House banking panel to examine Wells Fargo, CFPB in March

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WASHINGTON — The House Financial Services Committee will hold eight hearings in March to examine issues ranging from oversight of Wells Fargo to the allocation of disaster recovery funds, Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., announced Monday.

The full committee will meet March 7 to conduct a semiannual review of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

On March 12, the committee will hold a hearing called Holding Megabanks Accountable: An Examination of Wells Fargo’s Pattern of Consumer Abuses. This hearing will likely cover many of the numerous scandals Wells Fargo has found itself embroiled in the past two years, including the creation of 3.5 million fake accounts and the company’s own admission that it had mistakenly foreclosed on more than 500 homes.

Waters will also lead a hearing March 13 on the reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program, which Congress has had to renew at least eight times since September 2017. Though lawmakers on both sides of the aisle generally agree that the program needs to be reformed, legislative efforts have stalled.

The subcommittee on investor protection, entrepreneurship and capital markets will meet twice next month, once to examine the Securities and Exchange Commission’s best-interest rule and once to examine proposals to improve environmental, social and governance disclosures.

Meanwhile, the subcommittee on national security, international development and monetary policy will hold a hearing March 13 to promote corporate transparency and examine legislative proposals to detect and deter financial crimes. American Banker reported in November that a bipartisan group of senators was discussing a possible legislative package to reform anti-money-laundering rules and the Bank Secrecy Act, changes that the banking industry supports.

The subcommittee on oversight and investigations will also meet on March 26 for a hearing titled The Administration of Disaster Recovery Funds in the Wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

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Policymaking Financial crimes Financial reform Flood insurance Natural disasters Maxine Waters House Financial Services Committee Wells Fargo CFPB SEC