At the Mortgage Bankers Association Secondary conference in New York City, the U.S. Department of the Treasury gave an update on the changes it is advocating for and seeing in the mortgage finance system.
Treasury Counselor to the Secretary Craig Phillips spoke in the general session panel, An Update from Treasury, discussing the department's views of current political changes and reform for the finance industry.
Phillips explained there are three key areas the Treasury is focused on: tax reform, regulatory relief and trade. He began by listing several accomplishments from the new administration, naming changes such as the recently passed tax reform and the reduction of regulations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
He voiced his support for CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, saying since the leadership change many items have been under review with very positive and dynamic change. One such change he voiced was the end of regulation by enforcement.
But regulatory changes aren't the only reform Phillips spoke of during the session. He also touched on digital technology, and the changes it is bringing, and needs to bring, to the mortgage industry.
He explained companies are evolving from having a brick-and-mortar focus to a system having digital capabilities. Digital reform is critical to maximize access to credit, and makes the U.S. more competitive nationally.
“If we don’t update technologically we’ll fall behind the rest of the world,” Phillips said.
He said modernization is important for the mortgage industry, saying he wants to see banks have an easier way to invest in their community.
Finally, Phillips talked about changes coming to the secondary markets including the upcoming single-security measure from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He explained the Treasury and President Donald Trump’s administration, “Wholeheartedly support this initiative.”
Phillips claimed this initiative will reduce costs significantly at the GSEs and even enables new entrants to compete more readily.
Secondary and mortgage finance markets are ripe for reform, and, according to Phillips, seeing significant improvement under the new administration which could help modernize them and bring them to a level to better compete with other world markets.