Removes CFPB Supervision of 99% of Banks Leaving Consumers Vulnerable
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, consumer watchdog organization Allied Progress hit back at Rep. Jeb Hensarling’s (R-TX) attempt to add 29 proposals to S.2155, the enormous bank giveaway legislation passed by the U.S. Senate last week. Key among the powerful House Financial Services Committee chair’s changes are broadsides against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that seek to end its supervision over 99% of banks, leaving the wellbeing of consumers in jeopardy. Over the course of his career, Hensarling has taken nearly $8 million from industries regulated by the CFPB.
“Jeb Hensarling has taken millions of dollars from industries regulated by the CFPB and now he’s doing everything he can to return the favor before he leaves office. His proposals would make this bad bank giveaway bill even worse. Such changes are an anti-consumer red line that no responsible Senator should be willing to cross,” said Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress.
He continued, “At a time when big banks have been caught red handed screwing their customers over with excessive fees and in some cases even stealing from their accounts, the CFPB should be empowered to hold these financial predators accountable but Hensarling would rather see the bureau neutered.”
- Hensarling Wants to Make the Senate’s Bank Giveaway Legislation Even Worse with Attacks on the CFPB: On March 8, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) “circulated a list of some 30 proposals he wanted to be considered” in S.2155, the massive bank giveaway legislation sponsored by Senate Banking Chairman Mike Crapo. Hensarling’s list included several bills that would affect the work and structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). [Zachary Warmbrodt, “Senate passes deregulation bill scaling back Dodd-Frank,” Politico, 03/14/18; Erik Wasson, “Hensarling Outlines Changes Sought in Dodd-Frank Revamp Bill (1),” Bloomberg Government, 03/08/18.]
- Hensarling Would Gut the CFPB’s Supervision of 99% of Banks: H.R. 3072, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Examination and Reporting Threshold Act, raises the threshold for banks subject to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) supervision from $10 billion to $50 billion. This would exclude “more than 99% of all U.S. banks” from CFPB supervision. [H.R.3072 – Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Examination and Reporting Threshold Act of 2017, Congress.gov, 06/27/17; “Updated Fact Sheet: Everything You Need To Know About the $50 Billion Threshold,” Better Markets, 09/07/16.]
- Hensarling Would Require the CFPB to go Easy on Financial Institutions That Screw Over Consumers: H.R. 1116, the TAILOR Act, “requires federal financial regulatory agencies to” “tailor any regulatory actions so as to limit burdens on” banks and financial companies and to “report to Congress on specific actions taken to” limit regulatory burdens. The bill is opposed by consumer advocacy groups, which note that regulators like the CFPB “have already taken extensive actions to adjust and modify their regulations to be appropriate for particular institutions and financial products.” For example, the CFPB “exempted small community banks from numerous requirements” of its qualified mortgage rules. [H.R.1116 – TAILOR Act of 2017, Congress.gov, 02/16/17; Letter from Americans for Financial Reform, to House Financial Services Committee, 03/02/16]
- Hensarling Would Shift CFPB’s Focus to Dismantling Rules Placed on Financial Institutions Rather Than Protecting Consumers: H.R.4607, the Comprehensive Regulatory Review Act, would “expand the required comprehensive review of financial regulatory requirements” to include the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). The bill also “specifies information and criteria the CFPB must use when conducting its review.” On March 6, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) gave a “floor statement in opposition to H.R. 4607” calling it “a giveaway to Wall Street and predatory lenders” that would force regulators “to spend more time and resources on backward looking reviews and deregulating the financial services industry rather than strengthening protections for consumers and the economy.” [H.R.4607 – Comprehensive Regulatory Review Act, Congress.gov, 12/11/17; Press Release, U.S. House Committee on Financial Services Democrats, 03/06/18.]
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