STATEMENT: House Bills Would Limit Agencies’ Ability to Protect Consumers, Open Doors to Financial Exploitation, Says CAP’s Joe Valenti

Washington, D.C. — Today, the House Financial Services Committee passed two bills to limit the ability of federal agencies to protect consumers from abusive practices in the financial marketplace. H.R. 1266, the Financial Product Safety Commission Act, would convert the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, into a five-member commission, and H.R. 1090, the Retail Investor Protection Act, would block the U.S. Department of Labor from moving forward on its proposal to regulate conflicts of interest in retirement investment advice until action is taken by the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. Joe Valenti, Director of Consumer Finance at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

Despite their harmless-sounding names, both of the bills passed by the House Financial Services Committee are a step backward for consumers. In its short history, the CFPB has proven to be one of the most effective and publicly supported federal agencies, and a commission structure would drastically limit its ability to protect consumers from abusive practices. Ironically, forcing the Department of Labor to wait on the SEC before it can close 40-year-old loopholes and protect savers and retirees from expensive and improper financial advice points to the very challenges that commissions face. In the wake of the financial crisis, Congress should not play games with families’ financial security by leaving the gate wide open, once again, for bad actors looking to take advantage of the American people.

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