Donovan op-ed: CFPB could help consumers by working with CUs

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regulations should be appropriately tailored and based on data, CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan wrote in a Credit Union Journal op-ed that appeared Friday. Donovan said the passage of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) is an important step, but credit unions need more relief from the Bureau.

“It is crucial that the CFPB tailor its rules to ensure not-for-profit financial cooperatives are empowered to offer consumer-friendly products and services. This can be accomplished without sacrificing consumer protection because credit unions have a long and storied history of protecting consumers and acting in the interest of their member-owners,” Donovan wrote. “Plus, the bureau’s own data used in its rule-making process reveals no consumer abuse by credit unions.”

Donovan goes on to reiterate that the Bureau has the authority under section 1022 of the Dodd-Frank Act to exempt any class of service provider from its rule-makings, authority CUNA, the majority of Congress and NCUA has urged it to exercise.

“Unfortunately, the CFPB has not actively used this exemption authority for credit unions, despite lip service over the years that credit unions are a vital part of the financial system and are not the abusers of consumers the Bureau was created to combat,” he wrote. “We hope this tide will change soon. 

“Credit unions are consumer protectors. The data back that up, as credit unions consistently receive the highest marks in consumer satisfaction and the lowest rate of consumer complaints to the CFPB. It’s time the Bureau and credit unions start working together on behalf of consumers,” he added. “Using its exemption authority to keep rule-making from impeding the ability of credit unions to deliver safe and affordable products and services is a good first step in a partnership to protect consumers.”