December 28, 2018

GAO report: Bureau needs prioritization process

BCFPA report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection "currently lacks a systemic, bureau-wide process for prioritizing financial risks to consumers and considering how it will use its tools … to address them." The bureau acknowledged the importance of having such a process in place.

The report noted that that bureau initiated a process in 2015 to use market data and other information to set policy priorities; however, the bureau ended the process in 2017 and hasn't determined if it will continue to use it.

The bureau continues to collect and monitor routine market data and other market intelligence through a combination of internal and external data sources and outreach. From these sources, the bureau identifies emerging risks that require attention.

One of these sources is the bureau's consumer complaint database, to which the bureau has indicated it will make changes to keep it consistent with the law. NAFCU has urged the bureau to avoid publication of complaint information in the database that cannot be fully verified in order to reduce the risk of reputational harm.

GAO in its report also acknowledged the bureau's efforts to retrospectively assess significant rules; the Dodd-Frank Act requires the bureau to assess these within five years of the rule's effective date. The report specifically mentions the remittance rule, ability-to-repay (ATR)/qualified mortgage rule, and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) servicing rule.

NAFCU works closely with the bureau to ensure credit unions aren't burdened by its rulemakings. Last month, the NAFCU Board met with bureau leadership to discuss the bureau's 2019 priorities, which indicated several rulemakings next year covering payday lending, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), debt collection and the TILA/RESPA integrated disclosure (TRID) rule. NAFCU has also met with the bureau to discuss qualified mortgages.

NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger, in communications with new bureau Director Kathy Kraninger, has also outlined credit union issues for the bureau to address.