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4 Things To Consider Regarding Trump's Plans For Dodd-Frank

High on President-elect Donald Trump’s priority list once he's sworn into office is the dismantling of the Dodd-Frank Act.


The legislation was signed into law by President Obama in July 2010 to further regulate the country’s financial system and protect investors from future financial crises through heightened bank capital requirements, bank stress tests and more. But the act has been widely contested by those who claim its regulations are overreaching and weigh heavily on smaller institutions.

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump said banks are regulatory-burdened in large part because of the Dodd-Frank Act and unable to lend, stunting economic growth. The president-elect's goal is to spur bank lending by overhauling the legislation. 

Here are four things to consider regarding Trump’s stance on the Dodd-Frank Act and bank lending.


1) Banks Unable Or Unwilling To Lend?

Though Trump says the lack of bank lending is a supply issue, lending data and banks are pointing to a lack of demand, the Wall Street Journal reports. In the wake of the financial crisis, companies are being a lot more conservative in their borrowing practices in an effort to repair balance sheets and reduce debt. 

2) Bank Lending, Business Loans On The Rise

According to Federal Reserve data, bank lending is actually up. Bank credit in the form of loans and leases reached $9.1 trillion as of Nov. 2—up 25% compared to 2013 and surpassing the financial crisis peak of roughly $7.3 trillion. Commercial and industrial loans are on the rise as well, increasing by an average rate of 10.6% on a monthly basis over the past five years, WSJ reports. Overall business loans exceeded $2 trillion earlier this year, and Federal Reserve data shows loans accounted for more than 12% of the GDP in Q3.

3) Stifling The American Dream

Trump touches on the importance of the American dream and the role financial institutions play in funding those dreams on his transition website. “Banks and lenders provide funding to small businesses and mortgage borrowers to help fund the American Dream,” the site reads, adding that federal policy should encourage free enterprise, not stifle it. Banks and economists have agreed that one of the Dodd-Frank’s failings is that it has made getting loans at a decent price very difficult for smaller businesses and consumers with not-so-decent credit.

4) Lackluster Economic Growth

Trump points to Dodd-Frank regulations as an example of what not to do when attempting to stimulate economic growth—saying that six years into its enactment, the economy remains sluggish, weak and facing its “most tepid recovery since the Great Depression.” Trump pledges to cut the bureaucratic red tape and Washington mandates that “do not work for working people,” in an effort to boost jobs and wages.