AFR Statement on House Approval of HR 3193

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created after the 2008 financial crisis to bring basic standards of fairness and transparency to the world of credit cards, student loans, home loans, auto loans, checking accounts, debt collection and other common financial products and practices.

Since opening its doors in 2011, the Consumer Bureau has ably begun to fulfill its mission by moving to rid the mortgage market of loans designed to self-destruct; shielding service members and military families against predatory payday loans and other abuses; beginning to hold auto lenders responsible for kickback arrangements that jack up the price of credit for borrowers based on the color of their skin; going after sham companies that collect up-front fees from desperate people for debt-settlement services that are never delivered; and putting money back in the pockets of defrauded consumers, including nearly $800 million in refunds for abusive and unfair credit-card add-on products.

Many millions of people have already benefited from the Consumer Bureau’s rules, enforcement actions and online complaint system. Polls show that a large majority of Americans strongly approve of what this important new agency has been doing. And there is a great deal of work that remains to be done to rid the financial marketplace of tricks and traps that cost consumers tens of billions of dollars a year.

And yet, 232 members of the House of Representatives voted today for legislation designed to systematically undermine this first-ever federal agency with a mandate to prioritize fairness and transparency over short-term financial-industry profits. Why would so many elected officials support a bill that, as a practical matter, adds up to a huge

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gift to the very worst elements of Wall Street and the lending industry?