21 May 2010

Obama gets tough banking reforms past Senate

4:45 pm on 21 May 2010

The American Senate has voted in favour of legislation which is being described as the most radical overhaul of the banking sector since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The result is a victory for President Barack Obama, who made financial reform one of his top domestic policies.

The BBC reports the Senate passed the bill by 59 votes to 39. It must still be merged with a version in the House.

The bill creates new ways to watch for financial risks and makes it easier to liquidate large failing firms.

Mr Obama says Americans would never again pay "for Wall Street's mistakes", saying Wall Street had tried but failed to scupper the bill.

The bill will create a new watchdog agency, increase restraints on larger banks and require proof from borrowers that they can pay back even the most basic of mortgages.