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Six Years After Dodd-Frank: Higher Costs, Uncertain Benefits

July 20, 2016
By Sam Batkins and Dan Goldbeck

This study examines trends in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act's regulatory costs between 2010 and 2016.

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This study, written by American Action Forum (AAF) director of regulatory policy Sam Batkins and AAF research analyst for regulatory policy Dan Goldbeck, examines trends in Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 regulatory costs between 2010 and 2016.

Batkins and Goldbeck write that the law has cost businesses and consumers billions of dollars in compliance costs alone, but has yielded little to no results.

“The law has imposed billions of dollars in costs with unclear benefits,” Batkins and Goldbeck wrote. “Regulators have least 61 regulations remaining to finish implementing the law. According to American Action Forum (AAF) research, Dodd-Frank has imposed more than $36 billion in final rule costs and 73 million paperwork hours, up from $24 billion in final rule costs and 61 million paperwork burden hours from last year’s report. To put those figures in perspective, the costs are approximately $112 per person or $310 per household; for paperwork, it would take 36,950 employees working full-time, 2,000 hours annually, to complete a single year of the law’s paperwork, and those are based on agency calculations.”

Batkins and Goldbeck write that Dodd-Frank is becoming increasingly expensive and burdensome, a trend they expect will continue.

“As Dodd-Frank reaches its sixth anniversary, it has imposed more than $36 billion in costs and 73 million paperwork burden hours,” Batkins and Goldbeck wrote. “As time passes, the law becomes more expensive as regulatory agencies like CFPB and FHFA grow with the mission to implement burdensome rules. Meanwhile, small financial services firms continue to struggle as the law restricts the availability of financial products. With dozens of regulations still left to implement, one can only expect the costs to continue to rise.”