This past Friday, the American Financial Services Association (AFSA) submitted a list of regulatory reforms to the Trump administration that the organization insisted would provide relief to its members operating in the consumer credit industry and ultimately benefit customers and communities across the United States.
At the behest of Mark Calabria, chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence, AFSA made the proposals following a White House meeting of AFSA member company executives, representatives of the administration’s Domestic Policy Council and Calabria in March. AFSA’s proposals include:
—A halt to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau examinations
—Placing moratoriums on the use of disparate impact theory and the CFPB’s complaint database
—Withdrawing compliance bulletin 2015-07 on in-person collection of consumer debt
—Terminating the arbitration and small-dollar rulemakings
—Withdrawing compliance bulletins 2012-03 and 2016-02 on service providers
—Re-designating payments from the civil penalty fund
—Ensuring the accuracy of press releases as they relate to the enforcement actions to which they pertain, and;
—A general review of CFPB procedures
Additionally, the trade association submitted letters to Defense Secretary James Mattis regarding reforms to the Military Lending Act that would help U.S. military service members access beneficial forms of credit, and to Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission regarding reforms to modernize the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
In a public appearance last Thursday, CFPB director Richard Cordray described what he contends is the bureau’s approach to regulatory implementation, “which we believe is key to helping industry avoid unnecessary burdens while achieving compliance.” Cordray delivered remarks during the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 11th annual Capital Markets Summit.
“As we approach our work, we have made it very clear that we see ourselves as a 21st century agency. What does this really mean? Among other things, it means an agency built on developing our own independent sources of data and ensuring a strong democratic foundation of public engagement,” Cordray said.
“Despite our best efforts, we recognize that the outcome of any human process will be imperfect. We learn from the comments we receive and our final rules are helpfully informed by that input on a consistent basis,” he continued. “But even after we issue a final rule, if the data shows over time that any of our substantive calls need to be reconsidered, we can and will face the issue frankly and address it. We will not let pride of authorship interfere with the serious task of policymaking in the interests of consumers and the American public.
“We believe our rulemaking process does not end with finalizing a set of rules,” Cordray went on to say. “It is not good enough for us to take the view that once new rules are published, our work is done and we can say to financial institutions that ‘it is your problem now.’ If the point of our regulations is to protect consumers and to promote fair, transparent, and competitive markets, then we should care a great deal about how well the rules are implemented. We feel that way especially because we fully appreciate the difficulty of the task and the constant perils of unintended consequences, changes in circumstances, and the difficulty of predicting the future.”