House Passes Financial Inclusion Bill
On October 28, the House of Representatives passed the Financial Inclusion in Banking Act, a bill that aims to address “systemic barriers in traditional banking and promotes greater inclusion in our nation’s financial system.”
According to Congressman David Scott, who originally introduced the bill, the legislation would authorize the Office of Community Affairs, an office within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to work with other federal agencies, trade associations, and civil rights groups to determine ways to improve financial inclusion. The research would culminate into a biennial report to Congress that would include legislative and regulatory recommendations to bring more consumers into the traditional banking system.
“In an increasingly online banking system, and in an increasingly credit-based economy, unbanked consumers are being left behind,” said Congressman Scott. “This important piece of legislation brings together federal agencies, minority depository institutions, consumer advocates, and civil rights groups to ensure that solutions to improve financial inclusion reflect the needs of the most marginalized consumers among us and the most underserved communities across our nation.”
Although the House voted unanimously to pass the bill, Skopos Labs, a firm specialized in predicting the passage of legislation, gave it only a 2 percent chance of being enacted.