CFPB recently issued its Spring 2019 Semi-Annual Report to Congress covering the period October 1, 2018 through March 31, 2019.

The report represents the CFPB’s second semi-annual report under Director Kraninger’s leadership.  Like the first semi-annual report issued under her leadership, and in contrast to those issued under Mr. Cordray’s leadership, the new report does not contain any aggregate numbers for how much consumers obtained in consumer relief and how much was assessed in civil money penalties in supervisory and enforcement actions during the period covered by the report.

The new report indicates that the Bureau had 1,452 employees as of March 31, 2019, representing a decrease of 58 employees from the number of employees as of September 31, 2018 (which was 1,510 employees).  As compared with the number of employees as of March 31, 2017 (which was 1,689 employees), the number of employees as of March 31, 2019 represents a reduction of 237 employees (14 percent decrease) over the two-year period.

In addition to discussing ongoing or past developments that we have covered in previous blog posts, the report includes the following noteworthy information:

  • As it did in its Spring 2019 rulemaking agenda issued in May 2019, the CFPB states that it plans to resume pre-rulemaking activities to implement Section 1071 of the Dodd- Frank Act “within the next year.”  Section 1071 amended the ECOA to require financial institutions to collect and maintain certain data in connection with credit applications made by women- or minority-owned businesses and small businesses.  Such data includes the race, sex, and ethnicity of the principal owners of the business.  The Bureau also states that it plans to conduct a symposium on small business data collection in November 2019.
  • The Bureau’s Fair Lending Supervision program initiated 10 supervisory events during the period covered by the report, 3 less than the number of such events initiated during the period covered by the prior semi-annual report.  The most frequently cited violations involved HMDA data collection and reporting requirements and ECOA record retention requirements.  As compared with that period, it also issued fewer matters requiring attention or memoranda of understanding. In addition, the Bureau provided supervisory recommendations “relating to supervisory concerns related to weak or nonexistent fair lending risk assessments and/or fair lending training.”
  • During the period covered by the report, the Bureau did not initiate or complete any fair lending enforcement actions and did not refer any ECOA matters to the DOJ. (In the prior annual report, the CFPB indicated that from October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018, it did not initiate any fair lending public enforcement actions and did not refer any ECOA matters to the DOJ.)

Director Kraninger is scheduled to testify twice this week regarding the new semi-annual report.   As we reported, on Thursday, October 17, the Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing on the semi-annual report.

In addition, on Wednesday, October 16, the House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing, “Who Is Standing Up for Consumers? A Semi-Annual Review of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”  According to the Committee Memorandum, the hearing will also consider the following bills:

  • The Fair Lending for All Act, H.R. 166.  The bill would create an Office of Fair Lending Testing within the Bureau and amend the ECOA to cover discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, add criminal penalties for ECOA violations, and provide for personal liability of executive officers and directors.
  • Empowering States to Protect Seniors from Bad Actors Act.  The bill would amend the CFPA to address funding for senior investor protection.