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View from CBA October 31, 2014
Fed OIG Report on CFPB Released
The U.S. Federal Reserve's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a report this week entitled, "The OIG's List of Major Challenges for the CFPB." The report's findings include:
- The CFPB still has yet to meet internal goals for the timely issuance of examination reports. The OIG rightly notes delays "...leave supervised institutions uncertain about the CFPB's feedback on the effectiveness of the institutions' compliance programs or processes...."
- The CFPB had deposited $144 million in civil penalties into the Civil Penalty Fund (CPF), yet only had distributed $1 million to victims. It has also approved two consumer education and literacy programs to be funded out of the CPF to the tune of $28 million.
- The CFPB faces challenges in ensuring personally identifiable information is protected of consumers who submitted complaints to the unverified database, especially as it relates to complaint narratives. The OIG report notes the CFPB is the first federal agency to undertake this practice.
Trick or Treat? U.S. Economy May be Beginning to Thaw
Last week the CBA/AOL Finance Optimism Index reached its highest level to date, jumping 11.1 points in September. The month saw lower gas prices and strong performance in the stock market, possibly affecting consumer views. We also have learned consumer confidence increased to 94.5 in October, up 5.5 from September, the highest level of consumer confidence since late 2007. Factors contributing to this uptick include an improved job market, and again, lower gas prices. In addition, real private domestic final purchases are up 2.8 percent over last four quarters according to the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. As a result, GDP has grown at a 3.5 percent pace. Does this all mean we will see positive headwinds well into 2015? The Federal Reserve may think so as they are ending QE3. Time will tell if all this news adds up to a trick or a treat.
Upcoming Membership Call: Post-Election Analysis from Team CBA
Next Tuesday's midterm elections could mean new leadership for the U.S. Senate and a year of action on all things CFPB and financial regulation. CBA's Head of Congressional Affairs, Reagan Anderson, and I will break down the results and what they mean for our membership. This member's only call will be held on Thursday, November 6, 2014 from 2:30 – 3:15 p.m. EST Mark your calendars and watch your inbox for call-in details.
Executive Roundtables to Meet in D.C. Next Week
CBA is set to host two Executive Roundtables in our Nation's Capital November 5-6, 2014. One group represents our member banks with assets below $10 billion, sponsored by Equifax, while the other represents our members with assets over $50 billion and is sponsored by Black Knight Financial Services. We look forward to sharing our analysis of the 2014 midterm election results and their potential impact on the retail bank industry, as well as what we may see from regulators in 2015. The majority of the business discussion will focus on topics such as overdraft and arbitration rulemaking, cybersecurity, and consumer complaint management.
53 Pecent of Consumers Confident in the U.S. Banking System
American consumer confidence in the nation's banking system remains at a low-point several years after the 2008 financial crisis. A recent national survey by Rasmussen Reports found 53 percent of adults are at least "somewhat confident in the stability of the American banking system, including 12 percent who are very confident." A three percent increase from the group's September survey. In addition, fewer survey respondents expressed concern they would lose their money to bank failure. Meanwhile, 41 percent of Americans are not confident in the banking system. It should be noted this is the lowest level of non-confidence in the banking system for the year.
Meeting our Bankers
CBA's General Counsel Steve Zeisel, Regulatory Counsel Kate Larson and Director of Membership Liz Terry were in San Francisco, CA this week where they held a membership meeting with Bank of the West. Meeting participants included CBA's Immediate Past Chair Andy Harmening, Past Auto Committee Chair Paul Wible, Sylvie Brillaud, Michelle DiGangi, Lauren Golden, Jeff Jaffee, Leslie Bires, and Debra Jack. Discussion focused on data collection efforts at the CFPB, CBA's soon to be launched Risk Working Group, as well as fair lending in the automotive space.
CBA Committee News
Jim Matthews of Capital One will serve as the Vice Chair of the Community Reinvestment Committee. He has been active an and engaged member of the committee for many years, and we are glad to have him take on this new role with CBA.
CBA's Deposits Committee will meet in Washington, D.C. November 6-7, 2014. On the agenda is a meeting with the CFPB on customer screening, as well as a presentation from Equifax and the Consumer Data Industry Association on the same issue.
BMO Harris Bank has appointed GSRBM alumnus Steven Zandpour as Regional President for Arizona.
Laura Schulte, Head of Wells Fargo's Eastern Community Banking Operations, is retiring at year's end to pursue other interests. Schulte's succesor will be Michelle Lee, currently President of Community Banking Operations for the Northeast.