A member of the House Financial Services Committee was caught last week plagiarizing remarks that were initially used three years ago in testimony from the lobbyist of the Consumer Bankers Association.
Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) at least had the decency to steal from a banking lobbyist and not a consumer advocate.
Scott’s remarks “praised” the banking industry during a hearing last week into the payday lending industry and “bemoaned” “over-regulation” by two agencies. He then took it a step too far.
“They’ve all received positive feedback from our borrowers,” Scott said.
A spokesman for Scott did not deny that the Congressman used Hunt’s testimony as the basis for his own remarks.
“He drafted his own question based on the statistics shared by a number of groups both in and out of the industry,” the spokesman said. “He was simply stressing that traditional banks have stringent regulations in place to help the underbanked. The CFPB should remember that when they release their proposed rule next month.”
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has indicated it plans to release a rule that would further regulate the payday lending industry.
What is interesting is that Hunt’s testimony was meant to curb increased regulation by the FDIC and OCC, two federal agencies which currently are showing no interest in the payday lending space. Hunt was urging the FDIC and OCC to wait for the CFPB to move forward with a rule.
There are a number of points where Scott appears to have pretty much used verbatim what Hunt said.
Scott: “They’re monitored by the bank first to determine if they have sufficient regular cash flow to repay the loan.”
Hunt: “This allows banks to monitor the customer to determine they have the cash flow to qualify.”
Another gem. Scott: “They even have a cooling off period so that customers and consumers do not become overly reliant.”
Hunt’s version: “These products incorporate features such as … cooling off periods to protect consumers from reliance on the product.”