Lawmakers Challenge CFPB Arbitration Study

Eighty-five Republican members of the House and Senate in a letter Wednesday urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to reopen its arbitration study process, saying it has not been fair, transparent or comprehensive.

The lawmakers noted that the arbitration study the CFPB issued in March failed to provide a cost-benefit analysis of how a consumer would fare in arbitration versus a lawsuit. Unless the study is reopened and subjected to public comment, any rulemaking the bureau may pursue on arbitration would be “premature, biased and fail to comply with Congress’s intent,” they said.

The letter came the same day that members of the House Appropriations Committee approved a measure requiring that the CFPB, prior to any rulemaking, produce a peer-reviewed study to determine whether the benefits of a new arbitration regulation exceed the costs.

ABA and other trade groups in May also urged the CFPB to solicit public comment on its study before it considers rulemaking on the subject.