House panel OKs bills on mortgage points and fees, exam info sharing, fintech protection

The House Financial Services Committee marked up and passed 7 bills July 24.

Bills to amend the definition of mortgage lending fees, allow the sharing of service company examination information with states, and protect financial technology and digital currencies were marked up and approved Tuesday by the House Financial Services Committee.

Voting 57-0, the committee approved the Financial Technology Protection Act (H.R. 5036), introduced by Reps. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.). This bill was revised in mark-up with a substitute measure offered by Budd that adds a requirement for a report to Congress by the president – acting through the Treasury secretary and in consultation with the Attorney General, Secretary of State, Director of Homeland Security, Director of National Intelligence, director of the Office of Management and Budget and the federal bank and credit union regulators – on potential uses of digital currencies and other emerging technologies by “rogue” and foreign actor for illicit activities (including evading sanctions and conducting money laundering, among other things), as well as a strategy for mitigating such illicit uses.

The substitute amendment to H.R. 5036 renames a task force created by the bill as the “Independent Financial Technology Task Force to Combat Terrorism and Illicit Financing” and a new program as the “FinTech Leadership in Innovation and Financial Intelligence Program.” The task force would, according to the committee, seek to improve coordination between private and public sectors to research and develop legislative and regulatory proposals to decrease terrorist and illicit use of new financial technologies, including digital currencies. The new “FinTech Leadership in Innovation and Financial Intelligence Program” would provide grants for development of “tools and programs to detect terrorist and illicit use of digital currencies administered by the Task Force.”

Also approved were:

  • The Mortgage Fairness Act (H.R. 2570), introduced by Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) and passed by a vote of 34-22, would amend the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) to revise the definition of “points and fees” under a high-cost mortgage. The bill would exclude compensation paid in setting the interest rate and for which the consumer was not separately charged, and include compensation paid by a consumer or creditor to an individual employed by or contracting with a mortgage originator. (The bill’s summary notes that a high-cost mortgage designation restricts the terms of a loan and requires a lender to make certain disclosures to the borrower.)
  • The Bank Service Company Examination Act (H.R. 3626), introduced by Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) and passed by a vote of 56-0, would amend the Bank Service Company Act to enable the sharing of supervisory information with state banking or supervisory agencies and the coordination with state banking agencies to avoid the duplication of examination activities, reporting requirements, and requests for information.

The bills await further action by the House.

Markup of H.R. 1511, H.R. 2069, H.R. 2570, H.R. 3626. H.R. 5036, H.R. 5059, and H.R. 6332