A Texas community bank filed suit June 20 against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, alleging that the bureau’s authority as granted under the Dodd-Frank Act is largely unconstitutional, American Banker reported.
The State National Bank of Big Spring filed its suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Two groups joined the banks lawsuit — the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a nonprofit public policy organization dedicated to advancing the ideas of limited government, and the 60 Plus Association, a non-partisan seniors advocacy group.
“No other federal agency or commission operates in such a way that one person can essentially determine who gets a home loan, who can get a credit card and who can get a loan for college,” State National Bank’s Chief Executive Jim Purcell said in a news release, American Banker reported. “Dodd-Frank effectively gives unlimited regulatory power to this so-called Consumer Financial Protection Bureau…with a director who is not accountable to Congress, the President or the courts. This is simply unconstitutional,” he said.
State National Bank and the other plaintiffs in the suit are targeting Title I and Title X in Dodd-Frank, the sections that created the new monitoring agencies, including the CFPB.
While the plaintiff bank, with only $294 million in assets, largely is exempt from many of the new regulations, the plaintiff’s attorney, C. Borden Gray of Boyden Gray & Associates, claimed that the bank could be harmed by the act and that, as a result of Dodd-Frank, State National Bank pulled out of the mortgage business entirely due to concerns about unpredictable regulations and potential lawsuits, American Banker reported.
State National Bank’s portfolio is mostly in commercial loans; only 2.3 percent of its loans are residential.
Responding to the lawsuit, CFPB Spokeswoman Jen Howard told American Banker, “This lawsuit appears to dredge up old arguments that have already been discredited. We’re going to keep our focus on the important work Congress created us to do — making markets work for consumers and responsible providers.”