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Kim Ford on Deregulation of Dodd-Frank and Other Legislative Issues

KimfordKim Ford, VP of Public Affairs for First Data, returned to the AFT podium to provide a relevant analysis of the government and regulatory environment at the 2018 AFT Spring Summit at California’s Ojai Valley Inn.

Ford detailed “this entire theme of deregulation that we're seeing” in Washington, D.C. and dove specifically into bank regulatory relief efforts and the potential rollback of the Dodd-Frank Act. “There was a lot of excitement about what was going to be accomplished in scaling that significantly back.”

She also discussed the different approaches from the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House created a bill called the Financial CHOICE Act, which aims to undo various significant requirements. Meanwhile, the Senate passed legislation sponsored by the Senate Banking Committee Chair, Mike Crapo (R-ID), which would rewrite parts of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Ford also touched on several other topics:

  • Operation Choke Point. A 2013 initiative of the Department of Justice, which would investigate banks in the United States and the business they do with firearm dealers, payday lenders, and other companies believed to be at higher risk for fraud and money laundering. “It's very dangerous for the government to shift its responsibility as the policy-setting body, onto the payments industry,” Ford suggested.
  • Congressional bipartisanship. “I was so much less cynical before I moved to D.C., but now that I've been there four years it's really hard to give them a lot of credit.” Ford did note there are certain issues where lawmakers are able to rise to the top and work together.
  • Ford held the Federal legislative body seems to equivocate on the issue. “The fact that it's being used for elicit behavior totally scares the lawmakers.” However, the states are addressing virtual currency in some money transmission laws.
  • Data breaches. “Since 2004 every single congressional session addressed the issue; we have seen about 25 data breach notification bills introduced,” Ford noted. However, despite the recent Equifax breach, which exposed sensitive information of some 145.5 million Americans, there are many stakeholders and committees that are never going to see eye-to-eye. “Everybody is kind of retreating to their side of the boxing ring and not coming together for some compromise. So, I'm feeling a little less optimistic about something getting done this year.” However, she added it is another area where the states are supremely active.
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The change in leadership from Richard Cordray to Mick Mulvaney, who is now serving as acting director of the CFPB, has led to a significant de-escalation in how vigorous the agency pursues bad actors. “He’s changed the mission,” Ford pointed out.

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