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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

ABA to Testify on How DFA Affects Community Banks

The House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing today at 10 a.m. entitled “Rising Regulatory Compliance Costs and Their Impact on the Health of Small Financial Institutions.”

Bill Grant, chairman of ABA’s Community Bankers Council, will testify on the Dodd-Frank Act’s effect on community banks’ lending and investment activities. Grant, the chairman, president, and CEO of First United Bank & Trust in Oakland, MD, will make three points in his testimony:
  • The cost of implement new regulations are substantial and weigh most heavily on community banks;
  • The opportunity costs and unintended consequences of Dodd-Frank have far-reaching effects; and
  • Dodd-Frank may drive many community banks out of lines of business altogether.
In Grant's testimony he states:
Banks appreciate the importance of regulation that protects the safety and soundness of the bank and protects the interests of our customers. [B]ut the reaction to the financial crisis has layered on regulation after regulation that does nothing to improve safety or soundness and only raises the cost of providing credit to our customers.

Each new law or regulation in isolation might be manageable, but wave after wave, one on top of another, will certainly over-run many more community banks. Without quick and bold action to relieve regulatory burdens we will witness an appalling contraction of the banking industry, at a pace much faster than we’ve witnessed over the last decade.
Watch the HFS hearing live.
Read Grant’s full testimony.

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