CFPB leadership commission is ‘appropriate and sensible’

June 18, 2020

CUNA joined several organizations to support a bill from Sen. Deb. Fischer (R-Neb.) that would replace the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s single director with a five-person, bipartisan commission, the Financial Product Safety Commission Act of 2020.

“We believe your legislation is the appropriate and sensible remedy that would bring long term stability to the Bureau. In addition to safeguarding the CFPB from executive and political interference, a Senate confirmed, bipartisan commission will provide a balanced and deliberative approach to supervision, regulation, and enforcement by encouraging input from all stakeholders,” the organizations wrote. “The current single director structure, as we witnessed in the transition in CFPB leadership from the Obama Administration to the Trump Administration, leads to significant uncertainty within the financial services industry. This uncertainty is not only borne by financial institutions providing significant lending services, but it negatively impacts America’s consumers, small businesses, and our local economies.”

The letter notes that the five-person commission was in the original, House-passed version of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010.

“Members from both parties have long supported legislation to replace the single director model with a commission. In fact, bipartisan legislation establishing a CFPB commission has passed the House Financial Services Committee six times and passed the U.S. House of Representatives four times, with Democrats and Republicans voting in favor,” the letter reads. “It is important to note that when Dodd-Frank passed the House in 2009, under the leadership of then-House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA), it included a provision that would establish a five-member commission at the Bureau.”

A House companion bill was introduced in March by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.).

Fischer’s bill comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to release a decision in Selia Law v. the CFPB, lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the CFPB being led by a single director removable only by cause.

CUNA filed an amicus brief calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate a title of the Dodd-Frank Act, then delay implementation by a year in order to give Congress time to make the necessary legislative changes.