It is pretty rare to see the entire Georgia U.S. House delegation come together to tweak the Obama administration. (The Savannah Port expansion comes to mind.)
But this week both of the state’s senators joined an existing push from 13 of the state’s 14 House members (Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, abstained) asked the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to delay a new regulation on prepaid cards to give the industry — which is disproportionately headquartered in Georgia — more time to respond.
Wrote the Georgians:
“While we understand that the CFPB desires to provide prepaid cards with many of the same protections available to debit cards attached to transaction accounts, we are concerned that the Proposed Rule may go too far as some of the ‘prepaid accounts’ covered by the Proposed Rule aren’t viewed by the industry and consumers alike as functionally equivalent to transaction accounts, which is the main underpinning of many of the requirements in the Proposed Rule.”
The letter was circulated by the American Transaction Processors Coalition lobby group. It notes that 70 percent of “all card transactions processed in the United States are handled by companies that are either headquartered or have significant operations in the state of Georgia.”
The CFPB in November proposed a rule to require prepaid card companies to protect consumers in cases of lost or stolen cards, fraud or other errors — much as credit and debit card companies do. The agency was created in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, and its creation was fought vigorously by the financial services industry.