GAO: Dodd-Frank regs weighing on community banks, credit unions

GAO: Dodd-Frank regs weighing on community banks, credit unions
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Regulations under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law are creating more compliance burdens for community banks, credit unions and industry associations, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).


Wednesday's report, a routine analysis required by the law, found that these financial institutions had to increase staff, training and time to comply with the new rules. The GAO said some of these industry officials reported a decline in specific business activities, such as loans that are not qualified mortgages, due to fear of litigation or not being able to sell those loans to secondary markets.



The GAO said the survey results suggest that there have been moderate to minimal initial reductions in the availability of credit among those responding to the various surveys, but regulatory data to date does not confirm a negative impact on mortgage lending.


“However, these results do not necessarily rule out significant effects or the possibility that effects may arise in the future,” the office said.


In a statement responding to the report, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) pointed out that the GAO acknowledges its report fails to capture the full effect of “these crushing regulatory burdens.”


“We believe the numbers speak volumes about the devastating impact of the Dodd-Frank regulations,” NAFCU president and CEO Dan Berger said. “Since the second quarter of 2010, the number of credit unions has decreased by more than 17 percent (more than 1,280 institutions). Specifically, 96 percent were smaller institutions with assets of less than $100 million.”


Berger went on to say that there are still a number of Dodd-Frank regulations that have yet to be implemented and urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Credit Union Administration to use their authority to provide regulatory relief to credit unions.