Middle ground appears to have been found in the debate over federal preemption of state laws concerning consumer protections. By an 80-18 vote, the Senate on Tuesday approved a compromise amendment to the sweeping financial reform bill that allows state attorneys general to enforce regulations developed by a consumer financial protection bureau.
At the same time, the amendment, sponsored by Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., gives the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency authority to stop state officials from bringing federal charges against national banks, even in cases not covered by federal law.
The amendment was supported by the banking industry, which has opposed giving states more regulatory power on the basis that it could create a confusing patchwork of laws.
‘Without the Carper amendment, consumers and their banks could have been subject to potentially hundreds of different and confusing state and local laws covering their loans, checking accounts, credit and debit cards, or ATM usage,’ Edward Yingling, president and CEO of the American Bankers Association, said in a statement.
SOURCES: U.S. Senate, American Bankers Association