Policies being encouraged by the Trump administration have led to a more favorable regulatory environment for large banks. The U.S.'s primary regulators have given banks more leeway to expand and introduce new products, and in the first five months of 2019 banks have announced more mergers and acquisitions than during any full-year period in the past decade.
Behind the scenes, the industry’s primary regulators -- the Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency -- have adopted a friendlier approach, giving banks more leeway to expand into new markets, introduce products and make acquisitions. The lighter touch has unleashed bankers’ animal spirits. Dealmaking and boom-time arms races are back -- as witnessed by a burst of expansion plans like JPMorgan’s push into new states and its InstaMed Inc. takeover, the bank’s biggest purchase since the financial crisis.