House Republicans are exiting Congress in droves ahead of the 2018 midterm elections and the stakes for the financial services industry could be significant. The key question is if the retirement of 31 GOP members of Congress is a leading indicator of a wave election for Democrats or a symptom of the volatility in modern politics.

If Democrats control the House, the biggest immediate impact for banks and credit unions from a policy perspective would be that Rep. Maxine Waters would likely chair the House Financial Services Committee.

The California Democrat is one of the more progressive members of Congress and has proposed legislation to break up big banks.

Regardless if Democrats win the House, Panel Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Tex., is termed out as head of the committee and announced last October that he was retiring from Congress. Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., and Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., are viewed as likely successors if the GOP maintains control. Both are viewed as more pragmatic than Hensarling when it comes to legislating.

Read more in American Banker.