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Accountability, transparency of CFPB subject of House hearing today
WASHINGTON (5/21/14)--The House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit will examine bills and discussion drafts today that are designed to promote greater transparency and accountability at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
 
The Credit Union National Association has submitted a letter for the record of the hearing thanking the subcommittee for holding the session and stating CUNA's support for several of the bills under consideration.
 
"Credit unions have significant interest in the activities of the bureau because even though credit unions with less than $10 billion in assets are exempt from the bureau's examination authority, they are not exempt from the bureau's rulemaking authority, " wrote CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney.
 
He added, "It has been nearly four years since the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act and the creation of the bureau. It is appropriate for Congress to give serious consideration to legislation designed to improve the accountability and transparency of the bureau."
 
The subcommittee hearing is titled "Legislative Proposals to Improve Transparency and Accountability
at the CFPB" and will include the following witnesses: Andrew Pincus, partner at Mayer Brown LLP; Hester Peirce, a senior research fellow at George Mason University's Mercatus Center; and Rob Chapman, president of the American Land Title Association.
 
Seven house resolutions, as well as four discussion drafts are on the agenda, including:
  • H.R. 3389, the CFPB Slush Fund Elimination Act, which would eliminate the bureau's Civil Penalty Fund and require the CFPB to remit fines it collects to the U.S. Treasury;
  • H.R. 3770, the CFPB-IG Act, which would create a separate, independent inspector general for the CFPB; the CFPB currently shares an inspector general with the Federal Reserve System;
  • H.R. 4383, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Small Business Advisory Board Act, which would create a small business advisory board at the CFPB;
  • H.R. 4604, the CFPB Data Collection Security Act, which would require the CFPB to create an opt-out list for consumers who do not want the CFPB to collect personally identifiable information about them and to delete or destroy information about a particular consumer within a specified period of time following collection; and
  • A discussion draft of the "Bureau Guidance Transparency Act," which would require that the CFPB, in issuing any guidance, provide a public notice and comment period before issuing the guidance in final form, and must make public any studies, data, and other analysis it relied on in preparing and issuing its guidance.
The hearing is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. (ET) today in room 2128 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
 
Also on the subject of CFPB transparency, in an announcement Tuesday the CFPB said that starting June 18 it is changing the format of its Consumer Advisory Board and Council meetings to become fully open to the public, a change advocated by CUNA. The change was made to "provide more transparency and to be responsive to the requests we've received," said the bureau announcement.
 
The next opportunity to attend or view a Consumer Advisory Board meeting will be June 18 in Reno, Nev.
 
Use the resource links below for more information.
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