Week Ahead: CFPB Holds Hearing on Small Dollar Lending

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By Jeff Bater

May 27 — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is expected to release a proposal regulating the payday lending industry in advance of a June 2 hearing in Kansas City, Mo.

The field hearing will feature remarks by CFPB Director Richard Cordray, as well as testimony from consumer groups, industry representatives and members of the public. While the agency did not say whether it would be releasing the rule at the hearing, experts who watch the financial services sector said it is likely the proposal will be issued June 2.

The bureau said recently that it would soon be issuing the long-awaited rule and that the proposal will address consumer harms from practices related to payday loans, auto title loans and other similar credit products, including failure to determine whether consumers have the ability to repay without default or reborrowing and certain payment collection practices.

Banks and payday lenders are eager to see what the bureau's regulation will include. Experts said they think the proposal will largely track an outline that the bureau put out in March 2015. Those proposals for consideration would cover loans requiring repayment within 45 days, as well as longer-term credit products.

Bank Earnings

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) is planning to announce on June 1 the bank and thrift industry earnings for the first quarter of 2016.

The agency's Quarterly Banking Profile (QBP) provides comprehensive data on bank and thrift earnings, balance sheet results and performance ratios.

In its last QBP, which was released in February, the FDIC said U.S. bank earnings increased by nearly 12 percent during the final three months of 2015, driven by strong loan growth. The snapshot of lending industry health was clouded by an increase in charge-offs and concern over the full impact of falling oil prices.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Bater in Washington at jbater@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Seth Stern at sstern@bna.com