View from CBA November 14, 2014

November 14, 2014

CFPB Proposes New Rules on Prepaid Products

The CFPB released a proposal to tighten regulations on prepaid cards at a field hearing on Thursday, November 13, 2014 in Wilmington, DE. Prepaid cards improve access to financial services for consumers and empower them with a convenient and low cost product. CBA has long supported clear and informative disclosure of fees and account terms for prepaid cards and we support regulation protecting consumers without stifling innovation. Accordingly, we support the proposed application of Regulation E to prepaid card products with minor exceptions to ensure prepaid cards maintain the value afforded to consumers. Many prepaid providers already voluntarily apply these protections.  We look forward to working with the CFPB to ensure consumers are provided safe and effective financial service products at reasonable terms and are suited to sustain the viability of the prepaid product. CBA continues to review the proposed rule and how it may affect the prepaid marketplace. The proposal will have a 90-day comment period.
 

Election Update & Leadership Elections

Dan Sullivan was declared the winner of the Alaska U.S. Senate race on Wednesday, November 13, 2014, defeating incumbent Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK). This hands Republicans an additional seat and leaves the balance of power at 53-45, with the Senate race in Louisiana set to be decided in a December 6, 2014 runoff election. Both the Republican and Senate caucuses met in Washington this week where they reelected their party's leadership. This makes Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) the Majority Leader and Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) the Minority Leader for the 114th Congress. Interestingly, Senate Democrats have decided to elevate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to serve in their leadership as a member of their communications team, reporting to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). This is likely to mean she will play a large role in formulating the messaging strategy of Senate Democrats over the next two years as well as being a liaison to activist organizations. This is what she had to say at a press conference shortly after the announcement of her new role: "You know Wall Street is doing very well. CEO's are bringing in millions more and families all across this country are struggling. We have to make this government work for the American people and that's what we're here to fight for."
 

Retailers Continue to Mislead and Distract on Data Breaches

This week CBA coordinated with several financial trade groups to fire back at an inaccurate and misleading letter retail trade groups sent to Congress. The joint letter continued our effort to set the record straight about the strong standards financial institutions are held to when it comes to cybersecurity and protecting consumers. While merchants and financial institutions are both the targets of these attacks, a key difference is financial institutions have developed and maintain robust internal protections to combat criminal attacks, and are required by federal law and regulations to protect this information and notify consumers when a breach occurs that will put them at risk. In contrast, retailers are not covered by any federal laws or regulations that require them to protect the data and notify consumers when it is breached. This is something we continue to meet with Members of Congress on as we move towards the new legislative session set to begin in January 2015.
 

Government Relations Council to Meet in D.C.

CBA's Government Relations Council will meet in Washington, D.C. next week on November 18-19, 2014. On the agenda are an assessment of this month's midterm elections, discussion of CBA's 2015 advocacy agenda as well as PAC planning.
 

Associate Member News

Joining CBA as our fifth new associate member this year is Ingo Money, Inc. They evaluate, manage, and guarantee funding risk for many of the nation's top-50 banks and non-bank financial services companies. You can learn more about them at ingomoney.com.
 

Lagniappe

MUFG Union Bank in New York has promoted Mike Feldman to Head of Branch and Private Banking.
 
Thomas Hancock, Senior Vice President of Program Executive ePayments, Mobile Banking & Social Spaces at Bank of America is joining CBA's Digital Channels Committee.