People walk past a Chase bank branch in Manhattan on February 24, 2015 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP
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Faced with increased regulation beginning in 2017, the major U.S. banks are taking a number of restructuring steps, shedding staff and some speculative businesses, and cutting bonuses.The largest U.S. bank in terms of assets, JPMorgan Chase, plans to save nearly $5 billion by 2017, and is closing 300 bank branches.As for the Fed, it wants eight major U.S. banks to be subject to a risk-based capital surcharge. Under the proposal, the central bank could prevent the banks from paying out dividends or repurchasing shares if the failed to comply.Richard Bove, an analyst at Rafferty Capital Markets, said that in wanting to overly constrain the major banks the regulators have given them a competitive edge over medium-sized and small banks.Lawsky, speaking at Columbia University in late February, recalled that a boss of a midsized bank had told him about the difficulties in facing this regulatory ramp-up, which was monopolizing significant human resources at the expense of the bank's normal activities.
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