WASHINGTON — Mid-sized banks that mostly let Wall Street and small firms speak for the industry during the debate over the Dodd-Frank Act have decided it’s time to carve out their own agenda in Washington.
Companies including U.S. Bancorp., SunTrust Banks, PNC Financial Services and Regions Financial are opening their own lobbying shops and staffing them with seasoned Washington hands. Regulators and lawmakers have begun to pay attention as the banks argue for changes in how they’re affected by Dodd-Frank rules including the so-called Volcker ban on proprietary trading and procedures for unwinding failed banks.
Executives and lobbyists for regional banks say they should be treated differently by agencies implementing the new regulations because they focus on traditional deposits and lending, rather than the higher-risk activities of firms such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group.
“We are not Wall Street banks but we face the same regulatory regime as a Wall Street bank," said Mark Oesterle, a lobbyist for SunTrust.