One year on, many mortgage bankers leery of Dodd-Frank
According to the Grant Thornton bank executive survey released Thursday, nearly half of bankers believe financial reform under the Dodd-Frank Act will not effectively prevent another taxpayer-led bailout. They do, however, report a growing confidence in the current economic recovery. The results are published in association with Bank Director magazine. In the survey 48% of bankers polled said Dodd-Frank will not effectively detect broad risks capable of driving the economy back into a recession. Only 4% believe the sweeping reforms of the new law will be totally effective while 34% expect Dodd-Frank will only partially protect against economic risks. As a way to bolster the effectiveness of Dodd-Frank, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will call for banks to raise more capital. FDIC acting chairman Martin Gruenberg, presented the argument for this hedging as he spoke before a Senate committee on banking, housing and urban affairs on the anniversary of Dodd-Frank. "In this sense, stronger bank capital requirements complement the Dodd-Frank Act resolution tools designed to prevent future bailouts of financial companies," said Martin Guenberg of the FDIC. "Insufficient capital, in contrast, heightens a banking system's exposure to periodic crises. The knowledge that capital cushions are thin compared to the magnitude of risks that abruptly and unexpectedly loom large can contribute to a panic atmosphere and feed a crisis." Bankers serving local communities are seeing improvements in there pockets of the nation, the survey also found. About 44% of respondents expect things to improve going into 2012. "The survey reveals increased optimism, albeit cautious at times," said Nichole Jordan, national banking and securities industry leader at Grant Thornton. "And as the economy recovers, one of the greatest assets of any bank is confidence — confidence from consumers and regulators, and confidence within banks themselves to jump start hiring.," she added. Nearly one-third of bankers report plans to increase hiring in the next six months, while 16% expect to decrease hiring. The majority expect hiring levels to remain around the same. Write to Jacob Gaffney. Follow him on Twitter @jacobgaffney.