Rep. Maxine Waters pledges 'many hearings' into bank conduct and targets Trump's chief of staff

Key Points
  • Rep. Maxine Waters pledges that the House Financial Services Committee she chairs will scrutinize the actions of big banks.
  • In addition, she promises a probe into the actions of Mick Mulvaney when he was head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Maxine Waters: Big banks can expect "many hearings" on regulation and oversight

Rep. Maxine Waters kicked off her chairmanship of the House Financial Services Committee by vowing that it will hold "many hearings" into bank conduct.

The California Democrat said those hearings would include a probe into the activities of Mick Mulvaney while he was acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Mulvaney is now the acting White House chief of staff.

"But it's not just Mick Mulvaney who I will be paying attention to," Waters said. "I will be keeping a watchful eye on all of the financial regulators to make sure that they are carrying out their statutory duties, including holding bad actors accountable, and promoting financial stability."

In addition to the threat against big banks, Waters said credit reporting agencies also would be scrutinized in the wake of the Equifax hacking scandal. The agency reported in 2017 that hackers had compromised personal information on more than 147 million Americans.

Rep. Waters says she will resist bank regulation rollbacks

Waters' remarks followed through on a pledge she made during a House hearing in November, when she said that the deregulation actions taken by the Trump administration over the past two years would halt. President Donald Trump criticized some of the post-financial crisis reforms, saying they held back lending and penalized institutions that had little to do with the crisis.

"The Committee will be paying close attention to whether financial regulators try to weaken these important reforms, and keeping an eye on the big banks and their activities, including by holding many hearings," Waters said.

As for new legislation, the committee will have a difficult time. The Senate remains in Republican hands, and President Donald Trump holds veto power over any efforts to change direction.

"The committee has no chance of getting legislation enacted, but it has subpoena power and will make life miserable for industry execs with endless hearings," Greg Valliere, chief global strategist for Horizon Investments, said in a note.