CUNA leaders talk CFPB supervision compliance details

April 8, 2021

CUNA Chief Compliance Officer & Counsel Jared Ihrig and Senior Director of Advocacy and Counsel Alexander Monterrubio addressed what Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) supervision will mean for credit unions, particularly over the next several years, during a webinar Thursday. Credit unions with assets of more than $10 billion are subject to supervision by the CFPB.

The CFPB is currently led by Acting Director Dave Uejio, while President Joe Biden’s nominee Rohit Chopra awaits a full Senate confirmation vote.

“I think its safe to say they’re going to take bureau very different direction than last four years, and the stakes are a lot higher for entities approaching the $10 billion threshold,” Monterrubio said. “The ‘new’ CFPB can be expected to be aggressive in every facet of its authority.”

He added that the CFPB will likely be closely examining any action taken by the previous leadership “with a skeptical eye.”

Recent CFPB actions to this effect include:

  • Rescission of a January 2020 policy statement on abusive acts or practices;
  • Rescission of seven COVID-related policy statements designed to provide financial institutions flexibility;
  • A statement that the CFPB intends to review the General QM rule; and
  • A proposal to delay recently finalized debt collection rules.

“These delays provide more time for the bureau to potentially rescind or at the very least change a number of rulemakings issued under [previous CFPB] Director Kraninger,” Monterrubio said.  

Key areas of focus for the new CFPB leadership include: Fair lending, collections, racial equity, COVID-19 and service to vulnerable populations such as students, servicemembers, and older Americans.

Ihrig said entities under CFPB supervision should ensure a renewed level of focus on their Compliance Management System (CMS), as the CFPB requires that every supervised entity has an effective CMS adapted to its business strategy and operations.

“It’s not enough to just have a compliance officer,” he said. “The CFPB expects a formal written compliance program, extensive involvement from board of directors and management oversight.”

He added that the items that require attention under a CMS touches almost every business area of an institution, everything from training and recordkeeping to product development and marketing practices.

A CMS must include:

  • Board of directors and management oversight;
  • A compliance program that includes:
    • Policies and procedures
    • Training
    • Monitoring
    • Corrective action
  • A consumer complaint management program; and
  • An independent compliance audit.