Senate Banking debates CFPB complaints, regulations

The Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday heard critiques of CFPB’s complaint database as well as arguments on the bureau’s regulation of the financial industry during a hearing on consumer finance regulations.

In response to a question from committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., regarding CFPB’s consumer complaint database, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness President and CEO David Hirschmann said that while airing consumer complaints is good, CFPB’s methodology of posting unverified complaints in a “naming and shaming approach” only creates more confusion for consumers who cannot know which complaints are true.

George Mason University School of Law’s Todd Zywicki criticized the Dodd-Frank Durbin Amendment for targeting debit cards, which he noted are not a product that contributed to the financial crisis, and for creating savings for retailers that are not being passed on to consumers. In response to a question from Shelby, Zywicki said cost-benefit analysis is the single most important thing a regulator can do to ensure credit availability while promoting competition, consumer choice, and transparency.

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