This story appeared in Bank Digest.
Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) has written to Acting Comptroller of the Currency Keith Noreika questioning Noreika's objections to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's final rule that was issued to protect consumers from forced arbitration clauses in certain contracts. According to Brown's press release, these clauses force customers into secret arbitration proceedings run by private industry and often bar consumers from joining class actions.
Noreika had written two letters to CFPB Director Richard Cordray expressing concerns of OCC staff over the bureau's final rule, but in his letter to Noreika, Brown said "your letters raise no specific safety and soundness issues. Instead, they make several overtly political arguments against the adoption of the CFPB's rule." He also said, "It is disappointing but not altogether surprising that the OCC is trying to manufacture an argument that a vital consumer protection conflicts with the safety and soundness of banks," adding that such an argument "is as specious today as it has been in the past."
Brown also asked Noreika to provide documentation and analysis that supports the OCC's claims, among other information.