Citigroup Inc. Chairman Richard Parsons said the Obama administration's financial regulatory overhaul bill will make the country's largest banks bigger.
"They will make it tougher for smaller competitors, and the big are going to get bigger," Parsons said in an interview Monday at the Fortune Global Forum in Cape Town. The plans will lead to a "denser regulatory environment" and may not create any "material impediments" to Citi's growth strategy, he said.
Meanwhile, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's likely proposals on capital rules for lenders may be "restrictive," Parsons said.
Group of 20 leaders, discussing global financial rules in Toronto, said over the weekend that banks need to have "significantly higher" capital, while giving lenders more flexibility to implement the changes. Countries should adopt the new standards by the end of 2012, and banks will be allowed to phase in capital increases during a transition period, they said. They will seek a final agreement at a summit in Seoul in November when the Basel Committee will propose a road map.
Parsons also said Citi is focusing on expanding in emerging markets, and Africa's population of 1 billion creates a "sweet spot" for financial institutions.