The CFPB will hold a symposium on the use of cost-benefit analysis in consumer financial protection regulation on July 29, 2020.  The event will be webcast on the Bureau’s website.

The CFPA requires the Bureau to consider “the potential benefits and costs to consumers and covered persons” of its proposed rules, “including the potential reduction of access by consumers to consumer financial products or services.”  However, the Bureau is not required to submit its proposed rules to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, a unit of the Office of Management and Budget.  A key component of OIRA review is an evaluation of an agency’s analysis of a regulation’s anticipated costs and benefits and its determination that the regulation’s anticipated benefits justify its anticipated costs as well as the agency’s identification and assessment of feasible alternatives.

The symposium will feature remarks by Director Kraninger and consist of two panels of experts.  The first panel will consider questions related to how the Bureau should use cost-benefit analysis in developing consumer financial regulations and whether the Bureau’s practices provide the proper incentives for the best use and reporting of cost-benefit analysis.  The panel will be moderated by Susan Singer, Deputy Assistant Director in the Bureau’s Office of Research.  The panel experts are:

  • Jerry Ellig, Research Professor, George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center
  • Stephen W. Hall, Legal Director & Securities Specialist, Better Markets
  • Brian Hughes, Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer, Discover Financial Services
  • Howell Jackson, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
  • Amit Narang, Regulatory Policy Advocate, Public Citizen

The second panel will focus on how the Bureau may help advance the methodology of cost-benefit analysis for consumer financial regulation.  The panel may also consider the data and economic models that should be developed for cost-benefit analysis of consumer financial regulation, how to address distributional concerns, and how to partner with others in this work.  The panel will be moderated by Paul Rothstein, Financial Institutions and Regulatory Policy Section Chief in the Bureau’s Office of Research.  The panel experts are:

  • John Coates, Professor of Law and Economics, Harvard Law School
  • Mark Cohen, Professor of Law, Vanderbilt Law School
  • Alex Lee, Professor of Law, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
  • Christopher J. Mayer, Professor of Real Estate, Columbia Business School

The Bureau has held four previous symposia.  The first symposium on June 25, 2019 covered the CFPA prohibition on abusive acts or practices.  The second symposium on September 19, 2019 covered behavioral law and economics.  The third symposium on November 6, 2019 covered Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act (ECOA small business data collection).  The fourth symposium on February 26, 2020 covered consumer access to financial records.