ABA expresses support for CFPB reform bills

The American Bankers Association today shared its views on legislation currently before the House Financial Services Committee for markup, including several bills on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reform. In a memo to the committee, the association said that while its members support strong consumer protections, the CFPB in the last few years has repeatedly ignored the legal boundaries set by Congress. “There must be more accountability,” ABA said.

ABA said it strongly supported a substitute amendment to the proposed CFPB Transparency and Accountability Reform Act (H.R. 2798) concerning the structure of an agency oversight commission. The association noted that it has advocated for a Senate-confirmed, bipartisan board or commission structure to address the extremely broad authority of the bureau’s director. “A commission would promote accountability, fairness and stability,” ABA said. “It would also encourage balance and deliberation in the rulemaking and enforcement activity of the bureau while providing needed balance and appropriate checks in the exercise of the bureau’s authority.” ABA also supported several other bills to ensure greater accountability and promote transparency at the CFPB.

In addition, ABA noted that the committee is considering wide range of bills intended to facilitate capital formation by small and emerging companies by removing certain regulatory requirements that make it more difficult for them to attract investments. The association supports H.R, 2603, a bill to revise thresholds for accredited filers and large accredited filers. “Raising the thresholds for Sarbanes Oxley Act Section 404(b) attestation requirements will benefit smaller public banks that may now qualify as a smaller reporting company, or may no longer be subject to accelerated or large accelerated filer status requirements,” ABA said.