House Financial Services Committee to Examine Payments in New Term (Jan. 22, 2015)
With the newly seated 114th Congress in its third week, the House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) has laid out its agenda for the upcoming term, including several items with potential implications for the prepaid and emerging payments industry. The committee yesterday approved its Oversight Plan for 2015-2016, a document mandated by the rules of the House, outlining the issues and areas it expects the full committee and/or various subcommittees to examine over the next two years.
As per the Oversight Plan, the CFPB will remain under the committee’s microscope in the new term. The plan calls for overseeing the CFPB’s regulatory, supervisory and enforcement activities and examining how those actions affect regulated entities and consumers. The HFSC also will study the governance structure and funding mechanisms of the bureau.
The other payments-related topics set forth in the plan include access to financial services, with the committee promising to “examine ways to expand access to mainstream financial services among traditionally underserved segments of the U.S. population.” Payment system innovations and mobile payments also are on the agenda, as are payment card industry practices and several regulatory matters, including oversight of “Operation Choke Point” and FinCEN. The committee also plans to work to reduce the current regulatory burden on financial institutions at large, including “reducing unnecessary, duplicative or overly burdensome regulations.”
With Republicans now holding majorities in the House and Senate, the new Congress is expected to push for changes to a variety of financial regulations. Last week, the House passed legislation to delay the implementation of the Volcker Rule—a measure in Dodd-Frank requiring banks to sell off certain loan-based investments—to 2019 from 2017. While President Obama said he would veto the bill even if it passes the Senate, the House vote is a likely indicator of more legislative wrangling ahead.
See related stories: