The House Financial Services Committee turned the tables on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, soliciting public feedback on the regulator’s work.
The Republican-led committee’s website now offers an opportunity to explain through a web form how the CFPB has impacted consumers and business owners, or how the bureau has affected businesses’ customers. Individuals can choose to share their story publicly or keep it confidential.
The CFPB frequently encourages consumers to contact the bureau with their complaints about entities including banks, student loan servicers and credit card companies, and posts them online for the public to review.
“Holding Washington accountable to hardworking taxpayers is a never ending battle. That’s especially true when it comes to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, the most powerful and least accountable government agency in all of Washington,” said Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) in a statement on Monday.
“The Financial Services Committee is committed to true consumer protection. True consumer protection means you not only protect consumers from ‘Wall Street’ but from Washington as well. True consumer protection means ensuring consumers have access to competitive, transparent and innovative markets vigorously policed for fraud and deception. True consumer protection empowers consumers with greater economic freedom, accurate information, and more choices,” Hensarling added.
The committee said it has been receiving feedback about the CFPB’s new mortgage regulations.
“The committee is already hearing from individuals and organizations about how the CFPB’s first major regulations – its “Qualified Mortgage” rules – will take away homeownership opportunities for low and middle income Americans,” said a committee press release on Monday.
The CFPB criticism comes one day before Director Richard Cordray will testify before the committee to present the bureau’s semi-annual report.
"Clearly this is an attempt by House Republicans to put CFPB on the defensive, turn the tables. I will be very interested to see the kinds of response from the public this generates," said industry lobbyist and speaker John McKechnie, a partner with the Washington-based firm Total Spectrum.