The next area Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney is seeking input about is the bureau’s various forms of external engagement. This is CFPB’s fifth request for information on aspects of its operations as Mulvaney continues to subject the bureau to its own in-depth re-examination.
The four areas of interest already published concern supervision, enforcement, the bureau’s civil investigation demand process, and the bureau’s administrative hearing process. More will be coming in succeeding weeks.
At the bureau, engagement covers a wide range of activities, including field hearings, town halls, roundtable discussions, and public meetings of the bureau’s advisory board and its councils. CFPB currently has four formal advisory groups: the Consumer Advisory Board; the Community Bank Advisory Council; the Credit Union Advisory Council; and the Academic Research Council. The first is required by the Dodd-Frank Act and the rest were established by CFPB decision.
It is not unusual for federal banking regulators to have standing or ad hoc advisory councils.
For example, for many years the Federal Reserve Board had its own Consumer Advisory Council. This was eliminated after many consumer regulatory matters were transferred to CFPB under the Dodd-Frank Act. Today, the Fed has four standing advisory groups: the Community Advisory Council, covering consumer and community oriented issues; the Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council; the Federal Advisory Council, consisting of bankers from each Fed district; and the Model Validation Council, consisting of academic experts giving input on stress testing and related issues.
The bureau announcement poses seven specific areas of inquiry, though they are not meant to exclude others. The bureau plans to publish the notice in the Federal Register on Feb. 26.