CFPB Seeks Comments on ‘Junk’ Fees; Trades Call Effort Misguided

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Wednesday announced it will seek to limit “junk fees” that financial institutions, including credit unions, charge consumers for such services as online or telephone loan payments.

Financial services trade groups, including the Credit Union National Association, the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions and banking trade groups immediately denounced the effort as a “misguided effort that paints a distorted and misleading picture of our country’s highly competitive financial services marketplace.”

CU Trades: CFPB Plan Would Distort View of CU Lending

Credit union trade groups are warning the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that requiring a credit union to report data reflecting its lending to minority- and women-owned businesses would deliver a skewed view of the financial institution’s business.

Field of membership rules and a member business loan cap imposed by the National Credit Union Administration limit a credit union’s ability to lend money to all businesses, they said.

Justice Department to Review Bank Merger Rules

The Justice Department on Friday announced it is accepting public comment on whether federal policy governing bank mergers should be updated. Credit union mergers and credit union-bank mergers are not included in the request for information. However, the DoJ is asking whether regulators “give appropriate weight to credit unions and thrifts” in evaluating whether there is sufficient competition to allow a bank merger to go forward. The DoJ announcement follows an attempt by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra to convince the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation board to solicit comments on merger rules. FDIC Chairwoman Jelena McWilliams, who controls

CFPB Reg Agenda: Major Issues Awaiting Chopra Review

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra is still reviewing the regulatory landscape; as a result, the agency may not begin major initiatives during the next six months, the agency said, in its Fall regulatory agenda.

Instead, the agency is likely to focus on projects it already has begun, such as requiring financial institutions to report statistics on their lending to women and minority-owned businesses.

CFPB: Crackdown on Overdraft Policies is Coming

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau intends to crack down on financial institutions that charge the largest fees for overdrafts and is considering “a wide variety of regulatory interventions” to better supervise such fees, Director Rohit Chopra said Wednesday.

Chopra’s comments follow the release of two CFPB reports showing that credit unions and banks continue to rely on overdraft fees as a major source of revenue.