The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Pub.L. 111-203, H.R. 4173) is a federal statute in the United States that was signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 21, 2010. The Act implements financial regulatory reform sponsored by the Democratically controlled 111th United States Congress and the Obama administration. Passed as a response to the late-2000s recession, the Act brought the most significant changes to financial regulation in the United States since the regulatory reform that followed the Great Depression, representing a significant change in the American financial regulatory environment affecting all Federal financial regulatory agencies and almost every aspect of the nation's financial services industry. As with other major financial reforms, some legal and financial scholars on both sides of the political spectrum have criticized the law, arguing on the one hand that the reforms were insufficient to prevent another financial crisis or additional "bail outs" of financial institutions, and on the other hand that the reforms went too far and would unduly restrict the ability of banks and other financial institutions to make loans.
In addition to the headline regulatory changes covering capital investment by banks and insurance companies, the Act introduces new regulation of hedge funds and private equity funds, alters the definition of accredited investors, requires reporting by all public companies on CEO to median employee pay ratios and other compensation data, enforces equitable access to credit for consumers, and provides incentives to promote banking among low- and medium-income residents.
The law was initially proposed by the Obama Administration in June 2009, when the White House sent a series of proposed bills to Congress. A version of the legislation was introduced in the House in July 2009. On December 2, 2009, revised versions were introduced in the House of Representatives by Barney Frank, and in the Senate Banking Committee by Chairman Chris Dodd. Due to their involvement with the bill, the conference committee that reported on June 25, 2010, voted to name the bill after the two members of Congress