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In response to the Financial Crisis of 2008 and the Great Recession that followed, Congress passed the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Con- sumer Protection Act in 2010. The Volcker Rule is a controversial section of the Dodd–Frank Act that prohibits all banks, no matter their size, from pro- prietary trading and entering into certain relationships with private equity funds. But the Volcker Rule forces banks to incur significant costs to ensure compliance. While Big Banks have the capital and infrastructure to comply with the Volcker Rule, small Community Banks often do not. This gives Big Banks an unfair competitive advantage over Community Banks. However, re- cently there has been renewed interest in the Volcker Rule, particularly regard- ing its effects on Community Banks. Both the legislative and executive branches are calling for changes to the Volcker Rule. But there is no consen- sus on how the Volcker Rule should be changed and what types of financial institutions those changes should affect. This Article will explore this issue. First, this Article will discuss the background of the Financial Crisis, Great Recession of 2008, Dodd–Frank, and the Volcker Rule. Second, this Article differentiates between the business models of Big Banks and Community Banks. Third, this Article examines the Volcker Rule’s effect on Community Banks. Fourth, this Article will consider recent proposals for changes to the Volcker Rule by the House of Representatives, Senate, and the Department of Justice. Finally, this Article will argue that Community Banks should be ex- empted from the Volcker Rule, preferably by a bill recently proposed by the Senate Banking Committee.



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