The House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) approved 11 bipartisan bills Thursday, aimed at providing community banks and credit unions some regulatory relief. According to Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), since the introduction of the Dodd-Frank Act, banks have been struggling to survive due to stricter regulation.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that community banks and credit unions are withering on the vine. We are losing, on average, more than one a day and they are not perishing of natural causes,” he said. “The sheer weight, volume, cost, complexity, and uncertainty of federal regulation is a burden that is killing them off. And as they die, unfortunately, so do the dreams of millions of our fellow citizens who rely upon these community financial institutions to achieve their American dream of financial independence.”
Representative Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) applauded the HFSC for passing the bills, saying these regulatory bills will help Main Street financial institutions. The chairman of the financial institutions and consumer credit subcommittee has been critical of the CFPB in the past. Earlier this month he introduced a bill that would replace the director of the CFPB with a five person bipartisan committee.
“Today, the Financial Services Committee has begun to move the pendulum closer to the direction of reasonable regulation by taking the first step to address much-needed regulatory relief for our Main Street financial institutions and the consumers they serve,” he said. “These 11 bills will help jumpstart economic growth across America and help move individuals and families closer to the American Dream. I applaud Chairman Hensarling and my colleagues on the committee and I look forward to working together as we move these regulatory relief measures into law.”
Hensarling noted the 11 bills passed by the Committee had bipartisan support and had previously been approved by either the Financial Services Committee or the House of Representatives during the 113th Congress. However, none of the bills came up for a vote in the Senate, which was then under Democratic control.
Of the bills approved, one would allow credit unions to apply for membership with the Federal Home Loan Banks. Two other bills would alter the definition of mortgage rules, while another would exempt small mortgage servicers from certain regulatory requirements. The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Advisory Boards Act would establish advisory committees at the CFPB