Banks support CFPB’s hard technique to tech giants

Here’s one location where both big and little banks concur that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau must bend its muscles: oversight of huge innovation business and online payment platforms.

In current remark letters, banking trade groups and market attorneys were almost consentaneous in advising the CFPB to level the playing field with Big Tech platforms that use comparable services as conventional banks however are not managed in the exact same method.

“Similar to the examination and oversight authority prudential regulators have on the financial industry, regulators must play an equally active role in defining and identifying the risks big tech poses to consumers and businesses alike,” said Steven Estep, assistant vice president of operational risk at the Independent Community Bankers of America, in a letter to the bureau.

In October, CFPB Director Rohit Chopra ordered six of the largest tech firms — Amazon, Apple, Alphabet’s Google, Facebook. PayPal and Square — to provide information about their payments platforms and invited public comment as well on whether such platforms were fair and competitive.

“The CFPB’s inquiry is one of many efforts within the Federal Reserve System to plan for the future of real-time payments and to ensure a fair and competitive payments system in our country,” stated CFPB Director Rohit Chopra.

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Some commenters likewise concentrated on the requirement for customer securities to avoid users from suffering fraud-related losses. The firm’s concentrate on huge tech payment systems comes as the bureau is likewise dealing with a rulemaking to develop requirements for sharing customers’ monetary information.

Just as legislators have actually revealed their ire at the tech sector by calling CEOs prior to Congress, Chopra has actually provided banks an outlet to air their issues about intruding competitors.

”Technology business wield fantastic power and impact over the marketplace with restricted reward to fairly handle customer monetary information,” stated Estep.

The data-sharing guideline is anticipated to be launched to the general public by April. Chopra stated the remarks will notify the guideline, which is needed under area 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act. The remarks likewise will be utilized to notify policies established by the Federal Reserve System on real-time payments.

“The CFPB’s inquiry is one of many efforts within the Federal Reserve System to plan for the future of real-time payments and to ensure a fair and competitive payments system in our country,” Chopra stated in a declaration in October.

Community lenders desire the CFPB to make sure all payments companies consisting of information aggregators go through the information security and personal privacy requirements of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

The most significant style to emerge from the remark letters was the instant requirement to hold payment platforms accountable for fraud-related losses from peer-to-peer payments. Many customers incorrectly think that payment apps go through the exact same securities as charge card.

“The Bureau should ensure potential consumer protections are applied consistently to all companies offering payments products and financial services, including big techs,” composed Brian Fritzsche, assistant vice president and regulative counsel at the Consumer Bankers Association, and with Matthew Daigler, vice president and senior counsel at the American Bankers Association.

Some recommended the CFPB must clarify that payment suppliers and banks are both thought about “financial institutions” under the Electronic Funds Transfer Act. The law, which is executed by Regulation E, developed securities for customers on debit cards, electronic withdrawals and transfers.

Jared Ross, the previous president of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, stated the group’s 321 members desire the CFPB to change Reg E to clarify what kinds of scams are covered.

“There is growing concern among our member credit unions as to how to handle fraud that originates through these companies’ platforms and how credit unions should or should not interact with them,” Ross composed.

“Traditional financial institutions know to what degree we have to do our part to prevent fraud and to reimburse our members when they are the victims of fraud. It is possible that our Fintech counterparts do not have the same understanding and that these cases then get pushed off onto our member credit unions.”

Gail Hillebrand, who invested 9 years as the CFPB’s previous associate director for customer education and engagement, stated the CFPB must develop a brand-new classification under the EFTA for “fraudulent inducement,” to incentivize payment companies to punish fraudsters.

“The payments intermediary cannot escape its EFTA obligations simply because it is not a chartered financial institution,” she composed.

She stated the CFPB likewise must need quarterly reports about mistakes and scams from payment suppliers, and screen marketing claims by payment apps which contain expressions such as “safe,” “easy to use,” and “banking.”

Banks and payment suppliers must deal with enforcement actions for participating in “unfair, deceptive and abusive acts and practices,” if they do not fulfill customers’ expectations about payment security and customer security, she included.

“Failure to engage in active fraud analysis and take preventative steps is or may be a UDAAP,” Hillebrand composed.

Community lenders likewise desire innovation business to be limited from getting commercial loan business charters.

“Not only would a technology company in control of an ILC be able to dictate who receives loans, potentially cutting off access to credit to competitors, but they would dramatically change the competitive landscape of the U.S. economy as a whole, removing the neutrality traditional banks bring to the provision of credit,” Estep stated.


A news media journalist always on the go, I've been published in major publications including VICE, The Atlantic, and TIME.

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