What constitutes an abusive act by a financial-services firm is not well-defined in law, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to establish a rule to clarify that definition, acting Director Mick Mulvaney says. Companies have long said the language in the Dodd-Frank Act is overly broad, but consumer advocates say making it more specific will limit the CFPB's power and therefore mean fewer enforcement actions.
Banks and the public should participate in a request for comment on the Community Reinvestment Act from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard says. The Fed is not part of the advance notice of proposed rulemaking, but Fed officials will read comments and likely will work with the OCC and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on a joint proposal, Brainard says.
The Hoover, Ala., City Council has issued a moratorium on businesses including small-dollar lenders and title-loan shops. These businesses can deter redevelopment, says Councilman Casey Middlebrooks, who proposed the resolution.
President Donald Trump says that more tariffs on Chinese imports might be imposed if China doesn't negotiate "a fair deal" with the US but that he does not want to send the Chinese economy into a depression. He calls China a "bigger problem" than Russia regarding foreign meddling in the 2016 US election.
Three major US banks have shrugged off fears that rising interest rates, a trade spat with China and political uncertainty will decrease consumer spending. Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo have reported double-digit third-quarter earnings growth, thanks to increased income from consumer lending.
Federal Reserve regulatory chief Randal Quarles has signaled to the Senate banking committee that foreign banking organizations will be held to the same Dodd-Frank Act requirements as comparable US banks. "We are not including any changes to the FBO regulatory scheme for FBOs with more than $250 billion in global assets as part of our implementation of tailoring mandated by the Act," according to written testimony from Quarles.
Increasing Pell Grants, changing the name of award letters and clarifying what they include, and simplifying the loan repayment system would improve higher education financing, write Brad Conner, a vice chairman at Citizens Financial Group and former chairman of the Consumer Bankers Association, and William Hoagland, senior vice president of the Bipartisan Policy Center and a former staff director of the Senate Budget Committee. Roughly 90% of student loans are made by the federal government, which reports a delinquency and default rate in the double digits.
Enforcement actions taken by US state securities regulators in 2017 led to 1,985 years of prison time and probation, 47% higher than in 2016, according to a North American Securities Administrators Association report. More than $486 million in restitution was ordered to be given back to investors, and fines reached $79 million, the report said.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, saw several of his sponsored bills fail during his tenure as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, including legislation that would have dismantled the Dodd-Frank Act and weakened the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Hensarling, who is leaving Congress at the end of this term, said the changes were worth pursuing and noted that several provisions in his failed Financial CHOICE Act ended up in a successful bipartisan economic bill.