WASHINGTON (3/5/15)--A bill that would broaden the leadership structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was introduced Wednesday by Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas).
The Financial Product Safety Commission Act (H.R. 1266) would change the CPFB leadership from a single director to a five-person board.
CUNA testified before the Senate Banking Committee last month in support of installing a five-person board to run the CFPB.
"We believe that a five-member commission, as Congress originally intended, will better balance consumer access to financial products with the need to ensure a fair marketplace," reads a joint letter signed by CUNA and other financial services trade organizations. "A commission would serve as a source of balance and stability for consumers and the financial services industry by encouraging internal debate and deliberation, ultimately leading to increased transparency."
Under H.R. 1266, the members would be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The commission would be split 3-2 along political parties, with members serving five-year staggered terms.
According to the bill's text, the commission members must "have strong competencies and experiences related to consumer financial products and services."
Wally Murray, president/CEO of Greater Nevada CU, Carson City, Nev., testified last month on behalf of CUNA during a Senate Banking Committee hearing.
"Expanding the bureau's executive leadership to a five-person board will ensure that more voices contribute to the bureau's rulemaking and it could help produce regulations that better balance the important mission of the bureau and the impact the regulations have on the way products and services are provided to consumers," Murray said.
Neugebauer is the current chair of the House Financial Services financial institutions and consumer credit subcommittee, and he will be addressing CUNA's 2015 Governmental Affairs Conference Monday. The bill, which has 20 co-sponsors, would also rename the CFPB the Financial Product Safety Commission.
Along with CUNA, the joint support letter was signed by the American Bankers Association, American Financial Services Association, Consumer Bankers Association, Financial Services Roundtable, Independent Community Bankers of America, National Association of Federal Credit Unions and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.