Advocating for access to financial services
for all Americans


Washington Update

February 4, 2010

In late January, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, issued a memo to members of his committee regarding the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency and “Inaccuracies about CFPA Exemptions.” In his memo, Frank stated, “Importantly, the new agency will also have authority with respect to the now lightly or unregulated institutions such as payday lenders and check cashers firms which are especially important to lower income families.”

In response, Joe Coleman, chairman of Financial Service Centers of America (FiSCA) sent a letter to Rep. Frank defending the industry in which he stated, "It is a gross mischaracterization of our industry to state these are “lightly or unregulated” businesses. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, our businesses must comply with a wide array of federal and state regulations." Coleman also provided Frank with detailed summaries of the numerous state laws that govern check cashing and small dollar loans. To read the letter, please click here.

The U.S. House has already passed the CFPA, and the Senate is poised to take up the issue soon. Under the guise of consumer protection, this newly proposed federal agency would have the power to dictate the terms and conditions of every single product offered at financial service centers. It would be a bureaucratic nightmare – an extremely harmful yet impending possibility that could devastate the future of industry as it would make it difficult, if not impossible for stores to continue offering many of the products consumers have come to rely upon, like check cashing and small loans.

In response, FiSCA and CFC have jointly developed a comprehensive and far-reaching strategy designed to give the industry the best chance for success in preserving its businesses so that it can continue to provide the services millions of consumers need. A key element of this program is use of the CFC database, which includes almost 600,000 individuals from across the country, to help let members of Congress know how the CFPA would impact them. Additional updates on CFPA legislation will be posted on a regular basis

Consumers need to make their voices heard in Congress. Click here to join CFC and join the thousands of other Americans who are working together to preserve access to the credit they need!