The US financial sector is in danger of falling out of favor with European regulators, as the banks that once dominated the industry are looking to sell their businesses to private-equity firms.
In the last few years, some US banks have sold assets to investment firms that have ties to Europe’s largest banks.
The Wall Street Journal reported that American International Group, the world’s largest bank, and JPMorgan Chase & Bank of America, two of the nation’s largest lenders, are looking at selling their financial assets to hedge funds.
The WSJ report does not say if the banks have already sold their assets.
The sale would be a move that would further undermine the US banking industry and the US economy, according to Richard Baird, president of the American Bankers Association.
“The banks are worried that if they sell, the European regulators will step in to stop them from selling,” Baird said.
“They’re trying to do this to their customers.”
Banks have struggled to sell assets after the financial crisis, with losses reaching as high as $18 trillion.
Banks have spent billions of dollars on selling assets, including billions of government bonds.
A recent report from the Financial Stability Board said that, since 2008, banks have spent more than $4.4 trillion on capital-sale activity.
The US banking sector has been in the news lately for its handling of the mortgage crisis, which led to the subprime-mortgage crisis that began in 2009.
In December, the Federal Reserve said it would continue to cut interest rates and hold down rates on longer-term debt to encourage banks to make loans.
On Wednesday, the US Treasury Department announced that it would consider the sale of the U.S. Treasury’s mortgage-backed securities, or MBS, to private investors in a deal that would raise $1.8 trillion.