Magazine article American Banker

House Version of Credit Bill Seen as Better but Still Burdensome

Magazine article American Banker

House Version of Credit Bill Seen as Better but Still Burdensome

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Bank lobbyists said a credit reporting bill that cleared the House Monday is much improved from earlier versions but warned that the measure would still add modestly to the industry's regulatory burden.

"The industry won't exactly be wild about it, especially when you look at the operational burdens the bill imposes," said Joe Belew, president of the Consumer Bankers Association.

Mr. Belew said, however, that many institutions would be pleased by improvements made in provisions that affect the ability of banks to solicit customers from screened lists of consumers.

Concessions on Credit Bureaus

And large institutions won concessions in a section of the bill that permits them to operate what are, in effect, in-house credit bureaus.

While the Consumer Bankers Association isn't supporting the bill, Mr. Belew said, it won't oppose the measure, either.

Similar legislation has already cleared the Senate, and Monday's House action virtually assures that a bill will be enacted into law. The House and Senate versions are very similar, and the two chambers may try to resolve differences by "ping-ponging" the bills back and forth rather than meeting for formal talks.

In a "Dear Colleague" letter, House Banking Committee Chairman Henry B. Gonzalez, D-Tex., and Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy 2d, D-Mass., praised the bill, contending that it offers important consumer protections.

"It may be the most important piece of consumer legislation that Congress considers this year," the two wrote.

The bill that passed the House Monday was a compromise worked out by Rep. Gonzalez and Rep. Kennedy with two key Republicans, Rep. Jim Leach of Iowa and Rep. Alfred McCandless of California.

Rep. Leach is the banking committee's ranking Republican, and Rep. Kennedy and Rep. McCandless are the chairman and ranking Republican of the panel's consumer credit subcommittee. …

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