WASHINGTON (9/30/15)--Placing a five-member board in charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a “common-sense, bipartisan solution,” CUNA and other trade organizations told House Financial Services Committee leadership Tuesday. In a letter sent in advance of today’s markup, CUNA and the other associations outlined why a five-person commission in charge of the CFPB is a prudent decision for both sides of the aisle.
The Financial Product Safety Commission Act (H.R. 1266) would create such a board, and is part of today’s markup.
“Looking ahead, the current sole director structure at the CFPB jeopardizes the foundation of the Bureau as an objective, neutral consumer protection agency. 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,” the letter reads.
“Moreover, a commission would further promote the CFPB's ability to make bipartisan and reasoned judgments to ensure consumers receive the protection they deserve, which in turn would help strengthen the economy; and would avoid the risk of politically motivated decisions causing uncertainty and harm to consumers.”
The letter adds that creation of a five-member commission started with strong Democratic support in December 2009. That’s when the House passed legislation to create the board to oversee the CFPB, efforts led by then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and then-House Financial Services Chair Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).
In addition, CUNA and its partners point out that a commission is “the traditional and customary structure for independent federal agencies, helping to ensure bipartisanship and impartiality.”