Most Sweeping Financial Industry Reform Since the Great Depression Is Signed Into Law Today

Declaring that “the American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street’s mistakes,” President Obama signed the 2300-page Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act into law today.  The American Bankers Association (ABA) and Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) have released similar statements declaring that core provisions in the new legislation provide the much-needed reform that banks have long supported, but they are leery of the seemingly unrelated regulations added to the bill during its journey from inception to signing.

Some highlights of the Dodd-Frank Act include:

  • Creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with the authority to write new rules for mortgages, credit cards, payday loans, and other consumer products
  • Increasing FDIC protection to $250,000
  • Enhancing the authority of the Fed and other bank regulators to examine and take enforcement action against non-bank subsidiaries, such as mortgage affiliates
  • Eliminating the Office of Thrift Supervision, bringing savings and loan holding company and institution supervision to the Fed, OCC, and FDIC
  • Imposing strict controls on large bank holding companies and significant nonbank financial companies
  • Prohibiting banks and their affiliates from engaging in proprietary trading and providing strict limits on investment in and sponsoring of hedge and private equity funds
  • Allowing merchants to discriminate or discount based on payment type and set minimum payment amounts for acceptance of debit and credit cards
  • Subjecting holding companies to new “source of strength” rules regarding their depository institution subsidiary

Most provisions will be enacted immediately, but many have delayed effective dates. [more]

For a more detailed summary of the Dodd-Frank Act, as well as a timeline of deadline dates, visit the ABA Regulatory Reform Center at http://aba.com/RegReform/default.htm or the ICBA’s Victories, Helpful Exemptions and Harmful Measures for Community Banks at http://www.icba.org/files/ICBASites/NSPDFs/Frank-DoddSummary071510.pdf.

While legislators are in staunch disagreement over whether or not this bill should have been passed, no one seems to disagree that this will change the face of the banking and financial industry as we know it.

Financial Institutions Legislation