CBA, CMC, FSR Submit Comments on Bureau Enforcement Process

May 14, 2018

WASHINGTON – The Consumer Bankers Association, Consumer Mortgage Coalition and Financial Services Roundtable today submitted comments to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection’s request for information on the effectiveness and efficiency of the Bureau’s enforcement of federal consumer financial laws. The request also asked for information detailing any appropriate changes to the process.

“CBA members support financial regulators’ duty to fully enforce the rules and regulations on the book,” CBA General Counsel and Executive Vice President Steve Zeisel said. “With that comes the responsibility to ensure enforcement actions are done, when appropriate, in coordination with other agencies; are clearly defined; and, conducted within an appropriate timeframe. It is also vital for the Bureau to stop the practice of using enforcement actions to circumvent the rule writing process and issuing press releases to create an illusion of guilt before a conclusion has been reached.”

“The Consumer Mortgage Coalition believes that the Bureau needs to coordinate its enforcement efforts with other agencies; ensure that its enforcement actions are defined and completed in a timely manner; and should not be used to get around the rule writing process.  Moreover, the practice of using press releases to create an impression of guilt before an investigation is concluded should end,” said Anne Canfield, Executive Director of the Consumer Mortgage Coalition.

"The Bureau should cease regulating the consumer financial services market by enforcement and reserve its enforcement powers for appropriate circumstances and bad actors," said FSR Senior Vice President and Senior Counsel for Regulatory and Legal Affairs, Richard Foster. "When enforcement action is warranted, the Bureau's procedures should be efficient, transparent and ensure due process for the institutions and result in a just outcome for consumers."

The joint letter specifically addressed lack of enforcement coordination with other agencies, unclear use of responsible conduct, the past use of press releases to paint a picture of guilt, regulation by enforcement, and the length of investigations.

A full copy of the letter is available here.

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About the Consumer Bankers Association

The Consumer Bankers Association represents America’s retail banks above $10 billion in assets. We advance legislation and promote policies geared toward creating a stronger industry and economy. Established in 1919, CBA’s corporate member institutions account for 1.6 million jobs in America, extend roughly $3 trillion in consumer loans, and provide $270 billion in small business loans. Follow us on Twitter @consumerbankers.