WASHINGTON — Obama administration officials are pushing the largest banks to voluntarily adopt certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform law early, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The administration has contacted several institutions, including Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., and JP Morgan Chase & Co., to encourage their cooperation.
President Obama is hoping to announce their agreement during a speech soon touting the impact of the reform law, sources said.
Jaret Seiberg, an analyst with Concept Capital, said the administration is hoping to make the reform law a campaign issue and reinforce its emphasis on consumer protection.
"Any opportunity to show that you are forcing the banks to act in a more consumer friendly manner plays well politically," Seiberg said. "So moves like this are expected as lawmakers enter the campaign season this summer."
Among the provisions the administration wants to see enacted early is a measure that would allow a customer free access to their credit score if it negatively affects them in a financial transaction. The provision also gives consumers access to credit score disclosures as part of an adverse action and risk-based pricing notice.
The provision is not due to take effect for six more months.
It is unclear, however, if the banks will play along. Some sources suggested JPMorgan , among others, may rebuff the president's request. Other banks are still weighing the issue.
Some bankers are reluctant to cooperate given the acrimony spurred by the reform debate, in which Obama routinely demonized the large banks. Others are also worried that early adoption may result in different implementation schedules for each bank.
"No bank is going to agree to create an entirely new compliance program to implement a provision early when you aren't sure what the ultimate requirements are going to be," Seiberg said. "So if there are discrete issues a bank, may be willing to act but if there are any uncertainties, you need to wait for the rules."
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner signaled in a speech Monday that the administration expects bankers to move faster than required to implement the law.
"Don't wait for Washington to draft every rule before you start changing how you do business," he said. "Get ahead of the process and out in front of your competitors."