WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama plans to meet Monday with a group of top bankers to talk about the economy, lending and financial regulation as tension between the White House and Wall Street continues to reverberate.
The meeting will be at least the third this year between Obama and banking executives. He met with chief executives from the country's largest banks earlier in the year and credit-card executives several months ago. The previous meetings have been mostly cordial but haven't ended with concrete agreements.
The new meeting comes amid a major new push from the White House for job creation, much of which is aimed at reviving small businesses. Administration officials have tried to push large banks, particularly those that received federal assistance, to make more loans and help the economy grow. Recent data has shown lending has contracted in the last year.
"The president is looking forward to meeting with members of the financial-services industry on Monday to discuss our shared interest in economic recovery, the need to increase small business lending and the administration's plans for financial reform," White House spokesman Jen Psaki said.
Obama alluded to the upcoming meeting during a speech last week in Allentown, Pa., when he said he would tell the executives: "Look, you have a responsibility now, now that we have pulled you back from the brink, to help make sure that Main Street is actually getting the kinds of loans that it needs."
The meetings are examples of the awkward relationship between Washington and Wall Street, especially now the government has financial interests in some of the country's largest companies. Many firms complain about Washington's heavy hand, but administration officials have said they won't let financial companies repeat past mistakes and risk another financial crisis.
The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote by Friday on new rules pushed by the White House to overhaul financial regulations, and the banking industry has mostly opposed many of the changes. Obama has chided the banks for lobbying against his proposals. The measure is expected to pass the House, but prospects in the Senate are less certain.