Consumer Bureau Earns Mixed Reviews on Oversight

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- which House Republicans on Thursday pledged once again to eliminate -- has made significant headway in its contentious three years of life, but the agency should improve transparency when implementing tricky regulations, according to a think tank analysis.

In a report  released Tuesday titled “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Measuring the Progress of a New Agency,” the Bipartisan Policy Center concluded that when the bureau “has operated in a transparent, open and iterative manner, repeatedly seeking input from all stakeholders throughout a process, the results were generally positive.”

The center noted that the bureau met its statutory deadlines on a series of complex rules, while considering comments and revising initial findings to improve the final product. “However, when the bureau made unilateral decisions, rolled out initiatives, rules or processes through a more closed, internal deliberation process, the results were far more likely to be problematic,” the analysts said. “Sometimes the bureau went back, sought input, and improved the end result. Sometimes it did not.”

The report analyzed the bureau’s handling of such issues as aggressive credit card solicitations, qualified mortgage rules and consumer ability to pay creditors. The center made 30 recommendations that could “improve the state of consumer protection, increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the financial services industry, and improve the quality of regulation.”

Among them is to implement a “notice and comment” procedure to gather input before issuing regulations and to adopt a recommended set of metrics to gauge the agency’s performance and effectiveness.

The report also called for more oversight of nonbank providers of consumer products and services, as well as improvement of data security.

The Bipartisan Policy Center staffers who prepared the report met with CFPB officials, consumer advocates, federal and state bank regulators, and employees of regulated financial institutions.

“Regardless of whether one supported the creation of the bureau or not,” the authors wrote, “everyone should want it to function as well as possible.”

A CFPB spokesman told Government Executive, “As the CFPB works to carry out its mission of promoting fair and transparent markets for consumers and responsible businesses, the bureau welcomes feedback from all stakeholders.”

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.