Monday, March 28, 2011

Community Bankers Endorse Bachus Legislation Replacing CFPB Director with Five Member Commission

The Independent Community Bankers of America support legislation to replace the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with a five-member Commission modeled on the SEC and FTC. Commissioners would be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate to staggered, five-year terms, and no more than three commissioners would be affiliated with any one political party. Responsible Consumer Financial Protection Regulations Act of 201 (HR 1121) would requite that all Commissioners have strong competencies and experiences related to consumer financial protection. Presidential removal powers would be confined to inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office. HR 1121 has picked up 28 co-sponsors.

In a letter to House Financial Services Committee Chair Spencer Bachus (R-ALA), the sponsor of the legislation, the industry group said that the legislation is appropriate, given that the new CFPB will have far-reaching discretion in writing rules for all banks, including those exempt from primary CFPB examination, as well as non-bank financial services providers. A commission form of governance would allow for a variety of views on issues before the Bureau and thus build in a system of checks and balances that a single director form of governance simply cannot do. The commission model, which has worked well for the SEC and FTC would help ensure that the actions of the CFPB are measured, non-partisan and result in balanced, high quality rules and effective consumerprotection.