ALTA-supported Bill Introduced in House to Restructure CFPB Leadership

March 15, 2018

Four U.S Representatives on March 13 a bill that would replace the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s sole director with a bipartisan, five-member commission.

The Financial Product Safety Commission Act of 2018 (H.R. 5266) was introduced by U.S. Reps. Dennis A. Ross (R-FL), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Ann Wagner (R-MO) and David Scott (D-GA).

The CFPB was created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 to provide oversight of the financial services industry. The agency is currently run by a sole director who may be removed by the president only for cause. Under H.R. 5266, the president would appoint, subject to Senate confirmation, five individuals who have strong competencies and experiences in consumer financial products and services to serve on the commission for staggered five-year terms.

“ALTA thanks the legislators for introducing this sensible, bipartisan bill to create a more open, transparent and accessible regulator at the CFPB,” said Michelle Korsmo, ALTA’s chief executive officer. “The CFPB’s responsibility to protect consumers and authority to supervise financial institutions, write rules and enforce penalties is too important to be controlled by a single director. A commission will drive collaboration between these parties that will ultimately benefit consumers and business.”

Converting the CFPB into a bipartisan commission would make the agency like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board and the National Credit Union Administration.

“The idea that civil servants in positions of immense power should be isolated from debate and protected from dissent is antithetical to our nation’s founding principles,” said Congressman Ross. “Our system of governance is rooted in the belief that robust competition for ideas and vigorous engagement between those with whom we disagree, is the best way to make laws and regulations and to serve the American people. As one of the most powerful agencies ever created, the CFPB should not be exempt from this principle of good governance, and, with this legislation, we can ensure that it no longer will be – regardless of who holds the White House.” 

ALTA commissioned a poll last year with the Consumer Bankers Association and Independent Community Bankers of America that found 58 percent of registered voters in key battleground states believe the CFPB should be run by a bipartisan commission. “It’s hard to argue with that much support. We hope Congress listens to its constituents and helps give the CFPB the leadership structure it needs to achieve its goals of protecting consumers,” Korsmo said.

Congresswoman Sinema added, “We need a watchdog that puts consumer protection first. That’s why I’ve sponsored this bill under both Democratic and Republican presidents. CFPB’s ability to carry out its mission should not be subjected to the whims of any one person or political party. Our bill requires qualified people in both parties to work together to get things done – that’s how we deliver results for Arizona that stand the test of time.”

Rep. Wagner said, “As Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, I saw firsthand the abuses and lack of accountability at the CFPB under the leadership of Former Director Richard Cordray.  “The Financial Product Safety Commission Act of 2018 provides a layer of stability and transparency for an agency that has lacked both.”


Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or communications@alta.org.

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