(Reuters) – The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will promote competition and examine the great influence that Big Tech companies have on the market, its director told the Senate Banking Committee during a hearing on Tuesday.
Rohit Chopra, who was sworn in as CFPB director in October, averted attacks by Republicans because of his role in a regulatory framework.
He plans initiatives that will identify ways to reduce barriers to entry and expand the pool of companies competing for customers based on quality, price and service, he said.
“We are particularly interested in ways in which small financial institutions can leverage technology and systems … to gain market share while maintaining their relational banking model,”; Chopra told lawmakers.
In October, just a few weeks into the job, Mr. Chopra its mark by ordering Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. to provide information on how they collect and use consumer payment data, citing that there were many places where regulators should promote competition and innovation in favor of small businesses and families – not just businesses.
On Tuesday, he gave the first update on what his review will provide. He also undertook to propose a rule on open banking and lending data for small businesses, which will be issued “on time”. Open banking allows third-party Internet-based applications to compete with large banks by gaining access to a customer’s accounts to make payments, among other services.
Republican panel members reprimanded Chopra for his agency’s oversight of repeat offenders as well as broad requests for information about new financial technology companies, arguing that such measures could stifle innovation and burden companies.
Following a public spit in December, Republicans scolded Chopra for his “hostile takeover” of the bank guard, the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – of which Chopra is a board member – where the board’s new Democratic majority moved to put items on the agenda. the objections of its Republican President Jelena McWilliams.
The CFPB has been a political lightning rod since its inception after the 2009 financial crisis. Democrats believe the agency is crucial to protecting consumers and strengthening Biden’s agenda to address racial inequalities and wealth inequalities, while Republicans say the agency is too powerful and irresponsible.