After years of fines, stress tests, settlements and tightening regulations, the biggest story in banking this year was more of the same: the unauthorized accounts scandal at Wells Fargo & Co. and the crackdown on banking industry sales practices expected to follow.

When markets opened Wednesday morning, investors piled into financial stocks, expecting that Donald Trump will make good on his pledge to dismantle much of 2010's landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act—or at least have a lighter regulatory hand. That could including pushing for an outright repeal of Dodd-Frank and the rules it spawned, supporting a weaker replacement version or dramatically reshaping the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency created by Dodd-Frank that has been a top target of Republican lawmakers. Trump's stunning victory is seen as a boon for financial firms and by consumer advocates as a threat to the new regulations, despite his lack of any specific proposals.

"There's no question from the industry's standpoint that a Trump victory is a huge win," said Scott Pearson, a Los Angeles-based partner at law firm Ballard Spahr, which specializes in representing financial firms and often works with clients facing CFPB scrutiny. "But I think there is still some uncertainty. We'll see what he follows through on."