CFPB or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a controversial agency and continues to remain polarizing. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently declared that the structure of 1 director followed by the bureau is unconstitutional. In light of the criticisms and the voters’ desire for a modification of the status quo, CFPB need to refrain from pushing regulations about payday loans online providers before the president’s enters his office.
It is common trend for federal agencies to implement some last-minute regulations when a new administration takes over the government. These regulations are usually rushed and supported by low quality assessment of the benefits and expenses. Since CFPB’s regulation can influence the financial well-being of tens and thousands of Americans, they should take time and act in good faith.
For instance, the proposed regulations on payday lending and arbitration have sparked a lot of public interest. 1.4 million comments have been received by the payday rule, which ranges from legal and economic analysis to people’s personal stories about how they quite terrified about losing access to important products and services.
The CFPB needs some time to carefully consider and reply to genuine concerns highlighted by the commenters. The staff of the bureau will really need to work 24/7 to be able to sift through, review and analyze the 1.4 million comments internally before the new administration takes over the reins of the government. Scrutinizing the comments of the arbitration rule is going to take some more time. The bureau’s proposed rule on arbitration and payday lending is going to influence significant change in the financial services market and affect so many consumers, along with their accessibility to credit. The bureau should give it the attention and time that it needs.
CFPB need to exercise control to get the rules right and to maintain legitimacy. Originally, the bureau did not have any accountability to the president and the Congress. Its structure was recently held as an independent agency by the decision of a federal appeals court. The court even said that the director of the CFPB is the single most powerful official in the entire US government, next only to the president.
The problem was addressed by the court and it gave the president the power to sack the director for various reasons other than neglect of his duty. The president has the authority to oversee the work of the CFPB and fire the director, just like for any other agency.
The CFPB also need to avoid taking aggressive actions for the interest of legitimacy until the new president decided on who he wants as director for the bureau. The future of CFPB is uncertain, and therefore, any new rules will be viewed as an invalid attempt to dictate policies. This can lead to the rules being overturned by the new administration and can cause even more uncertainties in the industry.
Instead of putting the financial industry under whipsaw policy, the bureau and its director need to step away from the pen. CFPB should spend some time to work through the information that it has received as response for its proposed rules. This way, the new administration will be able to make better, informed decisions. The major goals of the bureau is to protect the customers and promote innovation and access in financial products and that does not change. The best way for the bureau at this moment is to wait before inaugurating and announcing the final policy regarding payday loans online industry. They need to really take the time to evaluate and assess the whole situation.
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