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House Financial Services Committee amends Dodd-Frank to favor Emigrant Bank

Michael Grimm

The House Financial Services Committee voted 35-15 on Thursday in favor of controversial legislation that would amend the Dodd-Frank Act to allow Emigrant Bank to avoid stricter capital requirements.

Proponents of the legislation argue that the bank should not be subject to the same rules as larger, riskier financial institutions. The bill, however, has been the target of criticism from opponents who argue that the measure would only benefit one institution, Reuters reports.

The legislation would change the grandfather date of the Collins Amendment, a tougher capital requirements measure for banks with more than $15 billion in assets, from December 2009 to March 2010. Emigrant argues that in December 2009, the bank briefly exceeded the $15 billion threshold to ensure stability during the initial financial crisis, though its assets were less than $15 billion by March 2010.

The measure has also drawn criticism due to Emigrant Bank CEO Howard Milstein’s active political life and campaign donations to sponsors of the bill. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) is the bill’s chief sponsor and received $2,500 in campaign contributions from the Milstein family, according to American Banker.

Several of the bill’s co-sponsors, including Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), received a combined total of $9,000 in campaign donations from Milstein and his family.

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