US President Joe Biden called on banking regulators Thursday to reinstate tougher rules on midsized banks, saying that doing so would prevent future failures like that of Silicon Valley Bank.
While his predecessor Donald Trump eased rules for banks with between $100 and $250 billion in assets, Biden urged regulators to instead consider a set of reforms to "reduce the risk of future banking crises," according to a White House fact sheet.
A White House official called the measures "common-sense steps that can be taken under existing authority" and without congressional approval, in a briefing with journalists.
While the largest US banks such as Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase are subjected to the strictest capital and liquidity requirements, midsized banks saw an easing of standards under Trump.
The original Dodd-Frank law passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis imposed stricter standards on banks with at least $50 billion in assets.
But a 2018 reform signed into law by Trump removed tougher standards on banks with assets of $50-$100 billion.
For banks with between $100 and $250 billion, the tougher rules would not automatically be adopted unless regulators imposed them on a case-by-case basis.
Under Thursday's announcement, Biden called for annual stress tests for banks of this size; so-called "living wills" laying out how assets would be wound down in case of failure; and strong capital requirements.
A White House fact sheet did not specifically mention the Federal Reserve or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) but was addressed at "federal banking agencies, in consultation with the Treasury Department."
Regulators from the Fed and FDIC have told congressional panels they were reviewing oversight of SVB and would address any regulatory failings.
Their reports will be released by May 1.