House Democrats Urge Banks To Limit Online Payday Lender Access To Accounts

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On April 2, Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) sent letters to the CEOs of five large retail banks urging those institutions to voluntarily adopt certain consumer protections related to online payday lending. Those members and several others recently introduced the SAFE Lending Act, which the letter states would (i) allow consumers to prevent lenders form making automatic withdrawals and debits from their accounts, (ii) require all lenders to abide by state small-dollar lending rules, (iii) ban lead generators and anonymous payday lending, and (iv) increase enforcement authority to address offshore small-dollar lenders. Pending congressional action, the legislators asked the banks to “take every available step to prevent online payday lenders from accessing funds from consumer accounts when they are clearly operating in violation of state law.”