AFSA’s Himpler Testifies Before Congressional Committee

WASHINGTON, DC – April 6, 2017…Today, American Financial Services Association (AFSA) Executive Vice President Bill Himpler testified before the House Financial Services subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit in a session entitled Examination of the Federal Financial Regulatory System and Opportunities for Reform. Himpler addressed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) regulatory overreach of the state-regulated consumer credit industry and the need for Congress to reform the bureau’s practices, approve its budget, and amend its structure.

The hearing took place a day after CFPB Director Richard Cordray delivered his semi-annual report to the full House Financial Services Committee. Himpler’s testimony and responses filled in critical context about the difficulty financial services providers are facing complying with the unbalanced regulations and enforcement actions put forth by the CFPB.

Himpler noted that while many are focused on financial institutions being too big to fail, AFSA is concerned about those that are “too small to succeed” under the weight of CFPB overregulation.

“AFSA strongly believes that credit should be available to everyone who can manage it, not just to the wealthy or those with perfect credit scores,” said Himpler in written testimony. “It is not apparent that the CFPB shares this philosophy. The CFPB seems to believe that credit should only be extended to those borrowers who do not present any risk...”

The committee addressed a variety of issues with regard to the CFPB, including the bureau’s faulty use of disparate impact theory in vehicle finance, issues with the construction and use of the consumer complaint database and a general lack of balance between consumer protection and credit availability.

“We believe in the CFPB’s mission to protect consumers, but that has to be balanced with ensuring the availability of credit and all too often…it seems that the bureau does not have that balance in mind,” said Himpler in response to questions from the committee.