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Cordray: CFPB to Consider Rules Exemption for Smaller Banks

Posted on 1/25/2012

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will explore the possibility of exempting smaller banks from some of its rules, CFPB Director Richard Cordray told a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee yesterday.

Cordray said the bureau may consider setting a minimum asset size to exclude community banks from new rules, and he added that the agency also will analyze how its rules would affect banks with fewer than $10 billion in assets. ABA is advocating that the CFPB and other regulators adopt an even more flexible, graduated approach to supervision that recognizes a wider range of sizes, charters and business models.

Cordray also assured lawmakers that the CFPB wouldn't abuse its power and promised that the agency would take action only against companies that break the law. "It is not our intention to start going off and acting like we're some sort of mini-Congress, just doing anything we think is good and right," he said.

The agency will follow the existing interpretation of consumer laws covering financial products and "should not be going off in some wild, new unexpected direction" that would cause confusion among banks and other firms, Cordray said.

He also repeated a pledge -- made at an earlier hearing -- to reach out to small businesses and to convene panels of small-business leaders on any major regulation that could potentially affect them

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