CFPB commission would provide consistency consumers need

March 2, 2021

CUNA hopes a new consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) director will recognize the unique structure of credit unions and the benefit they provide consumers but CUNA also continues to have concerns over the single director structure. CFPB nominee Rohit Chopra testified before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Tuesday.

“Stability of leadership and clarity of mission are critical features of any efficient and effective regulatory body. The CFPB – as it stands – has neither,” the letter reads. “There may be no better sign of that instability than the fact that Congress is now considering a new Director nomination for the third time in nine years despite the role’s statutory term of five-years.

For that reason and others, we believe the best path forward for the CFPB is for Congress to pass legislation establishing a multi-person, bipartisan commission to lead the Bureau, as was originally proposed by the Obama administration in 2009,” it adds.

CUNA notes that this is “particularly critical time” for Congress to act on legislation to create a commission, as last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision renders a CFPB director removable by a president for any reason.

“Proponents of the CFPB have historically hailed it as a regulatory agency with an obligation to fairly and independently administer federal consumer protection law. However, the current structure has proven to be its Achilles’ heel and has resulted in an agency that is only independent from the minority political party,” the letter reads. “During the Bureau’s short history, without a commission structure, its actions have been marked by wild swings in its approach to rulemakings, supervisory practices, and enforcement policies.”

Credit unions have been undeniably affected by these swings, as well as the daily lives of consumers, CUNA notes.