Lynne Winner: Knight’s Financial Choice Act vote generates questions


Your June 9 article in The Signal on your new banking bill caught my attention. I remember how devastating the financial crash was in 2008 to many Americans. While many lost their retirement savings, as I recall Wall Street did not seem to get more than a slap on the hands.

At that time Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform seemed necessary to regulate the greed practiced by Wall Street upon unknowing investors.

However, it has been more than seven years since this consumer protection act was made law. I have done a little research and have found that indeed the smaller banks and credit unions do have a problem keeping up with all of the regulations.

That is understandable, as smaller banks and credit unions do not have the resources that larger banks and firms have. I agree that there needs to be some adjustments made to Dodd-Frank to address this issue.

Small banks and credit unions are important members of our community finances.

On the other hand, I strongly disagree with some of the other provisions that have been added to this new legislation called Choice, which will take the place of Dodd-Frank.

This bill would give our president the ability to fire the heads of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at any time, for any or no reason at all. Why are you supporting this power move?

In the same vein, Congress will hold the purse strings to the CFPB and could theoretically defend the agency entirely. Do you think this is a good idea?

It looks like the Senate is going to address this Choice bill in a bipartisan way, which I find comforting. Working together, Democrats and Republicans should produce a more balanced bill.

I am of the opinion that we need to keep Dodd-Frank for the larger institutions and address the needs of the smaller banks and credit unions separately. Right now it seems like you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

We should also keep the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a separate entity outside of partisan politics so that funding is not ever imperiled.

I read on your website that you take your constituents’ opinions seriously. I am glad that our smaller financial institutions will be able to better operate under new regulations.

Still, I look forward to hearing your justification for completely replacing Dodd-Frank and at the same time making the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s administration and budget vulnerable to the whims of the political party in power.

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