CBA Support Letter for the Ensuring Quality Unbiased Access to Loans Act of 2017

July 13, 2017

The Honorable Trey Hollingsworth

U.S. House of Representatives

1641 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Dear Representative Hollingsworth:

 

The Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) commends you for introducing the Ensuring Quality Unbiased Access to Loans Act of 2017. This legislation will provide consumers access to small-dollar bank loans, often known as deposit advance products (DAP), by repealing the overly restrictive guidance issued in 2013 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) that significantly limited a bank’s ability to offer a safe and affordable small dollar alternative product.  CBA is the voice of the retail banking industry whose products and services provide access to credit to millions of consumers and small businesses. Our members operate in all 50 states, serve more than 150 million Americans and collectively hold two-thirds of the country’s total depository assets.

 

We are encouraged that Congress is taking action to allow highly regulated banks to reenter this market and ensure consumers have access to small dollar credit liquidity. DAP served the critical need of providing emergency credit to pre-existing banking customers. Unfortunately, the FDIC and OCC guidance (2013-10101; 2013-0005) effectively eliminated the ability of the financial institutions they regulate to offer a viable alternative to compete with payday lending.  The FDIC and OCC guidance recommended the use of underwriting that is more appropriately applied to a much larger credit product, such as a mortgage loan, and placed other restrictions on the products. This, combined with a low interest rate environment, has made small-dollar credit unviable and forced banks to leave the market.

 

CBA strongly supports the repeal of the current DAP guidance and the requirement that any future guidance be subject to a cost-benefit analysis and public notice and comment period. We stand ready to work with Congress to ensure availability of properly regulated small-dollar loan products that will continue to meet the credit needs of consumers and promote competition in the financial marketplace. On behalf of CBA’s members, we thank you for introducing legislation on this important issue.

 

Sincerely,

 

Richard Hunt President and CEO

Consumer Bankers Association