Slideshow 'Predatory lending is here to stay': Comments of the week

  • March 22 2018, 10:00pm EDT

Readers react to the Senate regulatory relief bill, weigh in on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s innovation initiative, chime in on whether banks need to provide more value in a digital age and more.

On Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., raising ethics concerns about Mick Mulvaney's dual role leading both the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of Management and Budget:

“As someone smarter than I said in response to another article, if Sen. Warren doesn't like the independence of the CFPB and its director, she shouldn't have provided for such in conceptualizing it. Maybe now she'll want to alter the Dodd Frank Act a bit.”

Related: Warren keeps pressure on CFPB’s Mulvaney with new letter

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On the Senate regulatory relief bill excluding a measure changing the CFPB’s leadership structure from a single director to a five-member commission:

“There are so many other ways to restructure the CFPB that going the commission route isn't necessary. The problem with the CFPB isn't that it has a sole director. It's that the Democrats deliberately and maliciously structured it such that it is essentially a fourth branch of government. Change it so it's truly an executive branch agency, with appropriate reporting lines and lines of authority up the chain.”

Related: A CFPB commission will never fly

On calls for the CFPB to revive Project Catalyst, the bureau’s innovation infinitive, and share what it learns with other regulators:

“I echo your final point around the need for [no-action letters] to cover OCC, FRB, etc. As I talk to fintech teams, they tell me that the prospect of a NAL that doesn't cover all regulatory entities is not terribly helpful. Project Catalyst has great potential - I share your hope that it can be fully realized.”

Related: Mulvaney's revamp of CFPB should include its innovation hub

On a bill introduced by Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, R-Ind., to strike down regulatory guidance discouraging banks from offering small-dollar loans:

“Let’s make no mistake about it, predatory lending is here to stay if the regulatory environment does not allow banks and credit unions to effectively enter the market and provide a sustainable solution. A solution that pulls consumers back to the banking system where they can build their capacity to manages their day-to-day finances, build resilience to weather ups and downs and move upstream to more affordable financial services. The time is now!”

Related: House GOP wants small-dollar loan bill pinned to reg relief

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On an argument that a bank’s core value proposition — holding customer’s money — is less important at a time when tech companies are beginning to offer rival options:

“The author is forgetting that people place their money in banks and not Alipay or Venmo because they don't have any guarantee of getting those funds returned if the company files for bankruptcy.”

Related: Amazon is the least of banking’s problems

Another reader weighs in on how the digital age is diminishing a bank’s value:

“yea man good piece and great question. My bank's two values to me are holding my money and not charging me ATM fees no matter where I transact. The latter becoming less important over time as cash and therefore ATM use goes way down” (via Twitter).

Related: Amazon is the least of banking’s problems

On an argument that the housing market will provide a 30-year fixed rate mortgage even without a government guarantee:

"The secondary market for FRMs predated the GSE entry of the 1970's, mostly sold to life insurance companies whose liabilities were fixed for a long term. The inflation of the late 1960's and late 1970's accelerated the decline of pools of investor funds looking to match their long term fixed rate liabilities. Today, the GSE's are just too-big-to-fail savings and loans funding a maturity mismatch."

Related: Don’t let the 30-year mortgage sway housing policy