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 WEEKLY ROUNDUP
April 3, 2022

        

Waters Holds Full Committee Hearing Examining Home Appraisal Bias and Discrimination

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, gave the following statement at a full Committee hybrid hearing entitled, “Devalued, Denied, and Disrespected: How Home Appraisal Bias and Discrimination Are Hurting Homeowners and Communities of Color,” on Tuesday.

“Today, we will take a closer look at discrimination of homeowners and communities of color in the appraisal process. Last Congress, I convened a hearing to examine the state of the appraisal industry, including the lack of diversity in the profession and the unequal valuation of homes in communities of color and those owned by people of color. Since then, I have engaged the appraisal industry and profession in critical conversations around the need to address these inequities as we’ve seen increasing reports of appraisal bias and alleged discrimination. However, there is still much to be done.

A home’s value is critical to closing the wealth gap and ensuring that communities of color build generational wealth. Both over and under-valuation of a home is harmful to buyers and homeowners by either saddling a buyer with a home worth less than the debt they take on or selling short homeowners of their nest egg. Bias and discrimination in appraisals can result in perpetuating historic disinvestment in communities of color, lowering home values for homeowners of color, locking people of color out of homeownership opportunities, and contributing to the widening of the racial and ethnic wealth and homeownership gaps.

We must not forget that home appraisal discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, familial status, disability, and age is illegal...”

Read Chairwoman Waters’ full statement HERE.


Chairwoman Waters and Congresswoman Beatty Send Letter to Insurance Companies Requesting Diversity and Inclusion Data

Last week, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Chair of the Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion, sent letters to the largest property, casualty and life insurance companies that receive $7 billion in direct premiums or more each year, requesting diversity and inclusion data to examine America’s insurance industry.

"The Committee on Financial Services in the United States House of Representatives (“Committee”) has made diversity and inclusion a core pillar of ensuring a financial services system that works for all consumers... There is a concerning lack of publicly available data to effectively evaluate diversity among America’s largest property, casualty, and life insurance companies. We believe transparency is a critical, first step to achieving progress. That is why your participation in this report is imperative in ensuring that the insurance industry is working toward a more equitable and opportune environment for everyone."

Read the full letter HERE.

Tweets of the Week










Member Spotlight

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) is a member of the Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets and Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance. During the Great Recession following the 2008 global financial crisis, financial institutions’ revenue from overdraft fees soared as consumers lost jobs and experienced disruptions in income. In response, Rep. Maloney introduced the Overdraft Protection Act, and federal banking regulators began examining overdraft practices and fees. In November 2009, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve) issued a final rule on overdraft programs.

 

Weekend Reads


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Subcommittee Hearings

This week, the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions convened a hearing entitled, “The End of Overdraft Fees? Examining the Movement to Eliminate the Fees Costing Consumers Billions.” This hearing examined evolving trends regarding overdraft programs and fees, their impact on consumers, alternative products or services available to consumers to help avoid overdraft fees, and policy proposals to improve consumer protections when consumers overdraft.

Read Chairwoman Waters’ opening statement HERE.


This week, the Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets convened a hearing entitled, “Oversight of America's Stock Exchanges: Examining Their Role in Our Economy.” This hearing examined the changing role the stock exchanges play in our economy.

Read Chairwoman Waters’ opening statement HERE.

Chairwoman Waters Sends Letter to the Financial and Commercial Industry Over Russian Disinvestment

Last week, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, sent a letter to trade associations representing thousands of American firms from the financial and commercial industry, requesting detailed information on the actions that America’s financial institutions and businesses have taken to end their relationships and engagements in Russia and with businesses that support the Russian government.

“I have been heartened by how many companies in the financial services industry and in corporate America have taken actions above and beyond those explicitly called for by U.S. sanctions. With varying degrees of withdrawals, iconic American car and airplane giants, accounting and consulting firms, Wall Street firms, and food and entertainment companies that have become household names in Russia have made the decision to voluntarily leave Russia… Even though multiple companies have voluntarily divested from Russia, the Committee currently lacks a clear picture of the extent of these divestments.”

Read the full letter HERE.


April Committee Calendar

  • Tuesday, April 5 at 2:00 PM ET: The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will convene for a hybrid hearing entitled, “An Enduring Legacy: The Role of Financial Institutions in the Horrors of Slavery and the Need for Atonement.”

  • Wednesday, April 6 at 10:00 AM ET: The full Committee will convene for a hybrid hearing entitled, “The Annual Testimony of the Secretary of the Treasury on the State of the International Financial System.”

  • Wednesday, April 20 at 12:00 PM ET: The Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance will convene in the Bronx, New York for a hybrid field hearing entitled, “A Matter of Life and Death: Improving Fire Safety in Federally Assisted Housing.”

  • Wednesday, April 27 at 10:00 AM ET: The full Committee will convene for a hybrid hearing entitled, “Consumers First: Semi-Annual Report of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”

  • Thursday, April 28 at 10:00 AM ET: The full Committee will convene for a hybrid hearing entitled, “Oversight of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.”

  • Thursday, April 28 at 2:00 PM ET: The Task Force on Financial Technology will convene for a hybrid hearing entitled, “What’s in Your Digital Wallet? A Review of Recent Trends to Mobile Banking and Payments.”

All hearings are livestreamed on https://financialservices.house.gov/live/.

Due to the latest information available regarding COVID-19, all hearings this month are fully virtual. Members and witnesses may participate remotely via Cisco WebEx.

Committee activities are finalized once an official notice is issued by the House Financial Services Committee. Visit https://financialservices.house.gov/calendar/ for the most up-to-date Committee schedule.



Chairwoman’s Corner

Waters Delivers Opening Statement at Subcommittee Hearing on the Role of America’s Stock Exchanges in Our Economy

Chairwoman Waters gave the following statement at a Subcommittee hearing on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets hybrid hearing entitled, “Oversight of America’s Stock Exchanges: Examining Their Role in Our Economy.”

“Thank you very much, Mr. Sherman, for holding this hearing. In the United States, there are thousands of companies and exchange traded funds (that is, ETFs) traded on our stock exchanges, representing $47 trillion in market capitalization. Stock exchanges have a dual role of helping businesses raise funds to support their business and creating transparent opportunities for people to invest their funds. Unfortunately, despite being invited to testify, the major exchanges, as the [subcommittee] Chair has said—the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ and CBOE—are not here today to describe their role in our economy or to help us assess how to reform them. That said, I am very pleased we are considering—among other reforms—proposals to strengthen corporate governance and limitations on exchange legal immunity. Thank you very much, Chair Sherman.”

Read Chairwoman Waters’ full statement HERE.

Sent from the Committee on Financial Services

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