October 25, 2012
Northwest credit union leaders met with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray in Seattle on Wednesday to share concerns and learn more about the bureau. Joining Cordray at the hour-long roundtable were Assistant Director of Community Affairs Zixta Martinez and West Regional Director Edwin Chow.
Cordray demonstrated a thorough understanding of the credit union difference, stating specifically that credit unions were in no way to blame for the financial crisis. Cordray clarified the exam process as well, explaining that because the CFPB is only responsible for regulating financial institutions with more than $10 billion in assets, the majority of financial institutions will continue to be regulated by their current regulator, who will be given exam guidance for rules issued by the CFPB.
Cordray informed credit unions that they will not have to send out a 45-day advance notice for changing the website reference on credit card applications from the Federal Reserve Board to the CFPB, but they still may have to notify consumers of the change. The CFPB will likely offer an initial opinion in the near future.
“Yesterday’s meeting helped give credit unions a clearer picture of what to expect from the CFPB,” said John Trull, director of regulatory advocacy for the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA). “It also gave credit union leaders the opportunity to let Director Cordray know that credit unions are model financial institutions—organized with direct accountability to the individual members we serve.”
“Credit unions are not going to be happy about everything that comes out from the CFPB,” said Jack Fallis, president and CEO of Global Credit Union and chair of the Association’s Regulatory Affairs Committee, “but it is clear from the meeting that the director is willing to work with us in areas where they have discretionary authority.”
The CFPB was created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 and effectively consolidates most federal consumer financial protection authority under one umbrella. President Obama appointed Cordray to be the agency’s first director in January 2012.
Prior to assuming his current position, Cordray led the CFPB's enforcement division. Before that, Cordray served on the front lines of consumer protection as Ohio's attorney general.
Chow will join the region’s credit union leaders again next week at the Association’s Leadership Symposium, presenting another opportunity to continue the dialogue with the new agency. The free event is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 1, in Federal Way, Wash., with registration available online. Chow, who will oversee the CFPB operations in 17 western states, was the deputy regional director with the federal Office of Thrift Supervision operating out of Daly City, Calif., prior to joining the CFPB.
Questions? Contact Director of Regulatory Advocacy John Trull: 503.350.2209, firstname.lastname@example.org.