With CFPB Turning Away from Enforcement, State Bank Supervisors May Fill the Void, Argues CSBS Chair

Jun 19, 2018 | News

This week, in a column published on American Banker, Charlotte Corley argues that state financial services regulators may be gearing up to fill the void left by the CFPB’s shift away from enforcement under the Trump administration. Corley is the chair of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance. Corley has also been a bank regulator in Mississippi for her entire working life, having joined the Department of Banking and Consumer Finance as a bank examiner in 1985.

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors is the nationwide organization of financial regulators from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

After questioning whether a potential pullback at the CFPB will require states to fill the void, Corley writes that “we will apply the same rigor to consumer protection that we always have, providing an unwavering commitment to protecting our citizens.”

“The perception is certainly out there that the Consumer Finance [sic] Protection Bureau is moving less aggressively under the new administration,” Corley continues. “Indeed, acting Director Mick Mulvaney has often stated his desire, when it comes to enforcement, to rely more on state regulators and attorneys general.”

Should the CFPB leave a void in consumer protection, Corley argues, it will be important for states to band together to “review a bad actor’s noncompliance, identify possible resolutions, and force change within companies.” This spreads the cost burden and allows state banking regulators to access skills and resources available to other states’ bank oversight departments.

“In my role as CSBS chair, I look forward to continuing to work with the CFPB as it sets its direction,” Corley concludes in the column. “But as a state regulator – and regardless of CFPB’s potential ‘pullback’ – I am glad there are 55 of us (including U.S. territories) minding our respective jurisdictions. When it comes to consumer protection, embracing responsibility and having more local cops on the beat is a good thing.”

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