Schumer Opposes Effort to Change CFPB Structure

Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is not willing to join Republicans in making changes to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s governance structure, a Schumer aide told Morning Consult on Wednesday.

Matt House, a spokesman for Schumer, said the New York Democrat won’t work with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on standalone legislation to change the bureau’s sole-director structure to a five-member bipartisan commission.

Meanwhile, the presidents of four Washington-based banking groups on Wednesday urged Schumer and McConnell to make the change in the next Congress.

The groups have called for a five-member commission before. But the outcome of this year’s presidential election, combined with a federal court ruling faulting the bureau’s structure, makes legislation an easier sell. The new circumstances prove that the current structure is “fragile, uncertain, and leads to instability at the bureau,” according to the industry groups.

The presidents of the Consumer Bankers Association, the Credit Union National Association, the Independent Community Bankers of America and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions signed onto the letter.

“A Senate-confirmed, bipartisan board or commission will provide a balanced and deliberative approach to supervision, regulation, and enforcement over financial institutions that is more in keeping with other financial regulators,” the officials wrote.

The banking officials also pushed for congressional disapproval resolutions to block new or pending CFPB regulations dealing with forced arbitration, prepaid cards and debt collection.

Briefings

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The Treasury Department recommended a significant curbing of authority at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, along with allowing the agency’s director to be fired at will, in a report required by an executive order President Donald Trump signed in February. While the report does not call for a full repeal of Volcker Rule limits on proprietary trading, it recommended exempting small institutions from the Dodd-Frank regulation.

Finance Brief: CFPB Proposes Changes to Prepaid Card Rule

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced plans to make changes to its prepaid card rule, with public comments on the proposals due within 45 days. The CFPB’s proposals would adjust the rule to require consumers register any prepaid cards before filing a complaint, and would allow providers to send disclosure forms to consumers digitally in some cases.

Finance Brief: Warren Says Democrats Open to Loosening Regulations for Community Banks, Credit Unions

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said Senate Democrats are open to working with Republicans on “targeted” measures that would ease regulations affecting community banks and credit unions. Warren, who has shown little willingness to work with the GOP on loosening financial regulations, said she remains opposed to proposals that would limit consumer protections or weaken regulations for big banks.

Finance Brief: Treasury Department Recommends Changes to CFPB, Volcker Rule

The Treasury Department recommended a significant curbing of authority at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, along with allowing the agency’s director to be fired at will, in a report required by an executive order President Donald Trump signed in February. The report does not call for a complete repeal of Volcker Rule limits on proprietary trading but instead proposes exempting small institutions from the Dodd-Frank regulation.

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