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Washington
CUNA backs intent of subcommittees CFPB actions
WASHINGTON (5/5/11)--As a House subcommittee voted on a series of bills addressing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) submitted a statement for the markup session’s record in support of the goal of achieving rules that balance consumer protection and the safety and soundness of institutions providing financial services.” The House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit on Wednesday approved a trio of bills that it said would “strengthen consumer protection and bring transparency, oversight and accountability” to the CFPB. The three bills, H.R. 1315, H.R. 1121, and H.R. 1667, will face a full committee vote on May 12. H.R. 1315, the Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement Act, would modify the voting procedure of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) when voting to stay or set aside rules finalized by the CFPB by reducing the threshold for the Council to take action from a two-thirds vote of the Council to a majority vote of the Council, excluding the Director of the Bureau. CUNA said that such a move helps to “balance consumer protection with safety and soundness concerns.” The legislation also changes the conditions under which the FSOC can stay or set aside CFPB regulations by striking the requirement that the regulation or provision subject to petition by an FSOC member “would put the safety and soundness of the United States banking system or the stability of the financial system of the United States at risk” and replacing it with a requirement that the regulation subject to petition be “inconsistent with the safe and sound operation of United States financial institutions.” CUNA suggested that the statute should allow financial regulators to review CFPB regulation in the context of overall regulatory burden. “We could support legislation to expand the conditions that must be met in order for the [FSOC] to override a regulation if the [FSOC] determines a new rule would be unreasonably burdensome for financial institutions and the burden to financial institutions outweighs the benefit to consumers,” CUNA said. H.R. 1121 would replace the single CFPB director with a five member Consumer Financial Protection Commission, a move which CUNA has said that it could support if the potential panel included a member with credit union experience. H.R. 1667 would delay the transfer of consumer protection functions to the CFPB if a “confirmed and accountable director” is not in place by the July 21 transfer date. Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) called the three legislative actions “common sense” measures. For the CUNA release, use the resource link.


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