A bipartisan commission at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is essential to preserving its independence, CUNA wrote to the House Financial Services Committee Thursday. The committee heard semi-annual testimony from CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger Thursday.
“The current structure—with a single director—gives too much authority to one person and does not provide meaningful oversight and accountability. It ultimately fails consumers,” the letter reads. “First, it disrupts consumer protection and functioning markets in an interest to achieve a political agenda that suits the party of the president; second, it produces frequent and severe changes in policy that increase costs of compliance that are generally passed on to consumers in the form of higher interest rates and fees, making credit and services more expensive and less available, particularly to vulnerable borrowers.
While entities that must comply with the ever-changing regulatory perspective that the Bureau’s structure produces may have a loud voice, be assured that the consumers the Bureau was intended to protect are the ones who pay the ultimate price of this misguided structure,” it adds, also noting that then-President Barack Obama and then-Harvard Professor Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) proposed legislation creating the CFPB led by a commission.
CUNA also called on the CFPB to execute its regulatory agenda in a way that ensures credit unions and other providers are able to provide safe and affordable products and services.