House Overwhelmingly Approves Historic Financial Services Modernization Bill

House Overwhelmingly Approves Historic
Financial Services Modernization Bill

WASHINGTON - By a vote of 362 to 57, the House tonight overwhelmingly approved a historic overhaul of Depression-era financial laws with a bipartisan bill designed to "modernize America's financial framework, increase competition, lower costs and improve consumer choice," said Congressman David Dreier (R-CA), Chairman of the House Rules Committee. The Senate today also approved the measure, S. 900, the "Financial Services Modernization Act Conference Report," clearing the way for the President's signature in the near future.

"This bipartisan financial services reform bill modernizes our financial structure for the 21st Century by increasing competition, expanding services and improving consumer choice and protection," Dreier said. "This bill contains the strongest consumer privacy protections- for the first time, banks will be required to clearly display their privacy policies, allowing consumers to comparison shop."

"The 21st Century American financial consumer is sophisticated, educated and focused on creating their own personal wealth - they demand the innovative financial products and services that only a modern 21st Century financial system can offer. Chairmen Leach and Bliley in the House, and Chairman Gramm in the Senate deserve a great deal of credit for their leadership," added Dreier. Specifically, Dreier said the bill:

  • enhances competition in the financial services markets by allowing the banking, securities, insurance and commercial sectors to compete with one another;
  • increases consumer choice by enabling the marketplace to offer lower-cost and innovative financial products and services;
  • protects consumer privacy by requiring privacy policies to be clearly provided to consumers, preventing the sharing of personal information to unaffiliated third parties, and providing a consumer "opt-out" for the sharing of financial information to unaffiliated third parties;
  • streamlines outdated and archaic financial regulations by reforming Depression-era laws and regulations that hinder long-term investment and planning; and,
  • protects the public by providing that financial activities will continue to be regulated by the traditional regulator, so called functional regulation.