CFPB Responds to Senate Letter on Tailored Regs

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray replied Wednesday to a letter spearheaded by Senate Banking Committee members Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) that urged the bureau to exempt community banks and credit unions from certain regulations. The letter, cosigned by a bipartisan group of 70 senators, had cited a provision of the Dodd-Frank Act allowing the bureau to exempt “any class” of entity from its rulemakings.

In his response, Cordray stressed that the Dodd-Frank Act also charges the bureau with enforcing consumer financial protection laws “consistently” in order to promote fair competition. However, he also listed actions the CFPB has taken to tailor regulations, including an expanded safe harbor for small creditors, expanded exemptions for rural and underserved areas, relaxed appraisal requirements for small creditors, and a Home Mortgage Disclosure Act reporting exemption for lower-volume depository institutions.

Cordray also noted the CFPB’s required use of Small Business Review Panels in its rulemakings, its Community Bank Advisory Council, and the compliance resources posted on its website. “[T]he Bureau recognizes that community banks and credit unions did not cause the financial crisis,” Cordray concludes. “For that reason, the Bureau is committed to ensuring that the regulations that we promulgate are well-tailored and effective.”