CFPB Improvements

In June 2016, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling unveiled the discussion draft of the Financial CHOICE Act, which, among many other general financial services provisions, includes several substantive changes to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The bill would:

  • Replace the single CFPB director with a five-person commission
  • Subject the CFPB to the regular congressional appropriations process
  • Prohibit the CFPB from using a consumer's personal financial information without consumer consent
  • Strengthen the ability of the Financial Stability Oversight Council to overrule CFPB regulations
  • Require the CFPB to verify information in the consuemr complaint database before releasing to the public

On April 13, 2016, the House Financial Services Committee approved the Taking Account of Bureaucrats’ Spending Act, H.R. 1486, sponsored by Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY). This bill would bring the CFPB’s budget under appropriations by Congress. The bill now awaits further action by the full House of Representatives.

In March 2015, Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, introduced legislation (H.R. 1266) that would again change the CFPB's structure from a single director to a bipartisan five-person commission appointed by the President. NAFCU strongly supports this renewed effort and urges credit unions to ask their members of Congress to support this legislation.

During the 113th Congress, the House passed the Consumer Financial Freedom and Washington Accountability Act (H.R. 3193), a package of several smaller bills, backed by NAFCU, that would bring greater accountability and transparency to the CFPB.

It is worth noting that some technical changes have been made at the CFPB including the adoption of a law that would require the CFPB to keep confidential the privileged information it receives from financial institutions. This is consistent with provisions already in place for other financial regulators. 

NAFCU's Position on CFPB Improvements

In addition to the concepts noted above, NAFCU endorsed a measure that was introduced in both chambers during the 113th Congress that would create an Office of the Ombudsman housed within the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council to oversee the appeals process should a financial institution challenge a material supervisory determination. NAFCU believes this outside mechanism allowing credit unions to challenge exam findings from both NCUA and/or the CFPB will promote consistency and eliminate the current conflict of interest inherent in the appeals process. A similar provision was included in the Financial Regulatory Improvement Act, legislation crafted by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) that was voted out of committee along party lines in May 2015. This package also included an amendment proposed by Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) to raise the CFPB financial institution examination threshold from $10 billion to $50 billion. 

Issue Background Information

NAFCU has testified on legislative improvements to the structure of the CFPB several times, most recently on February 12, 2015. In January 2012, President Obama, despite opposition from Senate Republicans, appointed former Ohio attorney-general Richard Cordray to be the first director of the CFPB.

In June 2009, the Obama Administration released its plan for reforming the financial regulatory system. The hallmark of the administration's proposal was the creation of a new government agency aimed at consumer financial protection with rule making power over financial institutions, including credit unions.

While NAFCU supports bad actors on Wall Street being under a new regulatory regime, NAFCU was on the forefront opposing this new burden for credit unions, which by admission of members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, did not contribute to the financial crisis. Still, sweeping financial reform passed during the 111th Congress, establishing the CFPB, which has rule-making authority over all credit unions, and examination and enforcement authority over those exceeding $10 billion in assets.

Recent Media Outreach

NAFCU has stayed at the forefront of this issue and continued to champion credit unions in major media nationwide.

Thanks, NAFCU Tells CFPB: Now Let’s Exempt CUs From Future Plans (CUToday.info, September 26)

NAFCU Urges DoD To Delay Military Lending Act Effective Date (CUToday.info.com, September 18)

How CUs, Banks Can Prepare for Military Lending Rules (American Banker, September 2)

CFPB Response ‘Fell Short,’ Says NAFCU (CUToday.info, August 23)

NAFCU Appeals to Congress for Reg Relief Following CFPB Rebuff (Credit Union Times, August 23)

CFPB receives thousands of comments on proposed arbitration rules (Legal News Line, August 23)

 …NAFCU Expresses Concerns To CFPB Over Arbitration Proposal (CUToday.info, August 22)

CFPB Tells Senators It Is Already Limiting Reg Load On CUs As… (CUToday.info, August 22)

Former GOP Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz To Appear at NAFCU Caucus (CUToday.info, August 22)

 CFPB Should Exempt Credit Unions From Arbitration Rules (Credit Union Times, August 19)

CFPB's Arbitration Deadline and New RFI Lead Week Ahead in Compliance (Credit Union Journal, August 22)

 NAFCU To CFPB: Support For Privacy Notice Changes, But Concerns Over One Issue (CUToday.info, August 10)

