Bills to ease Volcker rule and exam cycles, help vets marked up, approved by House panel

The House Financial Services Committee marked up and reported eight bills to the House Wednesday, most revising requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act.

A Volcker rule exemption, more extended-exam-cycle eligibility for small banks and protection for veterans from negative credit reporting when payments for medical services are held up due to federal administrative processes were among the bills marked up and reported out favorably Wednesday by the House Financial Services Committee.

The eight bills reported out, among others, include:

  • Volcker rule: H.R. 4790 (no title), introduced by Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.), would exempt banks with up to $10 billion in consolidated assets from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’s (Dodd-Frank) Volcker rule and authorize the Fed solely to promulgate related regulations. Primary federal regulators would retain examination and enforcement authority. (The bill is similar to a provision of the Senate-passed S. 2155 as well as the House-passed H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act.)
  • Exam cycles: The Small Bank Exam Cycle Improvement Act (H.R. 5076), introduced by Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.), would make banks with up to $3 billion in assets eligible for an 18-month examination cycle.
  • Vets’ credit reports: The Protecting Veterans Credit Act (H.R. 2683), introduced last May 25 by Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to prevent veterans’ consumer credit reports from including dated or wrongfully applied debt for medical services. It would protect veterans from credit report problems due to delays in Veterans Affairs payments to non-network providers as allowed under programs such as VA Choice.
  • Payday lending: Approved on a vote of 34-26, the Ensuring Quality Unbiased Access to Loans Act (EQUAL Act/H.R. 4861), introduced by Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-Ind.), would nullify 2013 FDIC guidance on deposit-advance products and 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 conforming loans from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) payday rule. The bill also exempts all credit union loans from the CFPB rule; many are already exempt if they conform to the short-term, small-dollar loan rule from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

Also approved were H.R. 4659, to require federal banking agencies to allow the supplementary leverage ratio to recognize the exposure-reducing effect of initial margin posted for centrally cleared derivatives; H.R. 5323 (Derivatives Fairness Act), exempting non-cleared derivatives with certain counterparties (“end-users”) from an institution’s credit valuation adjustment capital charge; H.R. 5082 (Practice of Law Technical Clarification Act), amending the Fair Debt Collection Act to exclude from the definition of “debt collector” any law firm or licensed attorney engaged in litigation activities related to a legal action in court against a defendant debtor; and H.R. 5051 (Public Company Registration Act), increasing the thresholds triggering public company registration requirements.

Committee release: Committee Advances Eight Bills