Two Columns Make Strong Case For Preserving Strong CFPB and Against Financial Choice Act

One is by my co-author, Chris Peterson, in the Salt Lake Tribune. Here's an excerpt:

[The Financial Choice Act] imposes the absurd requirement of an exhaustive economic study every time the agency opens a law enforcement case. The bill even creates a special exception prohibiting any law enforcement cases against payday lenders. Most astonishing, the bill actually eliminates the federal prohibition of "deceptive acts or practices" that the CFPB has used in court to provide over 90 percent of its restitution to the public — because, apparently, we need more deception in the consumer finance industry?

The other piece is by LA Times columnist David Lazarus, and headlined Banks, making record piles of cash, plead for 'much-needed regulatory relief'. It responds to claims that the Dodd-Frank Act has created a regulatory burden which has crippled banks.  Excerpts:

  • U.S. banks reported record annual profit of $171.3 billion last year, up 5% from a year before, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Only 4.2% of the nation’s almost 6,000 banks lost money in 2016 — the lowest percentage since 1995.
  • FDIC-insured institutions reported total profit of $43.7 billion in the fourth quarter alone, up nearly 8% from a year earlier. Almost 60% reported year-over-year growth in quarterly earnings.

* * *

  • Wells Fargo, which went out of its way to alienate customers with its bogus-accounts scandal, nevertheless saw its first-quarter profit hold steady at $5.5 billion.

“Banks need regulatory relief like a bald man needs a comb,” said Linda Sherry, a spokeswoman for the advocacy group Consumer Action.

Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee who voted to approve Hensarling’s bill received almost 80% more money during the 2016 election cycle from commercial banks and holding companies than Democrats who voted against it, according to the nonpartisan research organization MapLight.

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