Survey Finds Growing Frustration over Dodd-Frank

Julie C. Nichols General – Colin Robins

The results of a recent small-bank survey found small banks are facing rising compliance costs and finding it harder to serve customers due to the new regulations from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The study was published through the Mercatus Center, a university-based research center at George Mason University. The anonymous, online survey queried approximately 200 banks with $10 billion or less in assets.

The survey banks revealed frustrations over the Dodd-Frank rollout. One anonymous banker objected to "the maddening pace of illogical and unnecessary regulation (that would not) have done anything to prevent the 2008 collapse." A concern of small banks was the pace and volume of the new regulations. The survey asked banks to compare Dodd-Frank’s regulatory burden with the existing Bank Secrecy Act rules—widely perceived as compliance-intensive. "More than 95 percent expect Dodd-Frank to be at least as burdensome," the report said. The survey found the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was also cited as a concern, with regulators providing additional anxiety for small banks. A third of reporting banks said they hired additional compliance or legal personnel. Some banks polled quit offering residential mortgages altogether.

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