Senate Adopts Two Snowe Financial Reform Amendments

Senators have adopted two amendments offered by Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) to the Restoring American Financial Stability Act (S. 3217) by Voice Vote.


The Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 contains language that would force banks to make disclosures, such as the number and dollar amount of deposit accounts of customers, and geo-coding, by census tract, of residence or business location of each customer, among others, to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  This type of detailed reporting imposes a regulatory cost on banks and provides an extraordinarily large amount of data to the Federal government.  As a result, Senator Snowe offered an amendment to strike the language from the bill to reduce burdensome restrictions on the banking industry and preserve Americans’ privacy rights.  The amendment is backed by the Independent Community Bankers Association, the Credit Union National Association and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions.


Senator Snowe offered a second amendment to fix the unintended consequences of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the underlying bill, which would have severely limited small business access to credit.  According to the National Federation of Independent Business’ February 2010 survey on the state of credit, 16 percent of all “small employers have a mortgage on their residence that helps to finance the(ir) business.…”  The Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy has calculated that there are nearly 30 million small businesses in America.  Taken together, this means that approximately 4.8 million small firms, rely on a home mortgage for their financing, however, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 does not take into account that many entrepreneurs use home mortgage loans with customized repayment terms for business purposes.  The Snowe Amendment would preserve the ability of small business owners to use their homes as collateral.

(credit image – associated press)


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