Robert L. Clarke of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP and Todd J. Zywicki of George Mason University (Zywicki notes in an "about the authors" that he is a former director of the FTC's Office of Policy Planning but omits his links to the industry) have written Payday Lending, Bank Overdraft Protection, and Fair Competition at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau forthcoming in the Review of Banking and Financial Law. Here is the abstract:
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is considering new regulation of payday lending and bank overdraft protection. The Dodd-Frank Act, which established the CFPB, recognizes that consumers benefit from competition among providers of consumer credit products. That law requires the CFPB to preserve fair competition by providing consistent regulatory treatment of similar products offered by both bank and nonbank lenders. We illustrate how this mandate for fair competition applies to the regulation of payday lending and bank overdraft protection, products that are offered by different entities but attract an overlapping customer base, compete with each other directly, and raise similar consumer protection concerns. Unequal regulation would provide a competitive advantage for one product over another, resulting in reduced choice and higher prices for consumers, without a corresponding increase in consumer protection. Therefore, as the CFPB considers new regulation of these products, it should be careful to regulate them similarly to preserve fair competition.