Earlier this week, the House of Representatives, in bipartisan votes, passed the following regulatory reform bills:

  • The “Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act, H.R. 601, would create an exemption from the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act’s annual notice requirement for institutions that have not changed their privacy policies since their most recent annual notice and only share personal information within the statutory exceptions.  In October 2014, the CFPB issued a final rule that amended Regulation P to allow a financial institution that meets certain requirements, including generally having no change in its most recent privacy notice, to deliver annual privacy notices to their customers using an alternative online delivery method.  The bill would eliminate the annual notice requirement entirely for institutions that qualify for the exemption.
  • The “Helping Expand Lending Practices in Rural Communities Act,” H.R. 1259, would direct the CFPB to establish an application process to apply for an area to be designated as a rural area if the CFPB has not already been designated it as such.  The CFPB has created exemptions from certain mortgage rules, including the qualified mortgage rule, for small banks that operate primarily in rural or undeserved areas.
  • The “Federal Advisory Committee Act,” H.R. 1265, would apply the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act to the CFPB.  While the CFPB reversed its closed-door policy to make meetings of its advisory boards and councils open to the public, the bill would mandate that such meetings be open to the public, subject only to the exceptions allow by the FACA.
  • The ‘‘SAFE Act Confidentiality and Privilege Enhancement Act,’’ H.R. 1480, would amend the S.A.F.E. Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 to allow information provided to the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry to be shared with state and federal regulatory officials with financial services oversight authority (such as the Fed) without  loss of privilege or confidentiality protections provided by federal and state laws.  Currently, the privilege and confidentiality protections only apply to information shared with state and federal regulatory officials with mortgage industry oversight authority.

All of the bills were supported by the American Bankers Association.