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Richard's Rapid Fire - April 21, 2017
Lifelong Democrat and Former Fed Chair Breaks Party Ranks on CFPB
Holy smokes, lifelong Democrat and former Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker disagrees with Senate Democrats’ approach to CFPB reform. Speaking at the annual Bretton Woods Committee meeting, Volcker said it is “perfectly reasonable” to question the CFPB’s governing structure. Taking this a step further, he argued a bipartisan commission may be the best path forward for the Bureau. The consumer benefits of a commission are well-known, and it pains me to see partisan, political bickering derail essential reform. Even Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) once pushed for a commission. Politics, I tell you.
Dodd-Frank Reform in the Limelight
We applaud House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) for advocating for meaningful and targeted changes to Dodd-Frank in The Financial CHOICE Act. Banks have been working diligently since the financial crisis to better serve customers and align with the sometimes onerous and duplicative requests of regulators. It is time we take a new look at financial regulation and work to improve our regulatory structure.
Still, we believe consumers would be best served by establishing a five-person, bipartisan commission at the CFPB. In a recent letter to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH), CBA and other trades called on them to establish a commission, among other important reforms.
For more information ahead of next week’s hearing on the bill, CBA will host a members-only call today at 2:00 pm. We would love for you to join us. For dial-in information, please refer to the Weekly Report or member alert email in your inbox.
OCC’s Missteps Ignite Debate Over Regulatory Structure
Consumers have come to expect much from regulatory agencies, and with good reason. So when a regulatory agency admits to a huge oversight, it makes one think. According to an OCC internal report, "The OCC did not take timely and effective supervisory actions [in identifying] significant issues with complaint management and sales practices.” Without question, consumers should be able to have confidence in federal regulators. As Dodd-Frank reform heats up, maybe it is time to take a long, hard look at our financial regulatory structure.
OCC Issues Guidance on Fintech Charter: Still No Consumer Impact Study
We appreciate the OCC sharing publicly new information regarding their proposal to grant national bank charters to Fintech companies. However, there is still much work to be done. The OCC would be wise to tap the breaks, conduct an in-depth study of the Fintech sector, and confidently determine if this change in policy would benefit consumers. As it stands, the OCC has not fully developed standards and conditions, nor has the agency provided a clear rationale or justification for such an offering. In a letter to Comptroller Thomas Curry, CBA made this position clear to the OCC.
Membership Spotlight: Visiting CBA Membership Next Week
I am wheels up next week as I head from Washington, D.C., to New York to meet with executives of Chase, Citi, Synchrony, TIAA, and Webster Bank. With tax and financial reform on the docket for 2017, I am looking forward to connecting with our members to see how we can best move forward in our quest to serve consumers and small businesses. I cherish these opportunities.
New Bank Regulator on the Block
With reports suggesting former Treasury Department official Randal Quarles will be nominated as the Fed’s vice chairman for bank supervision, this long-vacant seat may soon find its first occupant. Created by the Dodd-Frank Act, President Obama never nominated anyone to fill the position. Yet, this position holds profound influence over banking policy.
Three Things to Know to be In the Know
Congratulations to Karen Larrimer on becoming chairman of the board at the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
David Chubak will lead global retail banking and mortgages at Citigroup.
CBA's newest family member, Arabella Haas, and her mom Tiffany stopped in to visit Team CBA this week.