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Rounds, King Introduce Bill to Give Small Businesses, Community Banks and Credit Unions a Say in CFPB Decision Making

PIERRE—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, and U.S. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), introduced legislation to make certain small businesses, community banks and credit unions will always have a strong voice in the rulemaking process at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). S. 1963, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Advisory Board Enhancement Act, would create a new small business advisory panel within the CFPB and make permanent community bank and credit union panels within the Bureau. It would also require each committee to adequately represent members from rural and underserved areas.

“As the CFPB continues to make decisions that affect every American, it is critical for rural areas, community banks, small businesses and credit unions to have a voice,” said Rounds. “This is particularly important in rural states like South Dakota. Our bill makes certain that voice will be heard.”

“Small businesses, community banks and credit unions are invaluable forces in America’s economy, and they deserve a seat at the table as the CFPB makes important and far-reaching financial decisions,” said Senator King. “Rural communities in Maine, South Dakota, and all across the nation rely on these institutions to create jobs and grow the local economy. I’m proud to stand with Senator Rounds, my fellow former governor, on behalf of rural America.”

The CFPB is an independent agency created by Dodd-Frank responsible for consumer protection of the financial sector. It currently has four advisory groups that help it set policy, though only one – the Consumer Advisory Board – is required by Dodd-Frank. This bill codifies two existing advisory boards, the Community Bank Advisory Council and the Credit Union Advisory Council, and creates an additional advisory committee for small businesses.  In addition, the bill would require each committee to adequately represent members from rural or underserved areas. The bill is supported by the Independent Community Bankers of America, the American Land Title Association, and the Credit Union National Association, among other groups. Similar legislation, H.R. 1195, passed the House of Representatives in April of 2015.