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Spencer Bachus, House Financial Services Committee: The Extended 2011 IA 25 Profile

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This is an extended version of the profile that appeared in the May issue of Investment Advisor, part of AdvisorOne's Special Report profiling this year's members of the IA 25, the most influential people in and around the advisor universe. See the complete list and Special Report schedule for extended profiles of all the 2011 members of the IA 25.

If Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., had his way, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that the law created, would not exist.

Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala.After being chosen last December to serve as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, replacing Rep. Barney Frank –the Massachusetts Democrat and one of the authors of Dodd-Frank with whom Bachus shared numerous barbs during the conference debate on the legislation—Bachus pledged that in overseeing implementation of Dodd-Frank, his Committee would be “committed to going title by title through the 2,300-page Dodd-Frank Act to correct, replace, or repeal” provisions of the new law.

Since officially taking helm in January, Bachus and other GOP members of the Committee have wasted little time in their attempts to starve and water down Dodd-Frank. Depending on who you’re talking to, this could be a good thing or a bad thing.

While various Dodd-Frank rule writings over the coming years will impact how advisors do business, advisors should also pay close attention to whether Bachus will revive his bid to ensure FINRA becomes the self-regulatory organization for advisors. During the conference committee debate on Dodd-Frank, it was Bachus who inserted language giving FINRA oversight power over all brokers who become advisors. Rep. Frank, however, had that language taken out.

Bachus, like his GOP counterpart Rep. Scott Garrett, another IA 25 member this year, has also been vocal in his criticism of the SEC and in his reluctance to award the agency more funds.

Also high on Bachus’ list is reining in the CFPB, an agency that he has said will be “the most powerful agency in Washington” once it officially starts up in July, as it will be allowed to “regulate all consumer financial products and services,” and that the “definition of financial product or service will be defined by whoever is heading the agency.” Bachus recently introduced legislation to ensure that the CFPB is governed by a five-member bipartisan commission rather than a single director appointed by the president. “Having the CFPB led by a bipartisan commission received strong support from Republicans and Democrats in the last Congress because it makes sense,” Bachus said in a statement. “The CFPB will do a better job carrying out its mission if it is led by a bipartisan commission rather than a single director.”

Read more about the rest of the IA 25.

Don't see someone on this year's IA 25 that you think belongs there? Submit their name and your justification for why they should be considered among the most influential people in and around the advisor universe in the Comments field below. We promise to consider reader nominations, but please, no ad hominem attacks on those who were named in this or past years.–Ed.


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