Latta Helps Pass Regulatory Relief for Community Banks; Increased Protections for Consumers
Bipartisan Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act now heading to President’s Desk
Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) joined his colleagues in voting to pass S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, to provide greater regulatory relief for community banks, protect consumers, and increase access to capital for small businesses this afternoon. The bipartisan legislation, which passed the Senate in March, will now head to the President’s desk to be signed into law. The bill provides needed relief from the most burdensome aspects of the Dodd-Frank regulatory law. In the first four years after the passage of Dodd-Frank, more than 1,900 banks closed their doors as regulations were greatly expanded.
“The congressional district I represent is home to more community banks than any other district in the state of Ohio,” said Latta. “Because of this, it’s families and small businesses in Northwest and West Central Ohio that suffer when community banks are forced to close their doors or restrict capital because of onerous regulations coming out of Washington. The Dodd-Frank law made this problem worse by treating banks on Main Street in the same way as massive banks on Wall Street. With the economy roaring, small businesses are looking to grow and expand, and they need to be able to obtain loans to fund new projects, invest in equipment, and hire more workers.
“In addition to supporting small businesses, this legislation is good news for families looking to obtain a mortgage. It’s helpful to the recent college graduate who will now have more protections for their student loans. It also means there will be more tools in place for consumers to guard against fraud by allowing consumers to freeze and unfreeze their credit reports for free. Overall, this represents another example of how this Congress, working with the President, is getting things done for the American people.”
The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act provides regulatory relief to thousands of banks and credit unions that are not considered a systemic risk to the market. This is a significant issue in Ohio’s 5th Congressional District as many of the banks were swept up in regulations meant for larger banks, whose failure could damage the greater economy. For instance, Latta once visited a bank in his district that discussed how they recently had more regulators in their building than total employees.
S. 2155 also provides a benefit for private student loan borrowers. Under the bill, lenders would be prohibited from accelerating a private education loan or declaring it in default after a co-signer dies or declares bankruptcy. It also makes it easier for borrowers to receive a one-time removal of a default on their loan from their credit report.
The bill also requires credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion to freeze or unfreeze credit reports for free. As Chairman of the Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, Latta has chaired a hearing on the recent Equifax breach and discussed the need for consumers to have options to keep their credit information safe from bad actors.