Sanders to lay out plan to break up big banks in first year

Sanders Vows to Break Up Banks During First Year in Office

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has made reining in Wall Street a top campaign theme, will warn on Tuesday that financial-sector greed is "destroying the fabric of our nation" and detail his plan to break up big banks, his campaign said.

Sanders will deliver what his campaign is calling a "major policy address" on Wall Street reform in New York.

The U.S. senator from Vermont is challenging front-runner Hillary Clinton, a former U.S. senator from New York, and former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley for the Democratic nomination to run for president in November 2016.

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Sanders to lay out plan to break up big banks in first year
PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 15: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) speaks to a crowd gathered at the Phoenix Convention Center during a campaign rally on March 15, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary elections in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, while Missouri and Illinois remain tight races. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
DES MOINES, IA - JANUARY 26: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks to the media after holding a campaign event with United Steelworkers Local 310L, on January 26, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. Sanders continues his quest to become the Democratic presidential nominee.. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - US Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign event at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, January 24, 2016, ahead of the Iowa Caucus. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, participates in the Democratic presidential candidate debate in Charleston, South Carolina, U.S., on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. Hours before Sunday's Democratic debate, the two top Democratic contenders held a warm-up bout of sorts in multiple separate appearances on political talk shows, at a time when the polling gap between the pair has narrowed in early-voting states. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 05: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) shakes hands with supporters after outlining his plan to reform the U.S. financial sector on January 5, 2016 in New York City. Sanders is demanding greater financial oversight and greater government action for banks and individuals that break financial laws. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
LEBANON, NH - NOVEMBER 11: Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) marches in the Veterans Day Parade November 11, 2015 in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Sanders goes into the Democrats second debate this weekend still running strong in the polls.(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute conference in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. While next Tuesday's first Democratic presidential debate will probably lack the name-calling and sharp jabs of the Republican face-offs, there's still potential for strong disagreements between the party's leading contenders. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks about the Workplace Democracy Act on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on October 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
US Senator from Vermont and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses striking low-wage contract workers from the US Capitol and religious leaders at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Washington, DC, on September 22, 2015 for an interfaith service ahead of the arrival of Pope Francis for a six-day visit to the US. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - SEPTEMBER 19: Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) talks on stage during the New Hampshire Democratic Party State Convention on September 19, 2015 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Five Democratic presidential candidates are all expected to address the crowd inside the Verizon Wireless Arena. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Sanders will also respond to criticism from Clinton's campaign that his approach would not adequately regulate non-bank financial institutions, and explain why he favors reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act, a Depression-era law that prohibited commercial banks from engaging in investment banking activities.

"If a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist; when it comes to Wall Street reform, that must be our bottom line," Sanders will say, according to prepared remarks provided at Reuters' request.

Sanders and Clinton have tussled over the best way to curb the risky behavior on Wall Street that caused the 2008 financial crisis and triggered the worst U.S. economic slump since the Great Depression.

Sanders, who is popular with the Democratic Party's populist wing, will pledge to create a "too-big-to-fail list of commercial banks, shadow banks, and insurance companies" within the first 100 days of his presidential administration and to break up those institutions in the first year, according to his prepared remarks.

Clinton has endorsed an approach that would break up large banks that take excessive risks. She also believes that reinstating Glass-Steagall, an idea popular with progressive Democrats, would not address the types of institutions that have risen since the law was written in the 1930s. Glass-Steagall's main provisions were repealed in 1999 during the presidency of her husband, Bill Clinton.

One of Clinton's top Wall Street advisers, former U.S. financial regulator Gary Gensler, on Monday criticized Sanders as not focusing on regulating the type of non-bank institutions such as hedge funds and insurance companies that make up the so-called "shadow-banking industry."

But Sanders will say on Tuesday that legislation to reinstate Glass-Steagall, which he has championed along with Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a favorite of progressives, "aims at the heart of the shadow banking system," according to prepared excerpts.

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