President Obama defended a key piece of reform legislation that imposed new restrictions on major financial firms Saturday as the five-year anniversary of its passage approaches.

"Wall Street reform now allows us to crack down on some of the worst types of recklessness that brought our economy to its knees, from big banks making huge, risky bets using borrowed money, to paying executives in a way that rewarded irresponsible behavior," Obama said in his weekly address to the nation.

The reform package — called the Dodd-Frank Act — forced lenders to stop issuing loans to borrowers who might be unable to repay their mortgages.

One result of Dodd-Frank's lending restrictions has been to lower the rate of home ownership, a marker used to assess poverty, as fewer people have been able to secure loans to buy houses.

Nonetheless, Obama touted the "healthier" nature of the housing market since the passage of Dodd-Frank in 2010.

"Our businesses have created nearly 13 million jobs over the past 64 months," he noted. "The stock market has more than doubled, restoring the retirement savings of millions."

Dodd-Frank, which included more than 2,000 pages of regulations, has been hailed by many Democrats as a needed check on "too-big-to-fail" banks. Its provisions included disclosure rules for the paychecks of executives at top Wall Street firms.

But Republicans have criticized the legislation for its effect on community banks. Dodd-Frank reforms raised barriers to entry for the financial system by imposing regulatory burdens that affected smaller firms disproportionately.