April 26, 2023

NAFCU calls for CFPB accountability

CFPB logoThe House Financial Services Committee holds a markup of several bills today, including one to increase accountability at the CFPB by reforming the single director structure to a bipartisan commission, subjecting the bureau to the appropriations process, and more.

“During consideration of financial reform, NAFCU was concerned about the possibility of overregulation of good actors such as credit unions,” wrote NAFCU Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Greg Mesack in a letter to House Financial Services Committee leaders. “Unfortunately, our concerns were proven true. While it is clear the CFPB has done some good, its primary focus should be on regulating the unregulated and the bad actors, not adding new burdens on credit unions that already fall under a prudential regulator.”

In the letter, Mesack reiterated NAFCU’s support for CFPB accountability efforts included in the CFPB Transparency and Accountability Reform Act:

  • establishing a five-person leadership commission, which “has distinct consumer benefits over a single director;”
  • subjecting the CFPB to the congressional appropriations process to “give Congress much needed oversight and incentive the bureau to focus on true consumer abuse and work to uphold congressional intent;”
  • creating an office of Inspector General at the CFPB to increase transparency, oversight, and accountability at the bureau;
  • establishing the Office of Economic Analysis within the CFPB to better determine how the bureau’s actions “has or will impact competition, choice, and access to financial products;”
  • requiring cost-benefit analysis of rulemakings to protect against one-size-fits-all regulations; and
  • requiring the bureau to convene Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) panels to determine how rules will impact small entities and appropriately tailor regulations as necessary.

Mesack also called on the committee to question the bureau’s underutilization of “its statutory exemption authority to recognize the unique nature of and constraints faced by the credit union industry.”

NAFCU will continue to advocate for the NCUA to be credit unions’ sole independent regulator and for ways to rein in the CFPB’s consequential efforts.