ABA Urges CFPB to Consider Cost, Burden of Civil Investigative Demands

In a comment letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today — the first of 12 the association will submit as part of the bureau’s ongoing public feedback initiative — the American Bankers Association offered several commonsense recommendations for rebalancing the bureau’s civil investigative demand process.

ABA pointed out that while CIDs can be important investigatory tools if carefully used, they can be and have been employed abusively in ways that violate reasonable due process and frustrate the pursuit of justice.

The association urged the bureau to rely less heavily on CIDs as a mechanism for obtaining information and to instead rely on its supervision division to initiate requests for information from supervised entities. It also called on the CFPB to weigh the cost burdens against the value of the information it expects to receive from a CID; provide CID recipients more information about the underlying purpose of the CID; and be more flexible on modifying CIDs or granting extensions.

“We welcome the opportunity to provide feedback, and look forward to being a constructive participant in the bureau’s public review as it seeks information on these important regulatory issues going forward,” said ABA SVP Virginia O’Neill. “The RFI process is an efficient and timely opportunity to understand whether the bureau is not only protecting consumers, but also ensuring that consumers enjoy a strong, vibrant and innovative market that offers the variety of financial products and services they want.”