Push to Modify New Consumer Bureau Well Under Way
The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau doesn’t even begin operations until July and already CUNA and NAFCU and some on Capitol Hill are pushing for changes in how much power it has and what its structure will be.
House Republicans want the bureau to be run by a five-member board, with a chairman appointed by the president, rather than a presidentially appointed director. They have also introduced a measure to make it easier for the council of regulators to overturn rules issued by the bureau, which will be an independent agency housed inside the Federal Reserve.
Credit union executives representing the groups offered their suggestions during an April 6 hearing of the House Financial Services Committee’s subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit.
State Employees Credit Union of Maryland President/CEO Rodney Staatz, representing CUNA, told the panel that the changes will help achieve the association’s goals of a "regulatory regime in which consumer protection is maximized and regulatory burden is minimized."
Subcommittee Chairman Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said she empathizes with the regulatory burden faced by community banks and credit unions and wanted to be sure that Congress did what it could to add to that.
Capito noted that even as the consumer bureau is getting ready to begin working, the individual banking regulators are still keeping their consumer protection offices, and this could lead to duplication and to extra work for financial institutions. She also criticized President Obama for not having named a permanent director for the bureau.