View from CBA - March 20, 2015

CBA LIVE 2015: The Consumer Agenda – It's Here!
T-minus 3 days before you learn all things consumer — their thoughts, their goals, their attitudes, and what speaks to their souls. Sunny Florida awaits the arrival of the largest gathering of retail banking executives this year. CBA LIVE 2015 marks our fifth straight year of record attendance with nearly 1,300 registrants (and counting), 579 of which are bankers. We are getting close to having as many bankers attend as we had total attendees in the first year of the conference. Over the course of three days, we have 205 speakers, including 50 individuals from seven different government agencies, and groundbreaking data releases from Gallup, on the mind of the consumer; and CFSI, on financial health. Attendees will return to their banks game-ready with the latest tools on the ever changing regulatory, legislative, and technological landscape.

Last Minute CBA LIVE Tips:

  • Download the CBA LIVE app.
  • Join the twitter discussion– remember, include the #CBALIVE in all your tweets.
  • Bonus: Rate the most sessions in the app during CBA LIVE and win a signed football from Hall of Fame Coach Lou Holtz!
  • Hat tip to the 10 member banks - Citizens, Wells, BB&T, IBERIA, First Interstate, TCF, Sallie Mae, BMO, Discover, and Union - who applied for the Joe Belew Award, which this year focuses on bank efforts to improve financial education. We will announce the recipient Wednesday at CBA LIVE.
  • And, as always, leave that tie behind. CBA LIVE attire is business casual.


CFPB Issues Policy Statement on Complaint Narratives
On Thursday, the CFPB announced it will begin publishing unverified complaint narratives from unidentified consumers. While we support the Bureau's collection of complaint data to identify trends and understand consumer concerns, we are disappointed by today's decision. The CFPB has the ability to demonstrate trends, allow for an appeals process, and normalize data—much like other regulators. Puzzlingly, they choose not to use any of these illuminating mechanisms. Today's action does not reflect the principles of accountability, transparency, and data-driven decision making which the Bureau professes guides its work. This agency can do better.


CFPB Spreads Its Wings – From Statutory Mandates to Discretionary Preferences
In almost four years, the CFPB has grown from 58 employees (FY2011) to 1,443 employees (FY2014) – and we are told its not done yet. With most of its statutory mandates completed, the Bureau's discretionary priorities will start to take center stage in the coming months. Though it has been working for years on these issues, the CFPB is now free to make a major push this year on several critical areas, including:

Payday Lending & Deposit Advance Products (DAP): Prerule activity [referring to the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) process] is expected this quarter, indicating a proposal is forthcoming.

Prepaid Card Rules: A final rule is expected to come in the second half of 2015.

Overdraft: Prerule activity is expected this summer.

Debt Collection: Prerule activity is expected in the next few months.


Capitol Hill Update
Capitol Hill has been abuzz the first few months of the new Congress, and we expect a similar flurry of activity in the coming weeks. Here are three things to be on the lookout for:

Cyber Security: Last week, a draft bill addressing cyber-security was circulated. The initial draft includes language that would require a minimal data security standard and consumer notification within 30-days. In response to the draft bill, CBA joined other financial services trades in sending a letter that outlined concerns about the definition of covered entity, the scope of preemption, the strength of the "reasonable security measures" standard, the need to notify consumers of the origin of a breach, and the importance of liability for the costs of a breach. We expect the bill to reach the full House by mid-to-late April.

Budget: The House and Senate FY16 budgets released this week included several provisions that impact CBA members. The House budget would subject the CFPB to appropriations, while the Senate budget would allow for modifications to the Dodd-Frank Act, and both budgets would require the use of fair value accounting on legislation related to federal credit programs.

Regulatory Reform: The House Financial Services Committee heard from community banks and credit unions this week on how Dodd-Frank is impacting their ability to lend to consumers. Members of the Committee have been encouraged to introduce legislation to address these burdens, and Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) has agreed to consider any bill having bipartisan support as early as next week. We expect the Committee will mark up several bills next week which could include efforts to expand the rural definition for CFPB purposes, eliminating privacy notices, preventing duplicative regulations, and something on manufactured housing.


Ravi Kacker, a former Santander Bank executive with 25 years of experience in banking, has been hired by U.S. Bancorp to oversee the diversified industries segment of its large corporate banking division in New England.