WASHINGTON — CUNA and NAFCU joined no less than five other financial trade groups in signing a letter to Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) supporting his bill that calls for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to be overseen by a five-member commission.
Richard Cordray currently serves as the sole director of the CFPB.
Neugebauer is chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit for the House Financial Services Committee. All members of the committee were copied on the letter, which, in addition to the two credit union trade associations, was signed by the American Bankers Association, American Financial Services Association, Consumer Bankers Association, Financial Services Roundtable, Independent Community Bankers of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The financial trade groups state the CFPB, created in 2010, was given a "massive" jurisdiction that includes "an entire sector of American finance from banks and credit unions, to innumerable financial services companies of all sizes, including larger participants in the financial system, ultimately touching all Americans."
The letter notes 2009 legislation that passed in the House of Representatives called for a five-member commission to oversee the CFPB, "which is nearly identical to what your legislation proposes to do," the trades said to Neugebauer.
"We believe that a five-member commission, as Congress originally intended, will better balance consumer access to financial products with the need to ensure a fair marketplace," the letter states. "A commission would serve as a source of balance and stability for consumers and the financial services industry by encouraging internal debate and deliberation, ultimately leading to increased transparency. Moreover, a commission will further promote CFPB's ability to make bipartisan and reasoned judgments; will offer consumers the protection they deserve and the industry the certainty it needs, which in turn will help strengthen the economy; and will avoid the risk of politically motivated decisions, which could result in harm to consumers."
The trade groups conclude by stating, "In sum, the CFPB has tremendous authority to supervise a multi-trillion dollar industry, which, as we have learned, can have incredible ramifications on our economy. As such, it is imperative the CFPB remain stable, be deliberative, and remain bipartisan - for the sake of the American consumer and the U.S. economy."
The Neugebauer proposal, known as H.R. 1266, is the latest in a string of credit union-friendly bills that have been introduced in the last few weeks — some of which are supported by both CUs and banks.