Richard Hunt, the President and CEO of the Consumer Bankers Association, recently published on his blog a list of “Five Things the CFPB Should Do To Be More Widely Respected.” Mr. Hunt’s list consists of the following:
- Appoint a Permanent Deputy Director – The CFPB has still not permanently filled the position of Deputy Director since the departure of Steven Antonakes last July. Mr. Hunt suggests that Director Cordray’s appointment of a permanent Deputy Director “would quell concerns he is playing politics with the position.” Mr. Hunt believes that if Donald Trump is victorious and the Democrats take control of the Senate, Director Cordray would then name a Deputy Director. According to Mr. Hunt, “Should Senate Democrats be unwilling to confirm Mr. Trump’s nominee as CFPB director, Cordray’s appointee could then become the acting director without Senate confirmation. However, if Secretary Clinton wins, she would nominate a director of her own.”
- Reform the Use of the Complaint Process – Mr. Hunt observes that the CFPB encourages consumers to send their complaints to them rather than to the companies themselves and then “makes public the gross volume of complaints—unverified and out of context— every month.” He states that while the complaints can and should be a way to target possible problem areas for supervision and enforcement, the public campaign has not been shown to benefit consumers.
- End Regulation by Enforcement – Mr. Hunt comments that consent orders “seldom provide clear guidance for the entire industry on how to comply with the law.” He believes that the CFPB needs to establish clear guidance “through public notice and comment rulemaking to provide banks with the certainty they need to best serve their customers.”
- Encourage the Department of Education to Better Inform Federal Student Loan Borrowers – Mr. Hunt observes that “Unlike private student loans, which are required to provide customers with clear disclosures of loan costs and terms, the Department of Education does not highlight the key financial information needed by consumers at the application stage.”
- End the Use of Midnight Embargoes –The CFPB frequently releases advance copies of proposed or final rules to media subject to an embargo that ends on midnight of the day before the proposed or final rule is to be publicly released. Mr. Hunt observes that the CFPB’s “use of midnight embargoes to announce rules and regulations often leads to confusion and unfair reporting, rather than advancing consumer interests.”