by Jeff Sovern
As has been widely reported, last week the CFPB fined Wells Fargo $100 million for setting up phony accounts in consumers' names. But that didn't stop the House Financial Services Committee from voting yesterday on a largely party-line vote to adopt the Financial Choice Act, which would gut the Bureau. According to Law360, the bill has no "shot a[t] passage this year but it seen as a preview of Republicans’ 2017 banking legislation." According to the Committee's Executive Summary, here is what the bill would do to the CFPB:
- Change the name of the CFPB to the "Consumer Financial Opportunity Commission (CFOC)," and task it with the dual mission of consumer protection and competitive markets, with a cost-benefit analysis of rules performed by an Office of Economic Analysis.
- Replace the current single director with a bipartisan, five-member commission which is subject to congressional oversight and appropriations.
- Establish an independent, Senate-confirmed Inspector General.
- Require the Commission obtain permission before collecting personally identifiable information on consumers.
- Repeal authority to ban bank products or services it deems "abusive" and its authority to prohibit arbitration.
- Repeal indirect auto lending guidance.