The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been busy since it began enforcing the federal consumer financial laws on July 21, 2011. It has issued new rules, published examination and investigation procedures, commenced its supervision process and brought public enforcement actions, among other things. Its focus on protecting consumers is demonstrated by its own blog, its consumer testing of mortgage disclosure forms and its creation of a consumer complaint database that has already received approximately 79,200 complaints.
The CFPB recently announced its first round of supervisory highlights covering the period from July 2011 to the end of September 2012. This article provides a brief summary of the statutory authorities provided to the CFPB and its supervisory highlights and rulemakings to date, which signal areas upon which institutions and their counsel should focus their compliance efforts.
A theme in the highlights and the CFPB’s public enforcement actions is the importance of third-party service provider (TPSP) oversight. The CFPB has made it clear that institutions may be held responsible for the actions of their TPSPs.
Institutions should also comply with the fair lending laws and adhere to best practices. As discussed in the highlights, CFPB examiners have found that well-developed fair lending compliance programs contain the following: