Regulatory Burden:

Recent Studies, Industry Issues, and Agency Initiatives

GGD-94-28: Published: Dec 13, 1993. Publicly Released: Dec 13, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the regulatory costs that the federal government imposes on insured depository institutions.

GAO found that: (1) all of the federal banking agencies and most industry trade associations have released studies and surveys on regulatory burden, but none comprehensively addressed the issue; (2) some of the studies had serious methodological flaws; (3) regulatory burden issues that concern the industry include safety and soundness regulations that focus on appraisal requirements and duplicative examinations, consumer protection requirements, and reporting requirements; (4) federal banking agencies are concerned about the possibility that regulatory burden may be affecting the availability of credit, and have launched a series of initiatives to reduce unnecessary regulation and streamline bank supervision; (5) the initiatives include proposals to amend real estate appraisal procedures, allow higher aggregate lending limits, and reform the procedures required by the Community Reinvestment Act; and (6) a deliberate and comprehensive approach is necessary to best understand how to alleviate the effects of regulatory burden without sacrificing industry stability or individual institutions' safety and soundness.

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