Volcker rule, bank exam cycles to see more action in House committee mark-up

Eight federal financial industry bills, three of them reflecting measures found in the recently Senate-passed bill dialing back some Dodd-Frank Act reforms, are slated for mark-up Wednesday by the full House Financial Services Committee.

The committee chairman, Rep. Jeb Henarling, R-Texas, and the author of the broader Dodd-Frank rewrite package – the Financial CHOICE Act (which is the basis of several of the Senate-passed provisions) – last week called for continued negotiations on the Senate reform package, and the bills being addressed in committee tomorrow could play a role in that work.

In addition to the three bills mentioned above, there is a fourth bill of note in tomorrow’s mark-up: one facilitating a more complete depository institution exemption from the consumer protection bureau’s November 2017 payday lending rule, superseding state law.

The above-noted bills are as follows:

  • H.R. 4790 (no title), introduced by Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.), would exempt more banks from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’s (Dodd-Frank) Volcker rule. The Volcker rule prohibits a bank from investing on its own account, and H.R. 4790 sets the same bank asset-level exemption – up to $10 billion in consolidated assets – that is found in last week’s Senate-passed S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.
  • The Protecting Veterans Credit Act (H.R. 2683), introduced last May 25 by Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., would, like S. 2155, amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to prevent veterans’ consumer credit reports from including dated or wrongfully applied debt for medical services.
  • The Small Bank Exam Cycle Improvement Act (H.R. 5076), introduced by Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.), would, also like S. 2155, make banks with up to $3 billion in assets eligible for an 18-month examination cycle.
  • The Ensuring Quality Unbiased Access to Loans Act (EQUAL Act/H.R. 4861), introduced by Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-Ind.), focuses on short-term, small-dollar (payday) loans. It would nullify 2013 FDIC guidance on deposit-advance products; require all the prudential regulators to consult and coordinate with each other in creating rules to establish standards for short-term, small-dollar loans or lines of credit; and exempt all loans that meet those standards from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) payday rule.

The bill provides a blanket exemption for credit union loans, most of which are already exempt from the CFPB rule if they conform to the short-term, small-dollar loan rule in place at the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

Wednesday’s mark-up is scheduled for 10 a.m. ET.

H.R. 4790, revising the Volcker rule

H.R. 2683, Protecting Veterans Credit Act

H.R. 5076, Small Bank Exam Cycle Improvement Act

H.R. 4861, EQUAL Act