ABA Banking Journal - August 2010 - (Page 6)
ABA ChAirmAn’s position | by arthur johnson
When new regs come, you won’t be on your own
Five thousand is a big number no matter what you’re counting. Unfortunately, it’s the total number of pages of new regulations we expect to apply to traditional community banks as a result of the new DoddFrank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. How can small banks—such as the majority of ABA member banks with less than $165 million in assets—afford to hire the extra compliance staff they will need to cope with all of this? The obvious answer is that they cannot. But what banks of every size and every charter can do is turn to ABA for help. ABA’s extraordinary people—our strong, deep bench of issue experts— make ABA your “go to” source for information and guidance on the new regulations. They have already been preparing for the steady stream of regulations that will be issued as a result of the new law. ABA’s Regulatory Reform Center is online at www.aba.com/RegReform to keep you informed on the rulemaking process and what it means to your bank. It’s the site to visit for an analysis of the legislation, the deadlines to meet, and the key to finding the staff experts who can help. It’s just one of the things ABA is doing to provide you with the detailed information you’re going to need. And it’s the place to find the tools to help you comply. “Requests for comment” are a fundamental part of the federal rule-making process, and we intend to provide the regulators with specific comments to guide their rule-making. We expect to call on you to respond as well with
comments on how proposed rules will affect your bank and your community. How many new regs will there be? The Chamber of Commerce expects 399 rulemakings and 47 studies that are mandated by the new law for all financial institutions, not just traditional banks. We’re clearly at the beginning of a process that will take years to complete. ABA worked tirelessly to oppose the added regulatory burdens that DoddFrank imposes, and to warn of unintended consequences. We worked closely with state bankers associations to coordinate our efforts to persuade members of Congress in both houses and both parties to our bankers’ point of view. Because of the overwhelming outpouring of banker participation in this process—and the strong efforts by our state associations—we had some success in encouraging Congress to kill some of the worst proposals. And we minimized the impact of a number of negative proposals that did become law. (See pp. 40-46 for more coverage.) Despite the grim news about more regulations for an already over-regulated industry, there are some silver linings in the clouds. First, nothing is ever really settled in Washington, D.C. Issues keep coming back. We will urge the next Congress to fix the problems this legislation has created. And second, our industry was up against significant odds this year. But ABA members stood shoulder-toshoulder and we were as united as we could possibly be. Unity is critical to an industry like ours no matter what the challenges. n
“How can small banks cope with 5,000 pages of new regulations? They can’t. But they can turn to ABA’s issue experts for help” — Arthur C. Johnson, Chairman and CEO, United Bank of Michigan, Grand Rapids
6 | ABA BANKING JOURNAL | august 2010
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