While ABA will fight hard for all gains it can achieve in 2016, a presidential election and short legislative calendar leave limited opportunities on Capitol Hill, he noted.
“We’re going to have a lot of new faces in Washington and that will be the opportunity for our sector to turn the page,” Nichols said of 2017, when a new president and Congress will be sworn in. As part of that effort, he added, ABA is “reassessing every aspect of how we do business in Washington” and working to become “politically more muscular.”
Nichols also talked about the importance of both the millennial generation and the growth of financial technology to the future of banking and spoke about the importance of communicating banks’ value proposition -- both as businesses and as employers. “I’m passionate about what banks do,” he said. “Show me another industry where you can take an idea and, with capital, turn it into something that’s real and tangible.”