Barney Frank Likens GOP’s CFPB Fears to Halloween “Ghosts, Goblins” – House Hearing Recap

November 2, 2011

Dodd-Frank co-author Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) was in rare form during a House Financial Services Committee hearing Wednesday on the first 100 days of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The Credit Union Times reports Subcommittee Chairman Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) stated her fears that the CFPB will impose “one size fits all’’ regulations and mandate “plain vanilla products” that will inhibit the ability of credit unions and community banks to cater to the specific needs of their respective local communities.

Frank, though, reportedly mused that the hearing should have been held two days earlier on Halloween, because Republicans talk about their CFPB concern as if speaking about “spooks, ghosts, goblins and other non-existent creatures.’’

Testifying on behalf of the agency was Raj Date, Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Date, who is running the agency until a permanent director is approved, told the House panel that the CFPB thus far has been focusing on reorganizing the disclosure process around mortgages and student loans.

“We want to make sure consumers know what they are getting into,’’ he said.

Some Representatives noted that while credit unions and community banks were not responsible for the economic crisis, they were still having to hire extra employees in order to address the new compliance rules.

Date didn’t respond directly, the Credit Union Times reports, but did assert that stronger regulations will help the entire industry in the long-run and will create equal footing for all FIs. 

President Obama has nominated former Ohio AG Richard Cordray to lead the CFPB. The Senate Banking Committee approved his nomination last month.

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