press release

CBA’s Johnson Reiterates Strength of the Industry, Urges Regulators to Promote Sound Policy Rather Than Partisan Politics

Weston Loyd
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a new interview today on Fox Business Network’s Mornings with Maria, Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) President and CEO Lindsey Johnson discussed the strength and resiliency of the retail banking industry, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) latest regulatory corner-cutting, and the need to restore public trust in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) following a recent report outlining workplace toxicity at the agency.

During the interview, Johnson conveyed how America’s leading retail banks are well-capitalized and best positioned to continue serving consumers through current economic conditions:

“Recession obsession has really dissipated. The economy has proven its strength. Consumers have proven to be very resilient, and banks have proven to be very resilient. And you mentioned the FDIC risk review that shows bank capital levels are extremely high. This shows liquidity provisions for these banks are also very good. Banks are taking additional steps to build reserves in case consumers run into additional headwinds down the road.”

Johnson also highlighted how the CFPB’s recent interpretive rule that deems certain Buy Now Pay Later providers as “card issuers” is reflective of a larger, more concerning trend whereby the agency continues to cut important legal corners in the rulemaking process:

“There's policy, there's process, and then there's politics. And while we may agree with the CFPB on certain policies […] The process that's being used, they're cutting corners. They're issuing an interpretive rule, setting an entirely new standard for those companies without giving them the ability to weigh in, without giving them an ability to understand what's going to be the impact to those companies and also to the consumer. And we've seen that time and time again. We saw the CFPB cut corners when it issued its credit card late fee rule and set government-mandated pricing for credit card late fees. They did the same thing for overdraft. It's very problematic. It's very concerning.”

Lastly, Johnson reiterated her support to the public servants at the FDIC and conveyed that President Biden should nominate an agency head that has real-world industry experience in the banking sector following Chair Gruenberg’s resignation announcement:

“I know a lot of the people at the FDIC and they are good, hardworking people and they deserve better. I think anybody who read that report, who saw some of the allegations […] about a very, very toxic workplace, it's hugely concerning. Americans deserve better. The public servants that work there deserve better. And I recalled President Biden's statements the very first day that he took office, where he told his staff and the agencies themselves if he heard anyone making derogatory statements or bullying [staff], that he was going to fire them on the spot. So, he had set a very strong standard. I think if it takes a long time to replace Chairman Gruenberg, that sends a different message to those employees […] They're going to try and move someone fairly soon, hopefully. Hopefully it's not someone who is political, but rather someone who really understands banking.”

Dive Deeper: To watch Johnson’s full interview on Fox Business Network, click HERE.

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