The president and chief executive of the American Bankers Association yesterday pushed back against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and its attempts to “bully” banks and financial institutions into eliminating “perfectly legal or legitimate” fees.
Speaking at the Conference for Community Bankers, Rob Nichols said the ABA is intently focused on what the CFPB is doing, including its recent proposal to limit late fees on credit card payments made by consumers. Nichols said the ABA would consider filing another lawsuit against the CFPB if it feels that the regulator steps outside of its statutory authority by issuing regulations it does not have the power to enforce. The ABA was part of a group that sued the CFPB last year after the Bureau revamped its examination manual to be on the lookout for instances of discrimination that could be found to be violations of unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices (UDAAP).
“Our lawsuit is intended to serve as a reminder to the broader regulatory community that ABA will not sit idly by when see such blatant overreach by an agency,” Nichols said. “We value our working relationships and engagement with our agency partners, but when an agency steps outside of the legal boundaries of its authority and seeks to impose obligations on banks that Congress never authorized, ABA will respond. We have sued the CFPB once and we’re prepared to do it again.”
During his speech, Nichols also mentioned that while the CFPB can expect to be more closely scrutinized by a Republican-led House Financial Services Committee, the slim majority that Republicans hold in the House of Representatives will make it unlikely for new legislation to get passed.