CFPB requests information on its supervision processes

Asks for assistance assessing overall efficiency and effectiveness of program

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been on a mission in recent weeks to find out the true effectiveness of its programs.

In order to accomplish this task, it has been sending out requests for input from the finance industry. The bureau announced it is seeking comments and information from interested parties to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of its supervision program. The agency asks whether any changes to the program would be appropriate.

This request is the fourth in a series of RFIs announced by Mick Mulvaney, who is currently serving as acting director of the CFPB until either President Donald Trump names a permanent replacement for former Director Richard Cordray or a federal court tells him otherwise.

The bureau announced back in January that it is issuing a “call for evidence to ensure the bureau is fulfilling its proper and appropriate functions to best protect consumers.” It announced it will publish requests for public comment on the bureau’s enforcement, supervision, rulemaking, market monitoring, and education activities.

These “Requests for Information” will “provide an opportunity for the public to submit feedback and suggest ways to improve outcomes for both consumers and covered entities.”

The bureau will begin accepting comments on the latest request once it is printed in the Federal Register, which is expected to occur on February 20. The RFI will be open for comment for 90 days.

Last week, the CFPB requested information on its own enforcement process. Previously it also requested information on its administrative adjudications and its civil investigative demands.

The bureau announced it will request feedback on its external engagement process next week. It also plans on hitting other key topics in the weeks to come such as complaint reporting, rulemaking processes, bureau rules not under 1022(d) assessment, inherited rules, guidance and implementation support, consumer education and consumer inquires.

But whatever changes these requests lead to, it can probably be assumed it will not mean any sort of increase in CFPB oversight. In fact, we can probably expect the acting director to continue to weaken the CFPB’s power.

Monday, the CFPB released a new strategic plan, in which Mulvaney lays out how the CFPB will now operate and established new goals for the bureau.

“If there is one way to summarize the strategic changes occurring at the bureau, it is this: we have committed to fulfill the bureau’s statutory responsibilities, but go no further,” Mulvaney said.

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