Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, released this statement following the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed rule that would subject digital payments apps to the same supervisory examinations the bureau conducts on banks and credit unions.
“I applaud the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under Director Rohit Chopra’s leadership for the release of their proposed rule to use the oversight powers Congress gave it to ensure digital wallet and payment apps — like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Meta Pay and more — are complying with laws and regulations that protect consumers. When I was Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, I formed a Financial Technology Task Force and we held a number of hearings exploring the exponential growth of these products and the convenience and ease they offer consumers sending money to others, both domestically and abroad. However, our hearings also found that this level of user convenience and popularity also raises a trove of concerns about fraud, consumer protections, and data privacy.
“In addition, I’ve increasingly been concerned with the ways in which Big Tech has expanded into the financial marketplace over the last few years with little oversight compared to banks and other financial institutions. This is why I led the effort in Congress to stop Facebook’s problematic stablecoin project, Libra, from moving forward and have continued to make the point that companies offering bank-like products and services must be regulated like a bank. In addition, I continue to work on legislation to establish a federal framework for payment stablecoins, and I will ensure that digital wallets are subject to not just the highest consumer protection rules, but also held to the highest risk management and financial resource standards to safeguard consumers and our financial system. Bottom line, the CFPB’s proposed rule is another critical step in ensuring that consumers everywhere are fully protected no matter if they use a traditional bank account or digital wallet to make payments. I look forward to the CFPB promptly finalizing this important rule.”
On May 9, 2019, Chairwoman Waters announced the creation of the Committee’s Task Forces on Financial Technology and Artificial Intelligence. April 21, 2021, the Committee reauthorizedthe Task Forces on Financial Technology and Artificial Intelligence for the 117th Congress.
On June 16, 2021, Chairwoman Waters announced the establishment of the Digital Assets Working Group (DAWG) of Democratic Members to examine digital assets-related policy and legal issues in a comprehensive manner.
On July 21, 2021, the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions, chaired by Representative Perlmutter, held a hearing entitled, “Banking the Unbanked: Exploring Private and Public Efforts to Expand Access to the Financial System,” which explored proposals like FedAccounts, which could require the Fed to establish digital transaction accounts, based on a CBDC, that could be provided to consumers through depository institutions and the U.S. Postal Service, or directly to consumers.