House to examine proposals to improve transparency at CFPB

cfpbThe House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit will hold a hearing at 2 p.m. on Wednesday to examine proposals aimed at improving transparency and accountability at the CFPB.

The hearing will include discussion on legislation introduced by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) that would eliminate the CFPB’s Civil Penalty Fund created under the Dodd-Frank Act.

Civil penalties levied against companies found to have engaged in illegal practices are deposited into the fund, which serves as a source of reimbursement to consumers harmed by the practices. Capito’s bill would require the CFPB to remit all fines collected to the Treasury.

Also up for consideration are the CFPB-IG Act introduced by Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) that would establish an independent inspector general for the CFPB, and legislation from Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.) that would establish a small business advisory board at the bureau.

Additionally, the subcommittee will review legislation that requires CFPB to publish all supporting data for its research papers, as well as a bill that would require the CFPB to create an opt-out list for consumers who do not want the agency to collect personal information on them.

The subcommittee will also review discussion drafts of bills from Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) and Andy Barr (R-Ky.) that would, respectively, repeal the CFPB’s ability to condition the use of arbitration provisions for consumer financial products and services, require the agency to allow comment before issuing final guidance and require the CFPB to go through a process to publish a rule that provides guidance on the definition of an “abusive” act or practice.

Witnesses expected to testify at the hearing include Andrew Pincus, a partner at Mayer Brown; Hester Peirce, a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center; and Rob Chapman, the president of the American Land Title Association.

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