House votes to kill new bank arbitration rule in blow to federal consumer agency - Los Angeles Times

A new federal regulation that would make it easier for Americans to bring class-action lawsuits against banks and other financial institutions might be scrapped before it ever takes effect.  Republican lawmakers had vowed to kill the rule, released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just two weeks ago, and took the first step toward doing so Tuesday with a vote in the House of Representatives.  The bureau, created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act in the wake of the financial crisis, is deeply unpopular with many Republicans, who deride it as an overreaching and unaccountable agency. Democrats largely support the bureau and its embattled director, Richard Cordray, calling it an effective enforcer of rules aimed at protecting consumers.  The new rule would ban a common feature of contracts that consumers sign when they open bank accounts or use other financial products and services. Those contracts often include an arbitration clause — an agreement that customers will settle issues with the institution in private arbitration rather than in court.

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