We bring you a developing story in the consumer financial services world.
Tomorrow, March 26th, President Obama will be delivering a speech at Lawson State Community College in Birmingham, Alabama. Thursday’s visit marks President Obama’s second visit to Alabama this month. According to news sources, Rep. Terri Sewell (D., Ala.) has indicated that the speech will cover payday lending.
Birmingham is a familiar venue to the payday lending discussion. In January 2012, the CFPB held its first field hearing in Birmingham, the subject of which was payday lending. It is certainly not coincidental that the CFPB chose Birmingham to make its debut in 2012, and President Obama is now visiting to discuss the same.
Reports claim Alabama has one of the highest concentrations of payday lenders per capita. Over the last several years in Alabama, the payday lending industry has fought its fair share of battles, most recently municipal moratoriums and an attempt to block the creation of a statewide database.
Just a few hours before the President’s speech in Birmingham on Thursday, the CFPB will be conducting a field hearing on payday lending in Richmond, Virginia. While we do not know the specifics of tomorrow’s field hearing, we are generally expecting an announcement or release regarding rulemaking.
Our prediction is that tomorrow’s speech in Birmingham and field hearing in Richmond are likely a concerted effort by the CFPB and President Obama to present a policy approach to regulate payday lending.