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Gibbs Examines what CUs can expect from CFPB
Monday, April 8, 2013 10:10 AM

steve_gibbs_5.jpg

With the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) becoming functional and rolling out numerous changes to regulations it was only appropriate that background on the agency be addressed at TCUL’s 2013 Texas GAC and Member Meeting & Expo in Austin last week.  “CFPB and Regulation – Same Old Song” was presented by Steve Gibbs, assistant vice president of Shared Compliance Resources. The session served as a primer for this emerging power in the regulatory world.

Almost overnight, this agency was given major authority over almost all major regulation and numerous large banks and credit unions.  Gibbs set about answering three major questions:

  • What is this agency?
  • Who runs it?
  • What can we expect from the CFPB? 

With regard to “what” the agency is, Gibbs identified the factors leading up to the Dodd – Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, setting the stage for creation of the CFPB.  He further explained the involvement of Elizabeth Warren (now a Massachusetts Senator and member of the Senate’s powerful Banking Committee) as well as the appointment of Richard Cordray as director of the agency.  Gibbs went on to cover the agency’s mission statement, functions and organization.

“The CFPB has the ability to change or manipulate almost every regulation to which credit unions are subject.  For those individuals who think it’s (CFPB) going away, think again,” cautioned Gibbs. “Given that it’s housed at the Federal Reserve and funded by them, this agency will be around for a long time.”

Gibbs discussed the agency’s current emphasis on mortgage lending and credit cards. 

“These are primary areas of consumer concern and complaints and the key here is ‘consumer.’ Protecting the consumer is the ultimate goal of this agency and this will remain their priority,” assured Gibbs.

As to the future and what will be seen by financial institutions in the way of CFPB focus, Gibbs added, “I cannot say that they will follow a particular path; however, given their current actions, I can easily see additional changes to Regulation Z through closed-end loans; increased emphasis on Fair Lending and Regulation B; additional review of Courtesy Pay/Overdraft practices and fees, and; the possibility of a study of ATM fees.”

In concluding the session, Gibbs advised credit unions to learn as much about the CFPB as they can, read all of their issuances, and offer comments whenever solicited. 

“We have to let them know when they affect us.  Giving them detailed and specific commentary on new regulations and how they affect us is the only way to tell our story,” he said.