WASHINGTON — House Republicans will likely unveil legislation within the next few weeks aimed at curbing Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulations by giving the bureau a dual mandate, Rep. Steve Stivers said Wednesday.
The Ohio Republican said that instead of just consumer protection, arguably the agency's only mandate at present, it would be required to watch credit availability as well. He compared it to the Fed's dual mandate of employment and price stability.
"There are competing forces so just like the Federal Reserve mandate of full employment and stable prices … the same thing of available credit versus consumer protection," Stivers told reporters on the sidelines of an event here hosted by the law firm BakerHostetler.
Earlier this year, Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., announced a Republican-led task force that would work on developing legislation as part of a "pro-growth agenda."
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, who is part of the working group leading efforts to reduce regulatory burden, said in March that the group was considering a plan that would allow banks to opt out of certain regulatory requirements if they hold enough capital. The CFPB dual mandate would also be a part of that plan, Stivers said.
"We are about to unveil a new plan that would actually try to do things all in one fell swoop that would put capital in lieu of overwhelming regulation and if you reach certain capital levels you will be able to opt out of government control because the capital that you have on your balance sheet, especially for community banks, will be the shock absorber, the buffer that we need," Stivers said.
Speaking to reporters later, Stivers said the capital ratio required to meet the standard could be 10% or 15%, with the details not quite finalized.
"Community banks have a higher average capital than most of our middle-market banks and our middle-market banks have a higher capital ratio today than our big banks … my guess is that depending on where the number is, it could be hard for a money-center bank to get to the number," Stivers said.