LATEST REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS IMPACTING
THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY
In a wide-ranging speech yesterday before the Consumer Bankers Association, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray forcefully defended his agency’s approach to consumer financial regulation and supervision against critics who call it “regulation by enforcement.” Saying that criticism of this practice (and even the term) is “badly misplaced,” he argued for the need to work “toward a pattern of actions that conveys an intelligible direction to the marketplace, so as to create deterrence that can be readily understood and implemented.” Director Cordray noted that the “vast majority” of CFPB enforcement actions involve some sort of deception or fraud and commented on the difficulty of creating specific rules to address fraud or untruth.
On February 26, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released its revised Policies and Procedures Manual policy for assessing civil money penalties ( CMP Policies ). The CMP Policies are used as a reference tool for examiners in assessing the severity of any identified unsafe and unsound banking practices, violations of laws, regulations, orders, conditions imposed in writing, and formal agreements (“violations”) by institutions and persons subject to OCC’s supervision (national banks, federal savings associations, federal branches and agencies, and bank service companies and service providers).
As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) completes its fifth year as a fully operating entity in 2016, distinct enforcement patterns have emerged that can assist businesses and individuals that have or may become targets of the agency in assessing penalties and their impact should they elect to settle with the CFPB.