CUNA joined with five other national trade organizations to express concern with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s statement on abusive acts or policies – including the deviation from statutory requirements and failure to provide clear guidance regarding abusive acts or practices.
“Responsible providers already take steps to identify and avoid practices that may be unfair, deceptive or abusive, and federally-regulated financial institutions have extensive compliance management systems specifically to monitor for such conduct,” the letter reads. “By identifying conduct that may be abusive because it is more egregious than conduct that is solely unfair or deceptive, the Bureau will enable institutions to better calibrate compliance systems, change practices, and better protect consumers.”
The letter highlights multiple concerns with the policy statement’s lack of clear guidance, including:
Abusive acts or practices are distinct from unfair or deceptive acts or practices. Certain key factors are critical in distinguishing the two.
Material interference requires different—and more egregious—actions than deceptive acts or practices.
The Statement does not accord with the statutory language or fully account for the Bureau’s prior rulemaking or enforcement history in distinguishing between a “reasonable advantage” and an “unreasonable advantage.”
CUNA participated in the 27-page letter together with the American Financial Services Association, Bank Policy Institute, Consumer Bankers Association, Mortgage Bankers Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness.