Industry Groups Challenge Consumer Bureau on New Consumer Protection Rules

Advocate Andy

Chamber of Commerce, Banking groups fight back against attempts to expand enforcement authority

In response to recent actions by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to expand state authority to protect consumers in the credit space, industry groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and groups representing banks are fighting back. The groups issued a letter to CFPB Director Rohit Chopra outlining their concerns.

The CFPB action expanding the reach of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) gives new authority to state attorneys general to enforce federal law regarding access to credit. The trade groups, including the Chamber of Commerce, American Bankers Association, Consumer Bankers, and Independent Community Bankers of America believe this new authority will result in unfair actions taken against them.

In outlining their argument to Director Chopra, the industry groups said the CFPB should first go to Congress before unilaterally expanding their authority.

The CFPB’s action has tremendous implications for consumers, banks, and for financial markets at large.  It represents an enormous self-expansion of the CFPB’s authority that stands contrary to law and the intent of Congress."

The Bank Policy Institute commented on the dispute between regulators and industry in a blog post and said:

The banking…industry is not filled with people who repeatedly violate the law, or prey on defenseless consumers.  Successful businesses craft products that are valuable to consumers, and they retain those customers by serving them well."

The Chamber of Commerce concluded in its letter to Chopra that legal action may be forthcoming:

"...the Chamber will not hesitate to take legal action to defend businesses against the Bureau’s unlawful actions.”

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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