Saturday, June 10, 2017

House passes Bill that cuts consumer protections

It was on a strictly Party vote. All the Republicans are saying by approving this Bill is that they are on the side of the big banks and against working families. Copy of the Bill here, proving that the aforementioned statement is accurate:

Severely limit the CPFB’s power. The bureau could no longer write regulations that govern financial institutions like banks, student loan servicers or credit card lenders. It also could no longer monitor and punish financial institutions involved in unfair, deceptive or abuses acts and practices. The CFPB would lose oversight over payday lenders, some of which have been fined for misleading consumers.

Change the CFPB’s funding and structure. The bureau’s annual budget is now independent of the legislative budgeting process. The bill would make the CFPB subject to the annual congressional appropriations process—a potential death knell. The bureau’s independent head, who currently can only be fired for cause, could be removed at will by the president, potentially politicizing the job.

Hide a popular complaint database from public view. Postings in the CFPB’s free Consumer Complaint Database, which has collected 1.1 million verbatim comments and complaints from financial institutions’ customers, would no longer be visible to consumers. That could prevent the public from making informed decisions about the banking institutions they use. The CFPB maintains that information from the database—and the resulting investigations—have contributed to its returning nearly $12 billion to wronged consumers in the past six years.

Reduce help for vulnerable populations. Offices serving veterans, students, seniors and minorities that were mandated under Dodd-Frank would be made optional. The CFPB’s education programs, such as one designed to educate people overseeing seniors’ and disabled people’s money, would be cut entirely.

Cut the rights of small investors. Only investors who held at least 1 percent of a company's stock for at least three years would be allowed to make shareholder proposals at corporate annual meetings. Currently, anyone holding either $2,000 worth or 1 percent of a company’s stock for at least a year can make such a proposal. The change would effectively shut out all but the biggest investment firms from proposing changes at major corporations.

Slow proposed financial regulations and enforcement. The CFPB would have to get congressional approval before it could take enforcement action against financial institutions. Any federal financial agency proposing a rule that could have a large financial impact on state or local governments would have to defend the rule through a lengthy process.

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