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United Bank of Michigan CEO says breaking up largest banks would compromise banking industry

Art Johnson, the chairman and CEO of the Grand Rapids-based United Bank of Michigan, recently said that breaking up America’s largest financial institutions would jeopardize the entire banking industry.

“Every bank plays an important role in our economy,” Johnson said, according to American Banker. “While smaller banks can’t provide the financing and specialized services that Michigan’s auto manufacturers and large multinational corporations demand, we do supply the credit needed by the auto dealer, the parts suppliers and other businesses that provide critical support for these large companies. We provide loans to their employees and to the retail stores where they shop. Large, medium and small banks are connected in ways that are mutually beneficial and essential to the overall economy.”

Johnson said that, with the enactment of Dodd-Frank, the banking industry has struggled with increasing regulatory and compliance burdens, adding that dividing the industry would only weaken it.

“The strength of the banking industry—and the American economy—lies in its diversity,” Johnson said, American Banker reports. “As trusted and reputable providers of financial products and services, banks of all shapes and sizes are inextricably tied to the growth and prosperity of the communities we serve. This interconnectivity and ability to easily meet the financing needs of everyone from local businesses to multinational corporations is what makes our country the world’s premier financial center.”

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