Prospect of CFPB Reform Wanes, Enforcement Remains

  • William Hoffman
  • April 5, 2017
Sam Whitfield, Consumer Bankers Association; Jaret Seiberg, Cowen and Company; Ken Sweet, The Associated Press; Jonice Gray Tucker, Buckley Sandler LLP; Steve Zeisel, CBA; discuss the regulatory future of financing at CBA Live 2017. (Photo by William Hoffman)

Sam Whitfield, Consumer Bankers Association; Jaret Seiberg, Cowen and Co.; Ken Sweet, The Associated Press; Jonice Gray Tucker, Buckley Sandler LLP; Steve Zeisel, CBA; discuss the regulatory future of financing at CBA Live 2017. (Photo by William Hoffman)

DALLAS — Lenders and analysts are beginning to temper their expectations for financial reform, following the failed rollout of healthcare legislation last month, and as Consumer Financial Protection Bureau enforcement action continues, analysts said yesterday during a panel at CBA Live.

“Regardless of what the president does to move this thing forward, you’re going to need 60 votes in the senate to enact meaningful legislation, and trying to get 60 votes in the senate to open up Dodd-Frank and really roll back those perversions — I’m just not sure where you get that many democrats,” Jaret Seiberg, managing director at Cowen Group Inc., said during a regulatory panel. “So I think we’re talking small ball here, no big touchdowns.”

However, analysts at the conference, were encouraged by CFPB Fair Lending Director Patrice Ficklin’s blog post on the bureau’s priorities, published in December. The post highlighted mortgage and student loan servicing, as well as small business lending — there was no mention of auto lending. However, that doesn’t mean lenders can ease off the compliance gas pedal because states are increasingly looking to “fill the void” that could be left, should federal regulators ease up in the future, said Jonice Tucker, partner at Buckley Sandler LLP.

“Dodd-Frank — unless it’s blown up — gives states the power to [regulate],” Tucker said. “They can bring enforcement under many of the enumerated statutes, as well as federal UDAAP (Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts and Practices).

States are more frequently collaborating and pooling resources to bring enforcement actions, she said, so it still is “full speed ahead” for enforcement. She cited more than a dozen actions and a dozen affirmative lawsuits since the election.

“If you look at the snapshot of the first few months of 2017, against the first few months of other years since the CFPB has been set up, there has been a five-fold increase in the number of enforcement actions just in that period alone,” she said. “Now, certainly it’s true that these enforcement actions were down the pipeline already and ripe for inclusion, but the CFPB is chugging along.”

Learn more about the tech and disruption in the industry at Auto Finance Innovation 2017, May 17-18 in San Diego. Visit www.autofinanceinnovation.com and to learn more about the Auto Finance Risk & Compliance Summit, visit www.afrcs.com.

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