As regulations for lending, trading and debt card fees established by the Dodd-Frank Act are still being finalized, Wall Street has been spending tens of millions of dollars on lobbyists to fight them. So far this year, the financial industry has spent over $100 million in courting regulators and lawmakers, and spent $50.3 million during the second quarter, and slightly more than that in the first.
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JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) has spent $3.3 million so far in 2011, the American Bankers Association spent $4.6 million, and the Financial Services Roundtable, a trade group representing 100 of the nation’s largest financial firms (NYSE:XLF), spent nearly that much. While overall lobbying has decreased since last year, when Dodd-Frank was being written, spending still remains high as lobbyists target specific regulations being formed under the umbrella of the law.
Lobbyists have already succeeded in at least pushing back the date on which regulators will begin enforcing new derivatives rules, originally planned for July. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission both agreed to delay the rules for up to six months.
Wall Street lobbyists were also successful in convincing the Federal Reserve to ease restrictions on debit card fees charged to retailers, saving the financial industry $3.5 billion in annual income.
Since the Dodd-Frank Act was passed in July 2010, regulators have held over 2,100 meetings with lobbyists sent by banks, Wall Street lobbying firms, and consumer groups. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) lobbyists alone met with regulators a total of 83 times. And the financial industry wasn’t the only group getting in on negotiations, with many different corporate interests weighing in on Dodd-Frank, including Target (NYSE:TGT), 7-Eleven, and JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU).