United States

ABA commends reform effort ahead of CHOICE Act vote


The American Bankers Association (ABA) wrote a letter to House leadership in June to address the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017. They commended the efforts of Chairman Hensarling and the House Financial Services Committee for focusing attention on financial regulatory reform. They note that the CHOICE Act legislation contains provisions that ABA and member banks have long supported.

Among those measures are:

  • A requirement that financial regulators tailor regulations to fit an institution’s business model and risk profile
  • A Qualified Mortgage (QM) safe harbor provision for mortgages helps in a lender’s portfolio
  • A provision to establish an Office of Independent Examination Review to permit appeals of examination decisions
  • A provision to raise the Federal Reserve’s Small Bank Holding Company threshold to $5 billion in consolidated assets
  • A measure to provide mutual institutions with greater flexibility to exercise national bank powers without changing their charters
  • A repeal of the small business loan data collection requirement
  • A provision to allow highly rated banks to file short-form Call Reports

The ABA’s letter also addresses the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) authority and accountability. The ABA supports a shift to a bipartisan commission structure over the long term. They also advocate for repeal of the Durbin Interchange amendment, arguing that the Durbin amendment acts as a price control, harming consumers by reducing access to low-cost banking accounts for those that need them most.

The CHOICE Act passed the House on June 8, 2017, but the Senate has not acted on a companion bill as of mid-September