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house Bill H.R. 3329

Loosening Restrictions on Bank Holding Companies

Argument in favor

Increasing the eligibility threshold to $1 billion accounts for inflation, industry consolidation, and asset growth.

Argument opposed

Lessens federal oversight of major financial institutions.

bill Progress

  • EnactedDecember 18th, 2014
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed December 11th, 2014
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
  • The house Passed May 6th, 2014
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Financial Services
    IntroducedOctober 23rd, 2013

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What is House Bill H.R. 3329?

Makes changes to smaller bank holding companies (BHCs)--companies that control one or banks but do not necessarily engage in banking themselves. As a result of the global financial crisis in 2008, many traditional investment banks and finance corporations, such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, converted to bank holding companies. Current regulations allow BHCs with assets of less than $500 million that satisfy other tests to incur higher amounts of debt than larger institutions in order to acquire other banks. This bill would apply the less-stringent standard to more BHCs by raising the asset limit to $1 billion. To qualify, the BHC in question must 1) not be engaged in non- banking activities involving significant leverage, and 2) must not have a significant amount of outstanding debt held by the general public. The bill also would allow savings and loan holding companies to qualify. 


If enacted, the bill would allow some of the biggest names in the U.S. banking industry to take on more debt.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3329

The CBO estimates that the legislation would have no significant budgetary effect.

Official Title

To enhance the ability of community financial institutions to foster economic growth and serve their communities, boost small businesses, increase individual savings, and for other purposes.