New Rules From CFPB, DoD, FASB: Enough’s Enough, NAFCU Tells Agency (CUToday.info, August 8)

CFPB Issues Final Mortgage Servicing Rules (Credit Union Times, August 4)

CFPB publishes 900-page final rule on mortgage servicing (HousingWire, August 4)

A Look at What’s In CFPB’s ‘Know Before You Owe’ Update Proposal; Trades Respond (CUToday.info, July 31)

Analysis Of CFPB’s Debt Collection Plan Is Provided By NAFCU (CUToday.info, July 31)

CFPB will update Know Before You Owe rule (HousingWire, July 29)

70 Bipartisan Senators Urge CFPB to Exempt CUs (Credit Union Journal, July 18)

House Spending Bill Includes Big Changes to CFPB (Credit Union Journal, July 8)

CFPB Moves Forward With Exemption For Privacy Notice Mailings (CUToday.info, July 4)

Some Plays In CFPB’s ‘Payback Playbook’ Will Limit CUs, Says NAFCU; Group Also Urges Repeal of Durbin (CUToday.info, June 12)

103 Million Reasons to Exempt CUs from CFPB Regulation (Credit Union Journal, June 10)

CFPB Payday Loan Rule Will Include CU Exception (Credit Union Times, June 1)

How the Industry May Challenge CFPB's Arbitration Plan (Credit Union Journal, May 6, 2016)

CFPB Plans To Prohibit What It Calls ‘Gotcha’ Arbitration Clauses (CUToday.info, May 5, 2016)

CFPB's rule to limit arbitration opens door to class action against banks (Housingwire, May 5, 2016)

CFPB Proposes to Give Consumers Their Day in Court (DSNews, May 5, 2016)

CFPB Plots 'Clarifying' Changes to TRID in July (Credit Union Journal, April 28, 2016)

CFPB is Considering Lightening the TRID Load (DSNews, April 28, 2016)

While NAFCU Urges CFPB To Exempt CUs From Payday Lending Rules (CUToday.info, April 12, 2016)

CFPB II: CU Payday Loan Alternative Called ‘Good Product’ (CUToday.info, April 10, 2016)

Cordray Holds Firm on Exemption Authority (CU Times, April 7, 2016)

CFPB's Cordray: Fintech Firms Should Play By Same Rules as CUs, Banks (CU Journal, April 7, 2016)

CFPB OKs Rule for Mortgage Lenders in Rural, Underserved Areas (CU Journal, March 23, 2016)

Credit Unions Petition CFPB Director Cordray for Exemption (DSNews, March 18, 2016)

Recent Policy Letters

Read recent letters from NAFCU to members of Congress on the important issue of improvements to the CFPB.

8-22-16 NAFCU Letter on CFPB Exemption Authority

7-14-16 NAFCU Comments on the Financial CHOICE Act Discussion Draft

4-12-16 NAFCU Letter in Support of H.R. 1486, the "Taking Account of Bureaucrats' Spending Act of 2015"

4-6-16 NAFCU Letter on Tomorrow's Senate Banking Committee Hearing to Receive the CFPB Semi-Annual Report

3-15-16 NAFCU Letter on Tomorrow's House Financial Services Committee Hearing to Receive the CFPB Semi-Annual Report

2-10-2016 NAFCU Letter on the CFPB Using its Broad Exemption Authority to Exempt Credit Unions

9-29-2015 Joint Trades Letter in Support of H.R. 1266, the "Financial Product Safety Commission Act"

9-28-2015 NAFCU Letter on CFPB's Semi-Annual Report to Congress

9-22-2015 NAFCU Letter on Tomorrow's Hearing, "Examining the Use of Agency Regulatory Guidance"

7-14-2015 NAFCU Letter on CFPB's Semi-Annual Report to Congress 

3-6-2015 NAFCU Letter in Support for Structural Changes to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

3-5-2015 NAFCU Letter in Support of the Financial Product Safety Commission Act (H.R. 1266)

6-9-2014 NAFCU Letter to the House Financial Services Committee to Promote Transparency and Accountability at the CFPB

5-20-2014 NAFCU Letter in Support for Transparency and Accountability at CFPB

2-10-2014 NAFCU letter on H.R. 3193

View all NAFCU Policy Letters

Updated August 2016