News & Resources

Calls against Texas financial chair show hypocrisy of short term lending critics

Jan 24, 2014 Quinn Thomas

Short term lending critics are at it again. Over the last year, state and federal officials have repeatedly targeted the industry, showing that other financial sectors are indeed more heavily favored than short term institutions.

Instead of holding all financial service sectors to the same policies, the statements and actions made by elected officials across the United States continue to show that there is a double standard when it comes to scrutinizing short term lenders versus other financial service companies.

According to the El Paso Times, Texas state Senator Wendy Davis recently called for William J. White to vacate his position as the chairman of the Texas Finance Commission. She made this aggressive step due to what she perceives is a conflict of interest on White's part due to his position as the vice president of Cash America, a national short term outlet.

Certainly, Davis would have a point if White was the sole member of the financial commission, an organization that is composed of experienced leaders from the world of finance. However, Davis conveniently overlooked the fact that White is not the only representative from a financial sector currently on the commission.

Bank officials fill commission
She could have called for William Lucas to step down, as he is the current president of Shelby Savings Bank. Or she could have lambasted Hilliard Judge Shands III for being an impartial official, as he is the CEO of First Bank & Trust East Texas.

Both Lucas and Shands have been active in the financial sector for years and have been associated with a number of reputable organizations. Similarly, White is an incredibly experienced financial leader in Texas, which is why he has been trusted to chair the commission.

However, because he is related to the short term sector, White was singled out by Davis.

Davis's attempt to call for White's resignation is a result of a misguided sentiment among lawmakers to regulate the short term sector into extinction. She failed to mention that the financial commission is composed of two state bankers, one state savings executive, one consumer credit leader, one residential mortgage professional and six public officials, with the sole purpose of establishing an unbiased regulatory landscape.

Davis's failure to recognize or admit such truths should come as little surprise. Across the country, regulators have painted a negative picture of the industry for years, despite the fact that millions of underbanked Americans still rely on the sector for vital financial services.