Congress Weakens Consumer Protections with Passage of Banking Bill

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155), also known as the “Banking Bill” on a bipartisan basis. This comes after Senate passage of the same bill earlier this year and the President is expected to sign it into law soon. Prosperity Now is disappointed that less than a decade after the start of the worst financial crisis in recent American history, that Congress voted to loosen regulations for banks with up to $250 billion in assets.

An enormous bill with numerous provisions to undercut the Dodd-Frank Act, two changes are particularly troubling. Section 104 removes requirements for financial institutions to report more types of data to identify mortgage lending discrimination under the authority of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Section 107 weakens consumer protections for manufactured home buyers, which will inevitably lead to steering borrowers to needlessly costly home loans.

The Banking bill is just one in a series of troubling actions by Congress and the administration in weakening consumer protections, fair lending and housing oversight. At a time when working families are struggling with basic needs like housing, food security, and the ability to build emergency savings, this is the exact opposite of what the federal government should be focusing on if it is truly concerned with the best interests of working families and households of color.

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