WASHINGTON — The House on Tuesday gave final approval to a bill that will allow some small banks to raise additional capital without registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The bill, part of a larger package of legislation aimed at making it easier for small businesses to raise capital, now goes to President Obama for his signature. It passed the House on Tuesday by a 380-41 margin.
The part of the bill, known as the JOBS Act, that most directly affects the banking sector is a provision that raises the threshold that requires banks to register with the SEC from 500 shareholders to 2,000. The provision also boosts the threshold that triggers de-registration from 300 shareholders to 1,200.
The bill figures to save some small banks money by allowing them to avoid the costs of SEC registration.
"This important change will increase access to capital that can be used for lending to drive the economy," Frank Keating, president of the American Bankers Association, said Tuesday in a press release. "It will also provide some needed regulatory relief for our nation's community banks."
The House vote followed the bill's approval by the Senate by a 73-26 margin on Thursday. A group of Senate Democrats who argued that the bill provided insufficient protections for consumers made a last-minute push to make significant changes to the legislation, but fell short of the votes they needed.