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CFPB to Change Operating Philosophy per Mulvaney Memo
Thursday, January 25, 2018 6:55 AM

CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney on Tuesday outlined his vision for the agency in a memo to staff that said the bureau's current "governing philosophy of pushing the envelope" will no longer be its mode of operation.

Mulvaney, writing in the Wall Street Journal, said he had "no intention of shutting down the Bureau" and that the CFPB will continue to enforce consumer protection laws but do a better job of treating all people affected by financial regulations fairly.

On enforcement of regulations, Mulvaney said the CFPB "will be focusing on quantifiable and unavoidable harm to the consumer. If we find that it exists, you can count on us to vigorously pursue the appropriate remedies. If it doesn’t, we won’t go looking for excuses to bring lawsuits."

On regulation, Mulvaney said the bureau will have "more formal rulemaking[s] on which financial institutions can rely, and less regulation by enforcement."

On prioritizing issues, Mulvaney said data will play a larger role in the bureau's decision-making. "In 2016, almost a third of the complaints into this office related to debt collection. Only 0.9 percent related to prepaid cards and 2 percent to payday lending."

On data, the Dodd-Frank Act requires the CFPB to "consider the potential costs and benefits to consumers and covered persons." Mulvaney wrote that quantitative analysis will include measurable costs and benefits, which means more math for the bureau.

Mulvaney said he is prepared to "take dramatic action to protect consumers" when it's called for by the circumstances, but that "should be the most final of last resorts."

Read more at CUNA's Removing Barriers blog.