View from CBA - April 3, 2015

CFPB to Bankers: We Want You
I have listened to and read most of the speeches and statements the CFPB has put out since its inception. None have taken me by surprise quite like the last two paragraphs of CFPB Dep. Director Steve Antonakes' CBA LIVE keynote address. In case you missed it, Dep. Director Antonakes spent the closing moments of his speech pitching the Bureau's employment opportunities to our bankers. While we all know of the CFPB's difficulties in recruiting and retaining examiners over the years, this was the first time I witnessed a public call for bankers to join the agency. Despite the surprising plea, I do applaud Dep. Director Antonakes for recognizing both the talented men and women seated before him at CBA LIVE and the need for the Bureau to employ people who have an understanding of our industry. Whether bankers will want to join the Bureau is a totally different question, though. It will be interesting to see if anyone answers this "wanted ad."


CFPB's Complaint Portal: The Latest Pitfall
Dep. Director Antonakes also turned heads at CBA LIVE when he acknowledged another pitfall of the consumer complaint portal: people sharing opinions on branch paint colors get logged as complaints. This statement came on the heels of the CFPB's recent announcement that it will publish unverified narratives in the portal. I fully support finding ways to improve our industry, including seeking input from consumers, so I find the CFPB's misguided approach to managing complaint data utterly perplexing. No other government agency addresses complaints like the CFPB. The CFPB should follow other government agencies' lead in monitoring complaints - by demonstrating trends, allowing for an appeals process, and normalizing the data. If the Bureau did so it would truly help consumers make more informed financial decisions. Read my op-ed on this topic.


CFPB Proposes New Loan Restrictions
Last Thursday, the CFPB outlined new restrictions the agency is considering for payday loans, vehicle title loans, deposit advance products, and certain "high cost" installment loans and open-end loans. For what the Bureau considers short-term and long-term loans, the proposal would provide lenders with two paths to choose from when lending in the future: assess a borrower's ability to repay upfront, or provide more payment options, including limiting the number of loans a customer can take out in a given time period. We welcome the CFPB's attempt to level the playing field. As this rule is being debated in the coming months, CBA will be urging the CFPB to be mindful of consumers' short-term liquidity needs. Consumer choice should not be restricted.


CBA Elects Three New Board Members
Last week, CBA's Board of Directors elected three new members: Chad Borton of Fifth Third, Michelle Y. Lee of Wells Fargo, and Jeff Dennes of BBVA Compass.










(L to R): Chad Borton of Fifth Third, Jeff Dennes of BBVA Compass, & Michelle Lee of Wells Fargo.
CBA LIVE 2015, Orlando, FL



Mike Nicoloff, Vice President, Indirect Lending at Crescent Bank & Trust has joined the Auto Finance Committee.

Huntington Bank's Mike Fezzey, President, Southeastern Michigan Region, passed away last week. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and our friends at Huntington Bank.