Nussle Calls on CFPB’s Chopra to Use Exemption Authority

As Rohit Chopra takes the helm of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Credit Union National Association President/CEO Jim Nussle is calling on the new director to use his authority to exempt credit unions from rules that are designed for businesses that take advantage of consumers.

“The bureau, in its first several years of existence, missed many opportunities to leverage credit unions’ mission and history to the benefit of consumers, and finalized regulations that ultimately hampered credit unions and their members,” Nussle wrote in a letter to Chopra.

Nussle continued, “Despite our pro-consumer history, credit unions have repeatedly been lumped in with others through the promulgation of overly broad rulemakings – increasing compliance costs without a material benefit for consumers.”

He reminded Chopra that the agency has the power to exempt businesses from its rules.

The Senate confirmed Chopra, a commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission, last week. He was sworn into office this week.

When the bureau was created in the Dodd-Frank Act, then-President Obama nominated Richard Cordray as CFPB director. Cordray adopted a strict regulatory regime and was criticized by credit union and other financial services trade groups.

During the Trump Administration, Acting Director Mick Mulvaney and then Director Kathleen Kraninger began reversing some of Cordray’s policies.

Now that President Biden has taken office, Acting Director Dave Uejio has indicated that the agency may be returning to the model used by Cordray.

In his letter, Nussle criticized the CFPB for appearing to issue rules that lack sufficient data or other information to support the need for the rule. “We challenge you to set a new standard for evidence-based rulemaking decisions and processes,” Nussle wrote.

In an email to staff upon taking office, Chopra said that the CFPB must shift market power toward consumers and law-abiding businesses. “We must strive for a marketplace where families are treated fairly and can seek help when they’re in trouble,” Chopra wrote. “And most importantly, we must anticipate emerging risks so we can act before a crisis, rather than acting after it is too late.”

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