Keating: Breaking up big American banks could force them to seek out Chinese competitors

Frank Keating

Frank Keating, the president and CEO of the American Bankers Association, said on Wednesday that breaking up America’s largest financial institutions may force large corporations like Caterpillar Inc. and Boeing Co. to seek out Chinese lenders.

“The only place in the United States right now that has a balance of payment surplus is financial services,” Keating said during an interview with Bloomberg Television. “So we’re going to break up the banks and turn over Caterpillar’s business and Boeing’s business to the Chinese. Are we going to do that really?”

Keating also said that he is concerned about Dodd-Frank’s compliance and regulatory burden on small community banks that are unable to handle the “mountain of regulation, this mountain of uncertainty, this mountain of potential tax and regulatory liability,” Bloomberg reports.

Additionally, Keating said, regarding commercial banks, that U.S. regulators and leaders in the banking industry cannot allow “misguided anger over what happened in the fall of 2008 to destroy what has been essential for the success of America.” Keating added that these individuals must ensure that they “lubricate the financial service industry,” according to Bloomberg.

Keating has long advocated against the break-up of big banks, arguing that doing so would force America’s largest corporations into the arms of foreign competitors, as community banks cannot serve the lending needs of big companies.

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