Compliance costs have surged for many banks in the wake of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, and relations with regulators have deteriorated in many cases, according to an SNL Financial survey of bankers and other industry professionals.

At its inception, lawmakers billed Dodd-Frank as a way to curb excessive risk-taking on Wall Street, said a news release sent by SNL Financial.

The law was introduced as a way to overhaul the national financial system after the Great Recession of 2007-10.

Its long title included these words: “to promote the financial stability of the United States by improving accountability and transparency in the financial system, to end “too big to fail”, to protect the American taxpayer by ending bailouts, to protect consumers from abusive financial services practices, and for other purposes.”

But as the law hit its fifth anniversary Tuesday, smaller community banks in particular say the law has instead become a burden on Main Street lenders, with mounds of new regulatory requirements driving up costs and making it increasingly difficult to focus precious resources on bread-and-butter lending and deposit gathering, the SNL Financial news release said.

In SNL’s online survey of 616 readers — conducted between July 2 and July 17 — 35 percent of respondents said compliance costs have increased 30 percent or more over the past five years. Another 27 percent of respondents said such costs have climbed 20 to 30 percent.

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Click here for the full survey: snl.com/InteractiveX/Article.aspx?cdid=A-33279017-12335.

1 COMMENT

  1. a) Why do you believe anything in an SNL report? Did you examine their survey methodology? I can find no indication that they make their methodology available for review.

    b) Did you look at any other data or surveys on this topic? If so, what did you find?

    If not, why not?

    c) Isn’t it sort of obvious that added oversight would impose new costs? Rather than belaboring the obvious,

    wouldn’t it be more meaningful to ask whether the additional oversight achieves meaningful risk reduction to the economy and to the customers of the banks, and if so, does it do it in a proportional way?

    d) The only indication of how big the regulatory costs are is the anecdote about 6 employees versus 1. Did you do any research on the actual costs and what percent of the overhead they are? And, to put it in perspective, did you research the change in bank CEO compensation over the same period?

    e) Why did you not include information about pending changes to Dodd-Frank, both the legislation and the implementation, that might affect the compliance costs?

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