Earlier today a bipartisan bill was introduced into the US House of Representatives which would require the CFPB to create an advisory panel of small financial services companies similar to other boards the Bureau has created. The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Small Business Advisory Board Act, introduced by Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., and Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., would for the first time require the CFPB to meet regularly with small-business owners that work in the consumer finance industry and are affected by the Bureau’s regulations.
Currently, the CFPB has four advisory boards in place that provide input on a wide array of areas, “from consumer engagement and policy development to research,” according to the CFPB’s website. The current boards include a Consumer Advisory Board made up of industry representatives and consumer advocates, a Community Bank Advisory Board, a Credit Union Advisory Board that assist the Bureau in formulating provisions suitable for smaller institutions, and an Academic Advisory Board, which assists the Bureau with research methodology and projects.
As Law360 journalist Evan Weinberger observed today, in contrast to these advisory boards, the CFPB has “no such board for small-scale appraisers, mortgage brokers, loan officers, and title professionals and retailers that also have to comply with the CFPB’s rules for mortgage lending and other areas of consumer finance.” The proposed bill calls for a board comprised of 12 members with representatives from a range of consumer financial services companies. Mr. Weinberger noted that although the CFPB declined to comment on pending legislation, the Bureau “already convenes small-business review panels whenever a rule under consideration could have a large economic impact on smaller firms. So far, such a panel has been created for reviewing the CFPB’s rewrite of the mortgage market.”