Rick Finley: Don’t punish local lenders because of Wall Street

The Virginian-Pilot
February 27th, 2018

RURAL VIRGINIA is still struggling to recover from the Great Recession. Eighty-five of Virginia’s 133 counties and cities have shed jobs since 2007. Our state’s southern and western regions are facing particularly dim economic prospects. Nearly half of their residents rated the economy as “poor” or “not so good” in a recent Washington Post poll.

Well-intentioned but overly restrictive regulations on financial institutions deserve some of the blame. Federal officials put these measures in place after the financial crisis to protect Americans from Wall Street’s predatory behavior. But the rules have hobbled many of the credit unions and community banks that are so vital to small towns and medium-size cities across Virginia.

Thankfully, U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner are working to advance a bill that seeks to ease this regulatory burden. It’s one of the most bipartisan pieces of legislation we’ve seen in a long time, and if it becomes law, it will help rejuvenate communities throughout Virginia that the economic recovery has left behind.

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