The Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) has called for more transparency and openness at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in order for the consumer watchdog to fulfill its role as an independent and impartial regulator.
The CBA made the comment in a letter to the CFPB responding to the bureau’s request for information about its external engagements. The association outlined areas in which the CFPB could improve the process of external engagement.
The group suggested that the CFPB conduct regular stakeholder meetings for policy considerations, rather than one field hearing per issue. Additionally, the CBA said that supervisory highlights issued by the bureau should provide as much information about examination findings as possible while preserving confidentiality.
Other suggestion included seeking input from advisory boards for rules in the pipeline, rather than finalized rules; participating in industry events; and ending the practice of embargoing important information. The CBA also asked the bureau to review previous practice of overstating and embellishing facts in consent orders and press releases.
“CBA and its member institutions believe that informed, transparent governing is the best way to produce informed policy that is good for both banks and consumers,” CBA Vice President and Associate General Counsel David Pommerehen said. “A well-functioning bureau is critical to maintaining a thriving and stable consumer finance marketplace and it is important that the bureau, as it has done in the past, does not pursue a seemingly predetermined political agenda to unilaterally shape the public message. To accomplish this, CBA believes greater transparency and openness would uphold the agency as an independent and impartial regulator.”
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