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CUNA: New CFPB Office Gives CUs Another Advocacy Route
WASHINGTON (4/24/13)--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) new Office of Financial Institutions and Business Liaison will give the Credit Union National Association and credit unions another avenue to communicate their concerns with this key regulator, CUNA Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn said Tuesday.

The CFPB announced creation of the new office Monday. The new division will connect the agency with financial institution trade associations, financial institutions, and businesses to enhance collaboration and communication as the CFPB continues its work to make markets more accessible and efficient for consumers.

CUNA already works closely with the CFPB and has met on behalf of credit unions on such top financial issues as qualified mortgage and ability-to-repay rule changes, remittance rules,  payday lending, and many financial services topics. The agency most recently reached out to CUNA and credit unions asking CUNA staff if credit unions could help ease students' loan-debt burdens by consolidating several student loans into fewer payments, and at better terms. (Use the resource link to read April 23 News Now story: CFPB Seeks CU Help For Student Loan Issues.)

Dan Smith has been selected to serve as the first assistant director for the new office. Smith previously served as the director for Industry and State Relations at Freddie Mac.

As it released details on the new office and its new leader, the CFPB also announced:

  • Catherine Galicia will serve as the CFPB's new assistant director for legislative affairs;
  • Lisa Konwinski will serve as the CFPB's deputy associate director for external affairs; and
  • CFPB Office of Older Americans Assistant Director Hubert "Skip" Humphrey will now serve as the bureau's senior liaison officer.
Also related to the CFPB, Director Richard Cordray presented the semiannual report detailing the last six months of agency activity to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday. Issues addressed in Cordray's testimony included:
  • Credit reporting company supervision;
  • Debt collector oversight; and
  • Private student loan debt.
The director was also scheduled to submit that same report on the House side. However, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said the committee cannot legally accept testimony from Cordray "until he is validly appointed as the bureau's director."

For the full CFPB releases, use the resource links.
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