Update on Developing Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

January 8 The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) had a busy 2012 and closed out the year with several changes to pending rules, completion of staffing its advisory bodies, and announcing a reorganization of its headquarters Office of Supervision.

  • CFPB will begin sharing consumer complaint information with state regulators

The CFPB announced on December 11, 2012 that the Bureau will begin sharing consumer complaint information with the states. This first step will allow state regulators to access consumer complaint information filed with the CFPB by way of a secure portal. In 2013, the CFPB and state regulators will be working on developing ways for various state agencies to share information with the CFPB.

NASCUS has been working with the CFPB on an interagency working group hat has been developing the protocols to ensure information flows as appropriate between the CFPB and state regulators.

  • CFPB raises threshold for filing HMDA data

The Bureau has published a final rule raising the threshold for filing data pursuant to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) from $41 million to $42 million. This means that a credit union that had assets of $42 million or less as of December 31, 2012, is exempt from collecting HMDA data in 2013. However, it is important to note that a credit union's exemption from collecting data in 2013 does not affect its responsibility to report the data it was required to collect in 2012 if it did not qualify for an exemption last year.

  • Foreign remittances

Throughout 2012, the CFPB has published final rulemakings related to transactions in which consumers send money electronically to foreign countries. The final rules would generally require the entity processing (sending) the transaction on behalf of the consumer provide disclosures regarding the exchange rate, any fees and taxes and the amount of money to be delivered. A receipt or proof of payment that repeats the information in the first disclosure would also have to be provided. The rules also contain provisions allowing consumers 30 minutes to cancel the transaction and obligating companies to investigate certain consumer complaints. An exemption is provided for entities that consistently provide 100 or fewer remittance transfers each year.

Elements of the final remittance rule were published on February 7, 2012, July 10, 2012 and August 20, 2012. On December 21, 2012, the Bureau issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would further refine the final remittance rule. Among other changes, the proposal would delay the effective date of the final remittance rule beyond its current February 7, 2013 deadline.

  • Bureau fills out its advisory groups

Congress empowered the director of the CFPB to convene advisory bodies to facilitate the Bureau's ability to gather information and formulate rules and policy.

The CFPB has created four advisory groups to provide input on a wide variety of issues. One of those groups, The Credit Union Advisory Council is the advisory body for the CFPB to gauge the thoughts of the credit union system. Membership on CFPB's Credit Union Advisory Council is limited to employees of credit unions with assets less than $10 billion. Members serve two year terms. The other three advisory bodies include the Consumer Advisory Board, the Community Banks Advisory Council, and the Academic Research Council.

  • Reorganization of Headquarters for Supervision

The CFPB has completed the launches of both its large "bank" and non-bank (non-depository) supervision programs. The large bank supervision program currently includes three credit unions with assets over $10 billion with a fourth credit union completing its transition into the program as it completes its fourth consecutive quarter with assets in excess of $10 billion. Now the Bureau is reorganizing its supervision office.

Currently, the Bureau is organized into "bank" and "non-bank" supervision. Under its reorganization, the office will be organized into two teams: the Examinations Supervision team headed by Paul Sanford and the Policy Supervision team led by Peggy Twohig. What this means is that the CFPB's focus is likely to streamline consistent application of examination protocols across industries. From a policy perspective, the consolidation of all policy into a single office will likewise lead to a more consistent application of policy across industries.

NASCUS continues ongoing dialogue with the CFPB and will be evaluating the Bureau's reorganization as it moves forward in 2013.

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