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Banking Regulations May Lose Their Bite Under Trump Appointees

Richard Drew
John Panin, right, and Thomas Facchine work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

New York regulators fined errant banks a total of $650 million in 2016, but that number could increase in the new year when new rules take effect.

Most of the fines issued by New York's Department of Financial Services were aimed at large foreign banks that moved money through Wall Street without doing the proper anti-money laundering checks. Starting January 1, new rules will take effect that make those rules more stringent. In theory, the higher threshold would encourage banks to follow the rules more closely. But the higher bar could just mean more banks trip over it.

At the national level, most regulators expect to see fewer enforcement actions as President-elect Donald Trump fills positions at the various commissions that oversee the financial system.

Fines collected by DFS go into the state's general fund where lawmakers divvy it up. In the past, record fines went to offset deficit spending and to rebuild the Tappan Zee Bridge.