Walker Signs Law to Loosen Loan Regulations

July 2, 2015

Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill into law that relaxes regulations on state-chartered banks.

Until now, state law prohibited state-chartered banks from offering lower, promotional rates on variable rate loans, such as home mortgage loans. The new law allows state banks to offer lower, discounted initial rates on variable rate loans. The peddling of such low, discounted initial rates on mortgage loans was a factor in the financial crisis of 2008, which led to the Great Recession.

The measure was originally introduced in February by Republican Rep. Terry Katsma of Oostburg, a former officer and current director of the Oostburg State Bank. The bill was supported by the Wisconsin Bankers Association, the Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association, and the Wisconsin Credit Union League.

Walker received nearly $775,000 from bankers and credit union executives and political action committees between January 2011 and December 2014. The top contributors were: Warren Stephens, a Little Rock, Ark. investment banker, $110,000; Bill Perez, of Chicago, a retired executive with Greenhill investment bank, and his wife, Catherine, $33,000; the Wisconsin Bankers Association PAC, $30,777; and Mark Hogan, of Wauwatosa, a BMO Harris Bank executive, $16,418.