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Lending

Mr. Frank goes back to Washington

Former Congressman to testify before Congress on Dodd-Frank impact

Barney Frank

Former Congressman Barney Frank is returning to Washington this week to testify before the House Financial Services Committee at a hearing marking the fourth anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.

In a hearing entitled “Assessing the Impact of the Dodd-Frank Act Four Years Later,” Frank will return to Capitol Hill to testify on the financial reforms brought on by the act that bears his name.

“I’m pleased Barney has agreed to return to the Committee on the four-year anniversary of Dodd-Frank, to discuss significant progress we have made in protecting consumers, reining in Wall Street and preventing another financial crisis,’ Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) said. “I look forward to joining him to refute Republican misrepresentations about the origins of the crisis and the impact of Dodd-Frank.”

Waters is ranking member of the Financial Services Committee and said that Democrats were only “allowed” to invite one witness to the hearing. “Republicans, who only allow Democrats to invite one individual, have secured four witnesses for the hearing,” Waters said.

The other witnesses are: Anthony Carfang, Partner, Treasury Strategies, Inc; Thomas Deas, Vice President & Treasurer, FMC Corporation, on behalf of the Coalition for Derivatives End-Users; Paul Kupiec, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute; and Dale Wilson, Chairman, President, and CEO, First State Bank.

The hearing is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. eastern on Wednesday. Check back with HousingWire for coverage of the hearing.

Frank and former senator Christopher Dodd, who co-sponsored the Dodd-Frank Act, also appeared on CNBC on Monday, marking the Act’s fourth anniversary.

Both men spoke of the success of the legislation in reforming the financial system of the U.S.

“The point (of the legislation) was to bring stability to it, to modernize our regulatory system so that you could have a 21st-century system, get us out of the shadow banking system, try and provide additional capital requirements, some liquidity that was needed terribly, finding oversight for a lot of the activities that were occurring, deal with derivatives in transparency, have a consumer protection bureau that would give consumers of financial services a chance to have grievances addressed,” Dodd said.

“Those are all part of the bill that are making significant, I think, contributions to the process.”

But Dodd added “we’re still paying the price for the financial crisis.”

Frank, sporting a beard these days, said that significant changes have been made in mortgage lending since the passage of Dodd-Frank. “The kind of terrible mortgage loans…the abuse of mortgage loans that hurt consumers, hurt financial institutions, and hurt the economy…we outlawed them and they haven’t been made since then,” he said. “There have been some very real accomplishments.”

Click the video below for Dodd’s and Frank’s appearance on CNBC.

On Monday, Waters released a Democratic staff report that documented the accomplishments made under the Dodd-Frank Act.

“Regulators have made tremendous progress in implementing the Dodd-Frank Act,” the report states. The “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has already returned $4.6 billion to 15 million consumers who have been subjected to unfair and deceptive practices. The Bureau has established a qualified mortgage rule, ensuring that borrowers who are extended mortgage credit actually have the ability to repay the loan, and has established new rules-of-the-road for mortgage servicers.”

Waters noted that Dodd-Frank has led to “significant milestones” of financial reform but that there are many on the other side of the aisle that work to impede the Act.

“In the aftermath of a crisis that shook the global economy to its core, the need to reform Wall Street was non-negotiable,” Waters said. “But the fact remains that four years later, Republicans still oppose common sense regulation and continue to protect Wall Street. In fact, they have waged an unrelenting campaign to destroy Dodd-Frank, while not providing an alternative.” 

Waters’ report cited an “aggressive, unrelenting campaign to repeal, weaken, or otherwise pressure regulators to significantly alter provisions in nearly all titles of the Act.”

In his CNBC appearance, Frank noted one portion of the Act that he wishes could have been included.

The above video clip doesn’t include the later portion of the interview but Frank said that he wishes that the Dodd-Frank Act could have done more to address risk retention for mortgage-backed securities. “Regulators are not being tough enough on risk retention,” he said.

Dodd also recognized that the Dodd-Frank Act wasn’t perfect and suggested that more financial reform legislation could be coming in the future. “Barney and I never envisioned that we’d written the last and final chapter on financial reform,” he said.

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