Onsite Coverage: We’ve Only Just Begun: NCUA, CFPB on Consumer Protections
WASHINGTON — In a lively GAC breakout session chaired by CUNA Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn, top officials from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the NCUA made it clear that the federal government’s efforts to better protect consumers in their financial dealings are not going away, indeed they are likely to intensify.
But the showstopper quote came from panelist Marcus Schaefer, CEO of the $1.6 billion Truliant Federal Credit Union in Winston-Salem, N.C.: “We [in credit unions] have the same mission as CFPB,” which he defined as heightening consumer protections against unfair practices of some financial services providers.
Schaefer also indicated he serves on a CFPB advisory board and has observed the new agency close up. “They are listening. We have seen them step back and modifying regulations after hearing from us,” he said.
As for what CFPB sees as its mission, panelist Zixta Martinez – CFPB assistant director – said the agency “is working hard on behalf of consumers who have been deceived.”
She ticked off prime CFPB areas of concern:
* Deceptive marketing of financial products.
* “The debt trap,” which she defined as products that ensnare consumers
* Bystander issues, which she illustrated by the for instance of a financial institution that sells a debt to a collector, then removes itself from responsibility for the collector’s behavior.
* “Persistent problems of discrimination.”
Martinez stressed that the agency is not yet two years old and more will be coming from it.
Another panelist, Gail Laster – an attorney who helped write Dodd-Frank and who now heads the NCUA Office of Consumer Protection – said that her office “is a sign of the new NCUA.”
“At NCUA we take a broad view of what consumer protection means,” Laster added. But she stressed that, in her mind, the mission encompasses “not just enforcement, but also education.”
Her office’s chief function at present is helping implement CFPB regulations inside credit unions, said Laster.
Also from 2013 GAC:
- Feb. 26, 2013 Day 2 Slide Show: Speechifying and Gavel Passing
- Feb. 26, 2013 NCUF Gets $135,000 Gift From CUNA Mutual
- Feb. 26, 2013 Bachus Says Congress May Revisit Durbin, Dodd-Frank
- Feb. 26, 2013 Hensarling Stands by Tax Exemption
- Feb. 26, 2013 Day 1 Slide Show: Brokaw, Chatzky and Award Winners
- Feb. 26, 2013 Kids Add Zing to Wegner Award Winners
- Feb. 25, 2013 Tom Brokaw Promotes Public Service Academies
- Feb. 25, 2013 Chip Filson Announces NCUA Board Bid, Petition Drive
- Feb. 25, 2013 Matz Praises Agency’s Ability to Change With Times
- Feb. 25, 2013 CUNA Mutual Debuts AskAuto App at GAC
- Feb. 25, 2013 CUNA Survey Shows Room for Exam Improvement
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- On Video: Arizona State SVP Has Washington on His Mind
- On Video: Flying Freeborn to DC for GAC
- On Video: Halleck and Hiking the Hill
- On Video: Muniz’s Message to Washington
- Not for CEOs: Successful Succession Topic of GAC Talk