Obama 'gratified' by bank reform deal

U.S. President Barack Obama says he's "gratified" by the deal Congress worked out on overhauling the rules governing Wall Street banks.

Final vote on bill expected next week

U.S. President Barack Obama said Friday he's "gratified" by the deal Congress has worked out to overhaul the rules governing Wall Street banks.

Negotiators for the House of Representatives and Senate finished putting the bill together early Friday after 20 hours of negotiation.

U.S. President Barack Obama tells journalists the bill gives him 90 per cent of what he wanted in bank reform. Obama spoke Friday before leaving for the G8/G20 summits in Ontario. ((Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press))

It is based on versions passed earlier by the House and Senate. Lawmakers aim to send it to Obama by July 4.

Obama said the compromise reached overnight included about 90 per cent of what he wanted. He told reporters the deal represents the strongest U.S. financial reform since the Great Depression.

It also gives Obama a victory to take with him to the G8 summit underway in Huntsville, Ont. Before leaving for Toronto, en route to Huntsville, Obama said he'd discuss financial rules at the summit because the recent financial crisis has proven that the world's economies are linked.

The reform legislation has been a priority of the president's and sets up a warning system for financial risks and creates a consumer financial protection bureau to police lending.

It broadens the powers of the Federal Reserve to regulate big banks, forces large failing financial firms to liquidate and sets new rules for financial instruments that have been largely unregulated.

Volcker rule softened

But a White House proposal to ban banks from proprietary trading — which means trading to make profits for themselves rather than for their clients — was softened by Senate negotiators. The proposal was nicknamed the Volcker rule after former Federal Reserve chair Paul Volcker.

Banks can still invest in private equity and hedge funds, but will be limited to putting in three per cent of the investment in such funds.

The House and Senate are expected to vote on the final bill next week.

With files from The Associated Press