Federal, Oversight, Regulation

House passes legislation to strengthen oversight, accountability at CFPB

cfpbThe House Financial Services Committee passed six bills on Thursday aimed at enhancing oversight, accountability and transparency at the CFPB.

The Responsible Consumer Financial Protection Act—or H.R. 2446—would replace the CFPB director with a bipartisan, five-member commission appointed by the president, aligning the CFPB’s leadership structure with other regulators like the FDIC, SEC, Federal Reserve and CFTC.

H.R. 3519—the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Accountability and Transparency Act—would subject the CFPB to congressional oversight and the appropriations process. The legislation would also make the CFPB a stand-alone agency as opposed to its current structure as an independent bureau within the Federal Reserve System.

H.R. 2385—the CFPB Pay Fairness Act—establishes a pay scale for CFPB employees comparable to those of other regulatory agencies. Under current law, pay rates for CFPB staff are set and adjusted by the agency’s director.

The Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Act—H.R. 3193—requires the CFPB to consider the safety and soundness of America’s financial institutions in its rulemaking process. The bill would also streamline the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s review and oversight of agency rules that could undermine the stability of the financial system.

H.R. 2571—the Consumer Right to Financial Privacy Act—prohibits the CFPB from collecting personal financial information on consumers without consent. Reports surfaced earlier this year that the CFPB was collecting data on consumers’ financials.

H.R. 3183 would provide consumers with a free disclosure every year of information the CFPB maintains on them at no charge.

“These are modest, common-sense bills that bring a modicum of accountability and transparency to the CFPB,” HFSC Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said.

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