Cordray Testifies before House; Rep. Hensarling Plans for Regulatory Reform
CFPB Director Richard Cordray testified before the House Financial Services Committee in his semi-annual report to Congress on the morning of March 16, and Republicans were ready to pounce. The hearing followed an announcement from Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) of Republican committee members’ plans to reform financial reform in Washington, including demanding that regulatory agencies undergo a cost-benefit analysis of every regulation. But in his opening remarks at this morning’s hearing, Rep. Hensarling went so far as to call on Congress to strip the CFPB of its rulemaking authority.
Meanwhile, in his prepared remarks, Cordray discussed the agency’s work, including rulemakings and enforcement actions. “The Bureau has continued its efforts to listen and respond to consumers and industry, to be a resource for the American consumer, and to develop into a great institution worthy of the responsibilities conferred on it by Congress,” he said. Over the next six months, the Bureau will continue implementing the Dodd-Frank Act and using its regulatory authority to ensure that consumers have access to consumer financial markets that are fair, transparent, and competitive.” Cordray also noted that the CFPB team, as of Sept. 30, 2015, consisted of 1,486 employees.
Rep. Hensarling was scant on specifics of the regulatory reform plans, but he noted they would stop taxpayer-funded bailouts and increase penalties for those who defraud customers. “The bold and better alternative you will see from committee Republicans will provide vast regulatory relief for financial institutions in exchange for meeting high, but simple, capital requirements,” he noted. “If financial institutions elect to hold strong Tier 1 capital, then they should gain relief from both Dodd-Frank and Basel’s burdensome regulations, neither of which were meant for community banks and shouldn’t apply to them to begin with,” he said.