A group of 22 trade associations sent a letter last week to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees expressing their “strong support” for the creation of a five-member bipartisan commission to lead the CFPB. The trade associations include the American Bankers Association, American Financial Services Association, Consumer Bankers Association, Financial Services Roundtable, Mortgage Bankers Association, and the Real Estate Services Providers Council, Inc.
In their letter, the associations assert that “[a] Senate confirmed, bipartisan commission will provide a balanced and deliberative approach to supervision, regulation, and enforcement for consumers and the financial institutions the CFPB oversees by encouraging input from all stakeholders.” They claim that “[t]he current single director structure leads to regulatory uncertainty and instability…leaving vital consumer protection subject to dramatic political shifts with each changing presidential administration.”
The Financial CHOICE Act passed by the House this month would amend the Dodd-Frank Act to continue the CFPB’s single director structure but allow the President to remove the director without cause. The Treasury report issued this month recommends an amendment to Dodd-Frank that either makes the director removable at-will by the President or restructures the CFPB’s leadership as an multi-member commission or board.
Instead of an amendment to Dodd-Frank, the trade associations express support for changing the CFPB’s leadership structure through the appropriations process, in particular by including language making the change in the FY 2018 Senate and House Appropriations Bills.