Substantive Reform of CFPB Needed, Including Leadership Commission

While CUNA is concerned about several provisions of the Consumers First Act (H.R. 1500), it believes substantive reform at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is needed. CUNA wrote to House Financial Services Committee leadership Tuesday as it marked up several bills, including H.R. 1500 and the CUNA-League backed Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act (H.R. 1595) (see related story).

CUNA’s letter reiterates its support of a bipartisan, multimember commission to lead the CFPB.

“Congress has a responsibility to ensure the CFPB is suitably designed to be an effective agent of consumer protection. The current structure—with a single, powerful director—gives too much authority to one person and does not provide meaningful oversight and accountability,” the letter reads. “H.R. 1500 would be a more effective instrument of sustainable change if the bill was grounded in improving the Bureau’s leadership structure through the adoption of a multimember, bipartisan commission.”

The letter notes the significant questions and concerns that have come up regarding the CFPB’s power and actions taken, as well as with leadership transitions. CUNA also highlights the bipartisan support received for the commission in previous Congresses.

“A multi-member commission, as envisioned by the original proponents of the Bureau, would enhance consumer protection by ensuring diverse perspectives are considered prior to finalizing rules, and would prevent disruptions caused by leadership changes,” the letter reads. “Credit union members and other consumers benefit from policymaking that includes more voices. This structure is consistent with the traditions of our democracy and would provide certainty that is essential for consumers and the financial services industry, regardless of which political party controls the White House.”