You are here:HomeIssuesPrivacy2003FCRA Reauthorization Discussions Begin in House

FCRA Reauthorization Discussions Begin in House

Last week, the House Financial Services Committee's Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, chaired by Representative Spencer Bachus (R-Alabama), held a hearing on renewal...
May 12, 2003

Last week, the House Financial Services Committee's Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, chaired by Representative Spencer Bachus (R-Alabama), held a hearing on renewal of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), key provisions of which are set to expire January 1, 2004. One such FCRA provision preempts states from enacting stronger privacy measures. Unless Congress renews this provision, states will be free to enact stronger privacy protections than the FCRA provides.

Assistant U.S. Treasury Secretary Wayne Abernathy was the key witness for the hearing. During his testimony, Abernathy resisted calls by committee members to say whether the Administration supports renewal of the preemption provisions; saying only that the Administration was "eager to join" Congress in a review of FCRA. When asked whether 1996 amendments had been successful, however, Abernathy said they had. He was also quick to add that Treasury was looking at both the success and failures. A hearing on FCRA reauthorization is scheduled for May 15 before the Senate Banking Committee.

What It Means to Agents:  Consumer advocates support allowing states to enact stricter privacy provisions. Banks and financial services entities say the current national standards work well, and allowing enhanced state privacy standards under FCRA would impose a greater regulatory burden that could restrict consumers' ready access to capital.

Filed under: