Investigation of Allegations towards CFPB will continue

Jun 24, 2014

On Wednesday, May 21, The House Financial Services Committee Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation heard testimony from three different witnesses. Two of the witnesses are from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the other witness is a union representative. The reason for subpoenas being issued to secure the officials’ testimony is because of the subcommittee’s ongoing investigation.

This ongoing investigation is about allegations of discrimination and retaliation at the CFPB. According to a statement by Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), the subpoenas were issued after the CFPB and the union refused to allow witnesses to appear during a hearing that was held on April 2.

The hearing involved 115 employee grievances and 85 informal complaints. According to a press release from the House Financial Services Committee, CFPB attorney and whistleblower Angela Martin testified that, “There is a pervasive culture of retaliation and intimidation that silences employees and chills the workforce from exposing wrongdoing.”

In addition, Angela Martin testified that CFPB managers were engaging in racial and gender discrimination. According to Nicholas Ballasy of Credit Union Times, Angela stated that “The mismanagement and abuse of authority have precluded me from doing my part to carry out the bureau’s important mission. Indeed, today marks the 400th day that I have been isolated and prevented from performing any meaningful work,” she said in her testimony. “I never received a fair shake at the bureau, and I have not been assigned one case or enforcement matter during my entire tenure.”

So far, the Bureau has denied each of the grievances that have been made against it. It was announced on June 12 that two more employees, who have also experienced retaliation and discrimination by the Bureau, would be subpoenaed in order to get to the bottom of the situation.

Credit Union Times reports Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) as stating that “This behavior has no place in our government and my subcommittee will not rest until we have exposed those CFPB leaders responsible.”

Some feel that it is unfortunate that the situation resulted in Congressional subpoenas in order for the committee to receive that answers necessary for the investigation. Over the next few months, the investigation will continue. The committee is determined to get to the bottom of the allegations of discrimination and retaliation that have been made.

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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